I'm building shelves into an alcove. They're mounted onto wooden battens that I've screwed into place with slotted, domed brass screws to get a 'retro' feel and for decorative appearance. To finish the job I'd like to hold the shelves down by screwing them into the battens and would like to do it with similar domed brass screws. The batten I'm screwing into is only 15mm wide, so I'll have trouble drilling a pilot hole that close to the wall and need the thinnest possible screw of this type (domed brass and slotted) in order to avoid splitting the boards at their edges or the battens. Can anyone advise on the thinnest screw of this type and where I can buy them? I found some places no longer sold this type of screw at all.
A few options, in no particular order:
Drill pilot hole first
Take the batten off the wall, drill pilot hole, replace. Then you can use whatever size screw is necessary.
Use a flexible drill shaft
These plug into an existing drill and let you get into tight places.
Use double-sided tape or adhesive
Not as strong, but depending on the application may be an easy way to accomplish the goal of preventing shelves from coming out
Use an angle bracket
Use a couple small angle brackets to drill into the bottom of the shelf.