Library Card Catalog Cabinets

My wife and I were browsing around an antique mall this weekend when I stumbled upon these things underneath an old trestle table. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them. My wife gave me a strange look wondering why in the world I would want these ugly things.

When I bought my house ten years ago, the old man who had a workshop left several library card catalog cabinets behind. I didn’t know what to do with them at first but quickly realized how handy they were. Basically, they’re a great way of storing all the miscellaneous crap you collect in your shop.

In one drawer I keep my Tormek sharpening jigs, another one I keep all my lathe accessories and so on. Plus being made out of metal, they’re incredibly strong and can hold a ton of weight. After a while, I used up all the drawers so I kept my eye out for some more file cabinets to buy. 


Library card catalog cabinets come in different sizes so some drawers are more useful than others for storing various tools. In my old cabinets, the drawers are long enough that I can store all the lathe chisels while the new ones I just picked up are too short for that. But the new ones are wider and deeper so I can store my pneumatic finish nails a lot easier. It definitely pays to have different sizes.


The true beauty of these cabinets is that no one really wants them so they’re reasonably cheap. I was able to snag all three cabinets for $15.00. I’m sure as soon as it becomes popular to spray paint these things white with pink stenciled flowers on them like people do with old suitcases, I’m sure their prices will skyrocket to $100 a pop. But for now, I’m glad I was able to pick these up dirt cheap.

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