Plans to Build a Parsons Two-Drawer File Cabinet

DIY Furniture Plans – A Beautiful Piece for a Home Office

This piece is inspired by a file cabinet in the Ballard Designs catalog and is an incredibly easy build. The DIY furniture plans to build a Parsons two-drawer file cabinet features two drawers and is just wide enough to easily accommodate hanging folders. The drawer fronts have an angled top and sides so that no drawer hardware is necessary, though it can be installed if desired. The drawer fronts are solid and would look fabulous with a stenciled design! The file cabinet is also on casters for easy mobility…

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws (<– affiliate link!)
  • 1-1/2″ brad nails
  • Edge banding (<– affiliate link!)
  • 18″ drawer slides (<– affiliate link!)
  • 2″ casters
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 120 & 220 grit)
  • Finishing Supplies (paint or stain & sealer)
  • Two – 1/8″ x 1/2″ x 36″ strips of aluminum
  • Four 1/4″ nylon spacers
  • Four 1″ screws to mount the aluminum

Lumber:

  • 1 – 1×2 (or cut a 1-1/2″ strip of 3/4″ plywood) at 2′
  • 2 – 1×10 at 8′
  • 1 – 2′ x 4′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood
  • 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 19″ x 25-1/4″ – Sides
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 15-1/2″ x 19″ – Bottom
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 17″ x 19″ – Top
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 15-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ – Back
  • 1 – 1×2 (or 3/4″ plywood at 1-1/2″ wide) 15-1/2″ – Stretcher
  • 4 – 1×10 at 13″ – Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 4 – 1×10 at 18″ – Drawer Box Sides
  • 2 – 1×4″ plywood at 13-1/2″ x 17″ – Drawer Box Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-15/16″ x 17″ – Drawer Fronts

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Here are a couple of other projects to compliment the DIY furniture plans to build a Parsons two-drawer file cabinet:

Notes about the project:

Edge banding will be applied to the exposed edges of the plywood prior to assembly. The bars for the hanging file folders are installed using 1/2″ aluminum strips, nylon spacers and panhead screws (see this post).

Step One

Cut the pieces for the sides and the bottom. With the pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes along the side edges of the bottom. Secure the bottom to the sides using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step Two

Cut the piece for the back and drill pocket holes in all four edges. Secure the back to the sides and bottom using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step Three

Cut the piece for the top. Secure the top to the sides using glue and 1-1/2″ brad nails, then secure to the back using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step Four

Cut the piece for the stretcher and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the divider to the cabinet sides as shown, using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Using a router and a 1/4″ straight bit, cut a 3/8″ deep groove located 1/4″ up from the bottom of each piece (this is so the drawer box bottoms can slide into place). Drill pocket holes in the sides of the shorter pieces on the opposite face of the groove. Secure the longer sides to one of the shorter pieces using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step Six

Cut the piece for the bottom. Slide it into the groove, then attach the remaining shorter piece using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. Cut a 45° bevel along the side edges as well as the top edge. These will face in and allow for easy opening of the drawers so that drawer pulls will not have to be used (they are optional!)

Position the drawer fronts on the drawer boxes installed in the cabinet. Secure in place using a few brad nails, then open the drawers and secure the fronts from the inside using 1-1/4″ screws.

Step Eight

To attach the aluminum strips for the file folders, cut the strips into four 13″ long pieces. Pre-drill a hole in each end of the strip and attach the strips with the 1″ pan head screws each through a spacer into the larger drawer boxes.

Fill any holes, and finish as desired. Install the casters on the bottom according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Have any questions about the DIY furniture plans to build a Parsons two-drawer file cabinet? Leave a comment below!

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