Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts

 In Questions And Answers, Techniques

Q & A: Installing Threaded Inserts


I made a jig that needed
threaded inserts but I had one heck
of a time installing them by hand.
They went in cockeyed and I trashed
their slots.What am I doing wrong?


The most common kind of
threaded insert is the straight brass
barrel with thin outside threads and
a single slot. A better one has wide
threads, a hex wrench slot and is
tapered to guide into the hole
straighter. The most foolproof way to install
both threaded inserts is to use an
unplugged drill press and a bolt to
support the insert. The drill press
keeps the insert square to your board.


Here's how to install them:

1. Drill a hole of the recommended size
(see package) into your piece of wood.

2.Unplug your drill press.

3. Cut off the head of a bolt with the
same thread as the insert and grip it in
your chuck.

4. Spin a nut, washer and insert onto the
bolt.Turn the insert and the nut together,
as tight as you can, by hand.

5.Center the hole directly under the insert
and clamp the piece down to the drill
press table. Advance the insert into the
hole until it just contacts.Turn the chuck
slowly,by hand, to advance the insert into
the wood. Keep turning the chuck until
the insert is fully engaged.

6. Back off the nut using a wrench.
Reverse the spin of the chuck.The bolt will
spin right out.The top of the inset may be
a bit proud of the face. You can drive it
below with a hex wrench or use a fine file
to level it off.

If you don’t have a drill press, don’t
worry, you can turn the inserts in by hand.
Getting them started is the hard part, so be
sure to use the tapered style insert.Drive
in the insert using a hex wrench.Check
with a small square to make sure it’s going
in straight.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 2000, issue #81.

August 2000, issue #81

Purchase this back issue.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search