On most kitchen cabinet installations, the mounting screws are inconspicuous and the client never notices them. But for display cases behind glass doors, I use a couple of tools from FastCap (888/443-3784, www.fastcap.com) to make screw heads disappear.
The FlushMount Drillbit — a carbide bit with an adjustable depth stop — drills recessed pilot holes sized for FastCap's PowerHead screws, which have large washerlike heads that won't pull through. If the stop on the bit is correctly set, the screw head ends up just below the surface. Apply a FastCap peel-and-stick cap and it's nearly impossible to see there's a screw there.
The caps come in a variety of colors and materials, so you can usually find a match for the cabinet material. If you can't, however, you make them using the company's Custom Color Punch: Apply double-stick tape to the back of the veneer, put the veneer between the tool's dies, and squeeze the handle to punch out the cap. Peel the film off the back of the tape and the cap is ready to apply.
The bit costs $50 and the punch $60. A kit containing both tools plus three dies, double-stick tape, and a case goes for $100. Caps cost about $25 per 1,000 in PVC, and about $50 per 1,000 in prefinished wood veneer.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't use this system every time I install cabinets. The FlushMount bit gets the greatest amount of use, and I can usually find stock caps to match the cabinet interior. The Hole Punch gets used rarely, but when you need it, you really need it because no other tool will do.
David Getts owns David Getts Designer Builder, a remodeling company in Seattle.
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