We bought the best-looking (pronounced “least bashed”) pair of hulking five-drawer industrial-strength HON Brigade Lateral File Cabinets from the local ReStore outlet’s assortment for Mary’s quilting fabric stash. They came with a steep discount, barely fit inside the Forester, caused minor interior trim damage, and should organize her entire stash.
One cabinet lost a foot nut at some point in its 16 year history:
The surviving foot nuts sported two weld nuggets apiece:
The hole had the remains of one nugget at the top left and looks like a manufacturing defect to me. Of course, we’re (at least) the second owners and the usual lifetime warranty no longer applies.
I can fix that.
Bandsaw a 1×¾ inch rectangle from 3/8 inch aluminum plate to match the surviving foot nut (which is steel, but aluminum will suffice for our needs). Break the edges, clamp in the Sherline, and mill a square protrusion to match the square-ish hole:
Drill a 17/64 inch hole (looser than the nominal F drill, because I’m a sissy) for a flat-head bolt from the Drawer o’ 3/8-16 Bolts, tap, and clean up.
A trial fit showed the nugget had to go before the nut would come even close to fitting flat into the hole:
The sheet metal around the hole had absorbed at least one mighty blow pushing the entire surface inward behind the front edge. To compensate, recess the nut’s front edge and slope the sides with a Dremel wheel to let the bottom face sit level:
Another trial fit showed the need for more recess:
Another spate of grinding made it sit mostly level on the decidedly non-level surface around the hole:
The beveled corners fit inside the swaged hole corners.
Grind paint / crud off the sheet metal and roughen the surface for good epoxy griptivity:
Stand the cabinet top-side-down to make the bottom level. I wish the basement had one more course of block, but it’s not to be.
Butter the nut with JB Weld epoxy, plunk it in place, apply excess epoxy to make a fillet around the edges, apply duct tape to guy the top of the bolt level-ish, and let it cure:
After the epoxy stiffened enough to hold its position, remove the bolt, file a crude ¼ inch hex, and saw a screwdriver slot to make it match the other feet:
Not the fanciest job I’ve ever done, but it now behaves just like the other ones and it’s all good. The HON Storage Files FAQ points to a Troubleshooting Guide showing how to level the thing with a hex socket from inside the bottom drawer.
The flat heads on those bolts are basically 25 mm OD steel plates calling for fuzzy felt bumpers on the Sewing Room’s wood floors. When properly leveled, the front will be ⅛ inch higher than the rear. Although they suggest a pencil should roll toward the back, the top sheet metal on this one may be sufficiently warped to confuse the issue; I have a long level well suited to the task.
The original dimension doodle includes metric offsets for cutting with a ¼ inch end mill:
All in all, a satisfying day in the Basement Shop …
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