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Cabinet sitting in hallway next to plant 

Overview

Repurpose a flat-pack cube unit to create a filing cabinet in disguise. This D.I.Y. home office project doubles as a hallway cabinet, and it is a great storage essential for multifunctional spaces. Here’s how to make it.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Assemble the cube

Apply woodworking adhesive along joins and in the dowel holes before securing with supplied dowels and screws. Use a circular saw to trim an MDF shelf to 750mm long for a base, then cut the remaining piece in half lengthways for two end strips.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: A combination square makes easy work of marking out repeat measurements, such as pre-drilling holes for screws or checking the distance from edges.
A person uses woodworking adhesive to assemble a Flexi Storage clever cube unit

2Position and secure the base

Apply woodworking adhesive around the cube and position the base 5mm in from all edges. Fix the strips with adhesive at either end. Pre-drill around the base with a countersinking bit, securing with 40mm screws
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Avoid placing the screws in the corners where the leg plates go.
A person uses woodworking adhesive to secure a base and rails on a Flexi Storage clever cube unit

3Cut hangers and place

Using a hacksaw, cut three 360mm hangers from U channel. Apply construction adhesive along the backs and position them on the cube along the centre and sides, checking they are flush with the insides and 25mm in from the front and back. Press down and leave to dry.

A person holds a combination square against a Flexi Storage clever cube unit

4Make the rails

From 30mm x 18mm moulding, use a mitre saw to cut two 760mm and two 355mm rails. Use a countersinking bit to pre-drill holes into the 18mm face, 20mm in from the ends, and also in the centre of the long rails. Sand all over and remove breakout with 180-grit abrasive paper.

Four pieces of DAR Tasmanian oak moulding on a work bench.

5Cut the top and secure the rails

Cut a 1200mm timber panel down to 800mm long for the cabinet top, rounding over the raw edge to match the factory finish with 180-grit abrasive paper. On the back, centre the short rails 20mm in from the ends and secure through the pre-drilled holes with 40mm screws.

A person uses a combination square to measure a D.I.Y. timber cabinet top

6Apply varnish

Seal the MDF base and all of the timber pieces (including the top and legs) with two coats of clear varnish, leaving to dry after each coat. Position the long rails on the cube, flush with the ends and against the hangers, securing through the holes with 40mm screws.

A person uses a drill to secure rails to a ‘Clever cube’ cabinet

7Mark holes for leg plates

To install legs, use a leg plate to mark the holes in the corners.

Leg plate on the base of a cabinet. A pencil is used to mark the holes for cabinet legs

8Pre-drill screw holes for legs

Tape 15mm from the tip of an 8mm bit as a guide to pre-drill centre holes, then pre-drill the screw holes 3mm deep with a countersinking bit. Secure with the supplied screws using a flat-head bit.

Blue tape on an 8mm bit, pre-drilling into a cabinet base

9Install the legs

To finish, twist in the legs firmly and cover the screws in the sides of the cube with the supplied screw caps. Move the cabinet into place, hang A4 suspension files and position the top.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: There is clearance to allow for tabs and markers on the files.
A person placing a lid on a D.I.Y. filing cabinet

10Want more home office D.I.Y. inspiration?

Our timber desktop paper tray project is an easy D.I.Y. storage solution. 

 

Timbers vary by state and territory; contact your local store for further information.*

Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.

Photo Credit: Natasha Dickins

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.