Step 1: Drill a Hole

A counterbore should be no deeper than half the tread's thickness. So before you start, wrap some masking tape around the brad-point bit to act as a depth indicator.

After making the counterbore, drill a pilot hole for the screw using a separate twist bit the same diameter as the screw's shank. Place the twist bit in the tapered hole made by the point of the brad-point bit; that way, the pilot hole will be exactly in the center of the counterbore.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with brad-point bit and smaller twist bit
    • mallet
    • random orbit sander
      Random orbit sander

    Shopping List

    Wood plugs with tapered sides
    Masking tape
    Flat-head deck screws
    Carpenter's glue