Introduction: Average Joes Quick Tips - How to Hide a Screw

Picture of Average Joes Quick Tips - How to Hide a Screw

Here is a very simple technique for hiding screws.

I have a video on my YouTube channel showing the tip here:

All you need is:

  • Sharp Chisel
  • Hammer/Mallet
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • Drill & Screwdriver
  • Sander/Sand Paper
  • Screws

So lets get started.

Step 1: Chisel Away the Wood

Picture of Chisel Away the Wood

Choose where you want a screw to go. Hold the chisel at a very shallow angle to the wood where the screw is going to go. It might take a bit of practice so try it on some scraps first.

Tap the end of the chisel with you hammer/mallet very gently to start curling up a piece of wood. Continue this until you have enough room to drill and drive in your screw.

Step 2: Drill & Drive in the Screw

Picture of Drill & Drive in the Screw

Drill a small pilot hole under the curl of wood you created.

Countersink the hole so the head of the screw will be below the surface of the wood when you drive it in.

Drive in the screw and make sure it is below the surface of the wood.

Step 3: Glue & Clamp

Picture of Glue & Clamp

Add some wood glue underneath the curl of wood. It doesnt take alot. I tend to push down the curl to squeeze out the extra glue and clean it up before I add some clamps.

Fold down the curl flat and add some clamps to hold it while the glue dries. The edges are more important. Make sure they are pushed down to the rest of the wood.

Step 4: Sand & Done

Picture of Sand & Done

When the glue is dry you can remove the clamps and sand it smooth.

I use a random orbital sander but by hand still works, it will just take longer.

I have demonstrated this technique on some scraps of softwood. I recently tried it on some hardwood and the results are even better. I tried Sapele & Oak. Oak is has a very brittle grain so you will need to be more careful while chiseling but it is still a really effective method for hiding the screws.


jonathanhallcairns (author)2015-12-13

clever. I'll try it next time. Thanks.

Thanks! Its simple but handy to know :)

sosclosetsandfurniture (author)2015-12-07

That is great! Very handy!

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

Mihsin (author)2015-10-29

You're way above average Joe. This is a great way for white-soft wood, any thoughts on hard woods?

Thank you!I have used used both oak and sapele and they turned out really nice. I really cant see where the screw had been used :)

TigranAntonyan (author)2015-09-15

Thanks for the tip!

Thanks! Its simple but effective :)

harris3810 (author)2015-09-09

Right on! Thanks for the tip.

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it :)

mxx (author)2015-09-05

Excellent idea!

AverageJoesJoinery (author)mxx2015-09-20

Thanks! Glad you liked it :)

willander (author)2015-08-31

great idea !!!

Thanks! Its simple but effective :)

jessyratfink (author)2015-07-26

When you got the chisel out I immediately knew you were a genius. Great technique!!! :D

Wow Thanks! I wouldnt go that far though lol. Its a very simple technique but its effective :)

stacionline (author)2015-07-17

I never thought of this and I love it! :) Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it :)

TigranAntonyan (author)2015-09-15

Thanks for the tip!

LDM1 (author)2015-07-09

Belfrey (author)2015-07-07

Just wanted to thank you. Totally by luck, I saw this instructable today just as my son and I were near the end of a project to build a work bench, and I was trying to decide how to deal with some exposed screws on the last boards (pine 2x4s). This worked great, and was so easy that my 14-year-old son (who had never held a chisel before) succeeded on his first attempt. You can see the hidden sites if you look for them but they're not obvious, and I think it'll look excellent after sanding and sealing.

Wow! Thank you! Thats really great to hear. It is a really simple technique but its really effective. Like you say after sanding and applying a finish it should be even harder to nottice. I'm glad you liked the tip and thanks for you comment :)

primosanch (author)2015-07-07

Cool tip. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it :)

oldship (author)2015-07-07

so simple, thx for the idea.

Thank you! It is really simple but effective :)

really fantastic!

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

Davekalen (author)2015-07-05

What a GREAT idea and way to hide a screw!

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

knutknackebröd (author)2015-07-04

nice ible!, how does the wood look after oiling or staining?

I was asked this in a comment on my YouTube channel so I applied a stain the soft wood. In all honesty I didnt do it justice. I hadnt cleaned up the glue well enough so a lighter line was visible. I show it in my recent update video.

The sapele and oak turned out amazing though. I only added water just to get an idea of what a finish would look like and It is virtualy imposible to see. You have to really look for it :)

mikeasaurus (author)2015-07-03

This is a smart idea, I'll have to remember to use this on an upcoming project. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

giabzero. (author)2015-07-03

i didn't knew it. niiice

Thanks! Its simple but effective :)

Ninzerbean (author)2015-07-03


Thanks! :)

London77 (author)2015-07-03

Most interesting. I will always the same procedure in future. Noble idea and fantastic achievemannt. Thanks

Thank you! Its a very simple tip but its really effective! I'm glad you like it :)

clazman (author)2015-07-02

Very nice, but quite old idea.

I'll just stick to making the fastener part of the design.

I knew it must have been done before but I had never seen it :)

townsend1212 (author)2015-07-02

Nice video.

Moisten the area where you intend to work. This will soften the fibers and may give a better finish. Also sharpen your tools, it will make it easier and cleaner. Back up the work so it gives better control.

The tool that is made to do this can also be made. Check out a tool catalog. And do a video..

Why not just glue the thing together?

Thanks! Just using glue isnt always an option. In a situation where you need to use a screw but want it hidden then this is a very useful tip. Thats a good idea to moisten the area first, I will have to try it :)

oilitright (author)2015-07-02

Well done

Thanks! :)

Degzi (author)2015-07-02


AverageJoesJoinery (author)Degzi2015-07-03

Thank you! :)

blueaxe (author)2015-07-02

Very slick little trick!

Thanks! Its simple but effective :)

About This Instructable




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