Design And Fabrication Of An Office File Cabinet

Project and Seminar Material for Mechanical Engineering ME

Design And Fabrication Of An Office File Cabinet


This project covers the design and fabrication of an office file cabinet. The cabinet is to keep and secure files and document for future record.

With the four drawers, it has a storing capacity of over a thousand files.

Detail design of the cabinet, material selection were carried out. This cabinet is mainly for office use.

Table of Contents

  • Page
  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Purpose of the Project
  • 1.1.1 Objective of the Study
  • 1.1.2 Scope and Limitation
  • 1.2 Literature Review
  • 1.2.1 Hole
  • 1.2.2 Basket
  • 1.2.3 Box
  • 1.2.4 Cain
  • 1.2.5 Wood
  • 1.2.6 Metal

Chapter Two

2.0 Selection of Material

  • 2.0.1 Cost of Materials
  • 2.0.2 Availability of Materials
  • 2.0.3 Portability
  • 2.0.4 Durability
  • 2.0.5 Strength
  • 2.1 Main Parts of the Cabinet
  • 2.2 Materials/ Specification
  • 2.2.1 Top Cover
  • 2.2.2 Top Frame
  • 2.2.3 End Frame
  • 2.2.4 Front Frame
  • 2.2.5 Rear Frame
  • 2.2.6 Handle
  • 2.2.7 Drawer
  • 2.2.8 Drawer Divider
  • 2.2.9 Base/ Bottom

Chapter Three

3.0 Fabrication Process

  • 3.1 Marking out Operation
  • 3.1.1 Qualities of Measuring Tools
  • 3.2 Cutting Operation
  • 3.2.1 Orthogonal Cutting
  • 3.2.2 Oblique Cutting
  • 3.2.3 Cutting Precautions
  • 3.3 Welding
  • 3.3.1 Types of Welding
  • 3.3.2 Welding Safety precautions
  • 3.4 Fabrication Equipment
  • 3.5 Fabrication Procedure
  • 3.6 Assembly
  • 3.7 Testing
  • 3.8 Safety Precautions
  • 3.9 Maintenance
  • 3.10 Cost Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 4.1 Conclusion
  • 4.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

All over the world today, file and document keeping can not be overemphasized. It has vertically found acceptable place within the market economy in commercial enterprises such as offices, schools and institutions.

The above therefore resisted the invention of a device such as cabinet for security purposes.

A file is a sequence of bites, information or data as a single unit, typically in a file system in paper, on disk or magnetic tapes.

The term is often used in the narrower sense of keeping information/data in such a way that it will be intact for future references/usage.

These are various techniques in which files can be kept.

  1. Diskette (floppy disk)
  2. Hard disk
  3. Scrolls
  4. Papers
  5. Magnetic tapes.

The process which is applicable is aimed at files safety and security for either references or future usage.

In the past different file keeping practices have been invented such as hole, basket, box, Cain, wood etc. But the merits derived from metal cabinet out weights any of the above forementioned inventions. Hence, the design of this metal file cabinet.

1.1 Purpose of the Project

The purpose of the project are as follows;

  1. To provide the security and safety of files and documents.
  2. To design a cabinet which will be effective and maintenance free.
  3. To design a cabinet that is of low cost.
  4. To improve on the existing design with maximum security value.
1.1.1 Objective of the Project

A revolutionary design of this cabinet is to have a low rate of file loss with security lock.

1.1.2 Scope and Limitation

The design is for office only and not for commercial usage.

1.2 Literature Review

1.2.1 Hole

Hole was the first method of file keeping. This dated back to the dark ages as soon as the advent of civilization which started inEgypt say in the 15th century.

During those days, it was a known fact that 95% of the world population were illiterate. The 5% acclaimed literate used the scrolls for writing down of information. In order for acted as today’s file, they dugged a hole in the then muddy wall and inserted the scroll only to bring it out when the occasion demanded.

Looking at this primitive way of file keeping, you wonder what happen to the file if the roof of the house is leaking, rodents attacking the scroll or even termite. Since the hole was not moveable, the basket method was introduced.

1.2.2 Basket

The basket method came in only when the scroll was edged out due to the advent of paper production.

The basket stole the show for some time because everyone can afford to get, since the raw material for its production was locally derived.

Though, the basket better of than the hole only for its being moveable but it was still not a safer means for file keeping as rodents can eat up the information on the file thereby the need for a closed up method.

1.2.3 Box

In other to secure the file, a box method was invented. The box was either made of wood or tin. The box method was a little bit better than the previous ones earlier mentioned in the sense that it was covered up thereby safe guarding the files inside. This method was in existence till the early seventy’s (70s) when it was discovered that the tin rusted faster as a result spoiled the documents inside since it was not coated before using for construction.

The disadvantages was that it can easily be stole (since it was not big in size), easy damage to files due to rusting and limited space or capacity for more files.

1.2.4 Cain

The cain method solved the problem of capacity as it was handly made to the size of a normal cabinet or shelve. It came with multiple compactments to accommodate as many files/ document as possible. It’s further advantage is that its free from moisture due to wet floor, from children’s reach as a result of it height but despite all these, it was not still better off as the files were not safe due to the fact that the different compactment does not have a lock. As the day approaches new things began to unfold leading to the construction of a woody file cabinet which can be locked.

1.2.5 Wood

The wooden method if not of recent was the most used method due to the fact that, it secures the files, gives more space, aesthetically, adds beauty to homes, offices where they are kept. Wooden type grained more accelerates s most furniture’s in today’s home are wooden.

Wooden cabinet longerity is determined by the type of wood used for its construction. Here different types of wood exist ranging from cadar, mahogany to obeche. But despite any type used if the wood is not seasoned, it is still not going to last long. Therefore wood seasoning is simply the process of treating wood in order for its life span to be extended.

Wooden cabinet at times are heavy while some are light depending on the type of wood, used for its construction.

Nevertheless, wooden cabinet is still en-vogue and as such does not in any way, limiting new inventions which metal method of constructing file cabinet belongs.

1.2.6 Metal

In the late 20th century, wooden cabinet began to fade away, in order words lost its acceptance globally as wrought iron construction besieged the market economy and since then, it has been taking the lead. Take for instance, 90% of the furniture used in most fast food and confectionery outlets in our environment are mainly wrought iron works. Therefore, metal file cabinet has gain global acceptance and as such, it has come to stay, not only in this century but probably up to the next century. Its features guarantees the prediction as it more spacious, which can accommodate files in its thousands, secondly, safe guard and secures its contents with the aid of a key and lock.

Chapter Four

4.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

4.1 Conclusion

File keeping is an important means of storing, preserving of information facts, datas and records for future usage. It is a proving fact that nobody can do with file keeping even those that are illiterate still need one as receipts of equipments, assets and properties need be kept properly.

It is therefore evident that the important of a file cabinet can not be over emphasized.
The cabinet with the four drawers can accommodated as many files as possible even in its thousands and it is very easy to construct since the basic raw materials are locally sourced.

4.2 Recommendation

For future improvements, the following are recommended.

(i) Weight Reduction

The weight of the cabinet can be reduced. This can be achieved by using 1mm thick plate instead of the 2mm thickness.

(ii) Cost Reduction

The use of lighter metal will in turn reduces weight as well as the cost.

(iii) Roller

The inclusion of roller support will aid in easy movement of the cabinet.

(iv) The cost of locally assembled cabinet is reasonably low and should be encouraged. 

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