The Toolbox is OUT; The Pencil Files are IN

It’s a controversial move, but I’m making it anyway because I’m convinced flat file cabinets are the ultimate pencil display solution :triumph:

Introducing: The Pencil Files

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be moving most of my collection into this bad boy:

I think I can fit ~1400 pencils in this 5-drawer cabinet (where every pencil is visible when the drawer is fully open). Right now, it looks like 4 rows of 70 pencils per drawer. And I can probably hide another fifty or so in the back of each drawer, where at least 4-5" is unsuitable for display.

That should cover things, but I’ll still have some stress with Pilot, as I have roughly 300 relevant pieces I want to display. (And really, the 10-drawer cabinet—which was also like 6" deeper, easily allowing a fifth row of 70 pencils [350 per drawer]—was perfect. I’m wincing a little bit thinking of it; maybe I’ll go back with a U-Haul and get it :rofl:)

Originally, I wanted a 10-drawer cabinet, but I had no idea how huge these things are—I couldn’t get the one I wanted in my Audi SQ5 if I tried.

So it was take a great deal on a beat-up-but-still-lovable 5-drawer piece ($160, unreal), or go home empty handed…

Anyway, here we are. I’ve got The Pencil Files™ set up in my office, where there’s significantly better natural lighting during the day than where The Toolbox™ has been in the house. And I’ll finally be able to take nice pictures, which will be a welcome change from… well… everything you’ve ever seen from me before :face_holding_back_tears:


That is an excellent set of drawers. It looks like you could stack another one or two on top in case your collection expands.


Oh man. I’m in love.


Wondering what the inside looks like…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Man, that looks like a heavy piece of equipment. My studio just completed our move recently and the movers were struggling with our A0 size paper drawer…

Looking forward to the visual feast!!


Oh, you loved your Toolbox so much and you were always one post away from swapping it for this thing.


He never really loved that toolbox. He was trying so hard to love that child but we all saw through it. :joy:


The Pencil Files is the perfect name for this curatorial project. Maybe in the future we will be able to access these files online?


How far is the lowest drawer above the floor? Maybe put some rubber bumpers on the corners.


Very impressive


Soooo nice. I wanted one of these; alas, i live on the 5th floor without an elevator. So I’m building a smaller version myself - will post some pictures when its done.


That thing is a tank. Just curious, are the drawers removable?


Whoa, every body in the arts wants a flat file cabinet but they’re hugely expensive. To keep pencils? Genius :love_you_gesture:


Here’s the one in my new studio. It’s a beast…


I totally agree that those cabinets are the ultimate storage for pencils. and if s/o has a real insanely huge collection, a pharmacy storage will be the next level :smiley:



I like those drawer cabinets :grinning: This is where I keep most of my collection of woodcased pencils, accessories and some drawing instruments:

(I reorganised it some time ago; hence the temporary labelling with sticky notes).


Ultimately, I want to put interactive images on my website. Imagine pictures of each drawer, and then you can zoom in to highlight individual pencils. A little box will pop up and tell you about that particular pencil (make/model/info). That’s the holy grail—a collection everybody else can browse whenever they want.


The lowest drawer is only like 6–7" off the ground. I want this whole thing to sit up higher, but I don’t have a suitable base. Building one is an option, but I’m about the furthest thing from a crafty tool guy.

Can’t wait to see it! Be sure to reverse engineer it around the size of drawers you need to display everything precisely how you want. (I think 26–28" of usable depth is perfect for 4 rows of display; add/subtract 6–7" for each row.)

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The drawers are removable. And I only learned this when I tried to move the cabinet and dumped the drawers on the floor, narrowly missing my sandal-clad feet :flushed: