Any filing cabinet can hold your papers, but an antique oak file cabinet holds your papers and lends a touch of elegance to your home or office. There is no reason to settle for utilitarian when you can enjoy function and beauty with an antique file cabinet, especially one made of oak.
The addition of oak to your workplace creates an environment that projects confidence, stability, and security. Adding an antique to your office demonstrates that you are conscious of history while still working in the present. The classic look of oak hearkens back to a time when natural woods dominated the furniture world.
Use of Oak in File Cabinets
Oak has long been used in furniture manufacturing because it is a strong hardwood. It is not easily scratched or marked, making it a good choice for a busy office setting. For filing cabinets, oak is a wise choice because filing cabinets are used frequently and filled with a heavy load of papers.
A lesser wood may not stand up to repeated opening and closing of the drawers, not to mention that a drawer left open applies pressure both to the drawer and the cabinet frame. Oak can stand up to day-to-day wear that a filing cabinet endures.
Reasons to Use Antique Oak
As oak ages, it takes on a golden patina. The wood itself has a richness that is nearly impossible to duplicate. Only the passage of time allows the wood to age and its color to develop its full depth. Because of this inherent beauty, when you look for office or home furniture, an oak filing cabinet is a wise choice.
In the office, the oak hues bring a comfortable sophistication to the work place. Thus, the filing cabinet becomes not only a functional piece of office furniture, but a type of artwork in your office landscape and a working piece of history. In the home, an antique oak file cabinet can be used and enjoyed throughout the house, not only in the home office. The warmth of oak and the charm of the antique wood furniture add stately sophistication to your home.
Buying an Antique Oak File Cabinet
Antique oak filing cabinets are popular items, so you may need to invest some time and even travel to find the one that is right for you. Visiting reputable antique stores is one way to find the perfect filing cabinet.
Organizations, such as the Antiques' Dealers Association of America provide a list of their members so you can find an antique dealer in your area. You can also shop at auctions, which you can find locally, or through higher-end auction organizations, such as Sotheby's.
In most areas, there are also a variety of local antique stores that offer a wide range of items. You can select stores based on the type of antiques they carry, such as furniture or art, and even by the era the proprietor finds of interest. For example, some dealers specialize in oak furnishings of the Victorian era.
Caring for Your Oak File Cabinet
Your antique oak file cabinet may require a different level of care than your other furniture. You should protect your filing cabinet from ultraviolet light, such as sunlight. Over time, sunlight dries out wood and alters the color of the wood. Light damage is irreversible.
You should also keep your filing cabinet away from heat sources, such as radiators or forced-air vents, which can dry out the wood. Also keep your home or office at a stable temperature and humidity.
Clean your oak filing cabinet with a soft, dry dusting cloth, a pony brush, or a banister brush. You may occasionally need to wax your cabinet with a waxing compound that includes beeswax; however, waxing should be infrequent.
When you move your cabinet, wear soft gloves, and take care that the drawers do not slide out. Avoid tipping or dragging the cabinet, which could damage the wood. If you need professional assistance for care or repair, contact a conservator.
Enjoying Antique Cabinets
With proper care, your oak filing cabinet will work hard for you while looking refined. You can enjoy both the benefit of additional filing space and the beauty of the antique.