How to Work with Hidden Screws

What You'll Need
Screw gun
Deck fastening system kit

Hidden screws provide much safer fastening than nails and other screws. Exposed nails cause wood to crack as well as pose potential accidents. As an alternative to nails, hidden screws can be used. Hidden screws can be used for any type of woodworking project such as cabinet making and wood flooring projects. In order to hide the screws, there are several ways to do so. One is to screw the boards to the sides and covering them with successive wooden boards. Another is to fill the screw hole with wood caulk to hide the head of the screw. Here is how to work with hidden screws.

Step 1 – Hiding by Caulking

In order to fasten wooden materials using screws that can be hidden by wood caulk, make use of finish screws. These screws have a flat head and are designed to sit below the surface of the wooden board. In order to use this screw, drill a hole on the wooden board and insert the finish screw. Turn the finish screw until its head reaches below the surface of the wood.

To hide the screw from view, fill in the screw hole with enough wood caulk to fill in the gap. Allow the wood caulk to dry and the screw is now hidden.

Step 2 – Hiding the Screws Using Wooden Plugs

Some hidden screws come with wooden plugs. These plugs can be placed into the screw hole after the screw has been set in place. This is usually used in deck fastening systems during the installation of the first and last wood boards. When installing the first board, position it onto the joist and determine where to place the screws. Drill the holes on the locations where the screws will be placed and drive each screw into them. Plug the holes with the wooden plugs provided in the deck fastening system kit.

Step 3 – Screwing Through the Sides of the Wooden Boards

For boards that are to be screwed next to the first board, the screws are at the sides at a 45-degree angle. This will enable the  screw to be hidden from surface view. The reason for the 45-degree angle is to avoid breaking the wood or cracking it. When clips are provided in the decking system, install them according to manufacturer’s instructions before installing the side screws. When the clips are installed, position the screw at a 45-degree angle at the sides of wooden board and turn it until it fastens the wood to the joist. Do this until all wooden boards are installed except the last one.

    To fasten the last board to the joists without exposing the screws, the installation should be the same as the first board. Drill the holes for the screws on the surface of the board and turn the screws all the way through. Cover the hole with a plug or wood caulk.