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How Do I Choose the Best Pine File Cabinet?

Gregory Hanson
Gregory Hanson

When shopping for a pine file cabinet, a customer should pay close attention to the quality of the wood and the finish, to the fittings and construction, and also to the price and style of the cabinet. A good pine file cabinet will be made of sturdy wood with a durable finish. All the joints in a cabinet should be strong and properly-aligned, and the handles, slides, and other components should be of good quality and fitted correctly. A file cabinet should match the style of the space in which it will be located and should typically be reasonably inexpensive.

Pine is a very versatile and inexpensive wood. It is, however, a soft wood, which means that it is more prone to damage than woods such as oak and is easier to scuff and mark. Furniture made from pine is typically protected with a durable finish to enhance its resistance to damage, and it is usually a good idea to make sure that a pine file cabinet has been given a sturdy coat of varnish. Cleaning a pine file cabinet is much easier and safer if the cabinet has a waterproof finish.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Many pieces of pine lumber include knots. These are sometimes considered visually appealing, and the presence of a few knots in a pine file cabinet is no reason not to buy the piece. Knots should be tight, however, and should not compromise the strength of any individual board in the cabinet.

Some products may be advertised as pine but may consist of synthetic wood pieces covered with a pine veneer. These products can be useful, as they are adequately durable and typically very cheap. They are heavier than true pine, vulnerable to water damage, and apt to collapse if moved, however.

The joinery in a pine file cabinet should be inspected before purchase. In pre-assembled furniture, joints should generally be held together with glue and some other type of fastener. In furniture that is meant to be assembled by the consumer, the hardware and joint design should be sturdy. Fittings on a pine file cabinet should be made of a study material, usually metal or wood, and should be firmly held in place. The sliding mechanism to allow drawers to slide in and out should function smoothly with no catching or roughness.

A pine file cabinet should generally be relatively inexpensive. Pine wood is common, and even high-quality clear pine boards are relatively affordable and quite easy to work. Some markup is appropriate for excellent craftsmanship, but pine products are typically not ornately carved. A wood file cabinet should match the style of any other items in the area where it will be used. Pine takes a finish well and can often be stained to match other pieces of furniture.

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