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So I'm making a simple shelf like the one in the picture. I asked the home depot guy and the guy told me to use regular screws and then use filling to cover up the holes, something I already knew.

I asked if there's a way to attach them so that the screws couldn't be seen, but he didn't know.

So how can I attach these two pieces is wood so that the screws cannot be seen from the top?

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    Keep in mind that a 2x12 is not actually 2 by 12 inches, it's more like 1.5 by 11.5. – Mike Baranczak Apr 4 '18 at 1:14
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    11-1/4, actually. – isherwood Apr 4 '18 at 1:31
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Option 1: Don't use screws. Old-school cabinet makers used dowels and glue. It's not difficult, but you'll want to read up on alignment techniques. Joints are very strong.

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Option 2: Use pocket screws. They're what modern cabinet makers use. They're probably cost- and effort-prohibitive in your case, though, since they require special tools (or advanced technique) and your work space is very tight.

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Option 3: Use long screws from the bottom. If your dimensions are correct, and your top panel really is 2 inches thick, you have enough material to counterbore from below and run the screws in that way.

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  • Thank you for your reply. I'm thinking of using dowels and glue. Is there a link you can share that will show me how to install the dowels and align them correctly? – rbhat Apr 4 '18 at 15:22
  • It's a very common technique and you should have no trouble finding resources. I've never researched the topic since I learned it far before the internet. Here's a start – isherwood Apr 4 '18 at 15:30

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