How to Install T Nuts Correctly (2 Simple Ways) - Thumbnail

How to Install T Nuts Correctly (2 Simple Ways)


T nuts and bolts are the perfect choices for mounting things in wooden parts. Thanks to the T nuts (sometimes called blind nuts for wood), bolts are firmly anchored in wood. However, the placement is not always clear to many and it often happens that they are installed in the wrong way.

With the two simple methods in this article, I will show you how I have been mounting t-nut fasteners in wood for years without any problems and how I can do that in a quick way. You will also find a lot of useful tips here that I can give you from my experience with t nuts.

Before reading further, it is recommended that you read my article What Are T-Nuts For Wood – A Clear & Detailed Guide. With all the important information you will find there, such as a clear table of pilot hole sizes for t-nut fasteners, it will be much easier to understand the content of this article.

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Step #1: Drill The Pilot Hole

As you could read in the article I linked to in the intro, T-nuts are always mounted on the back of the workpiece. As a result, the bolt will always pull the threaded t nut tightly against the wood when tightening.

For this reason, you will always have to drill the guest all the way through your workpiece. I recommend that you always use high-speed drills or brad point drills for this. The diameter you need to use for the drill is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the threaded t nut. On the same page that I recommended at the beginning of this article, you will find a handy table that can help you with this.

How to Install T Nuts Correctly - Drill a pilot hole
How to Install T Nuts Correctly – Drill a pilot hole

Step #2: Choose The Right Mounting Method

You can apply blind nuts for wood in different ways. You just have to make sure that the hooks are all the way into the wood and that the flange of the threaded t nut is flush with the surface.

What I absolutely advise against is using a hammer. The hooks can deform but the blows can also damage your project. I always use one of the two methods that I describe in detail below.

Use the T Nuts and Bolts Method

I don’t know if the T nuts and bolts method is an official name, but I call it that way because you need both of them.

You proceed by holding the threaded t nut in place and inserting the bolt on the other side. Tighten the bolt with a wrench or ratchet until the hooks are pulled into the wood.

Once the T-nut is in place you can remove the bolt and continue installing the parts.

How to Install T Nuts Correctly - Use the t nuts and bolts method
How to Install T Nuts Correctly – Use the t nuts and bolts method

Use Your Vise to Install the T Nut

A second way, which is my favorite way because it is quite fast with little effort, is the vise.

Place the t-nut in the pre-drilled hole and press lightly so that the hooks engage the wood. This will make it easy to insert the workpiece into the vise.

Now open the vise so that the workpiece and the nut fit in between. With light pressure, you start to close the vise. once you see that the t-nut stays in place you can increase the pressure and close the vise until the t-nut is completely in the wood.

How to Install T Nuts Correctly - Use your vise to install the t nut
How to Install T Nuts Correctly – Use your vise to install the t nut

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How To Solve The Protruding Flange Problem

Blind nuts for wood have a flange that is about 1 to 2 mm thick (approximately 1/16″). After fixing the T nuts, this flange lies on top of the workpiece, which can cause inconvenience if you have to fix it on top of another part. In this case, there will be a gap between these two parts.

However, this problem is very easy to solve. All you have to do is to measure the diameter of the flange and then take a Forstner drill bit that is slightly larger. This will allow you to drill a shallow hole through which the flange will be countersunk. Once you have this shallow hole you can drill out the pilot hole in the center with a diameter slightly larger than the narrow part of the t-nut.

Keep in mind that you always have to drill the countersink hole with the Forstner drill first and only then with the brad point drill. doing this the other way around, will not let the center point of the Forstner drill have a grip on the wood, so it can slip away and increase the risk of accidents.

How to Install T Nuts Correctly - Make a shallow hole to countersink the t-nut
How to Install T Nuts Correctly – Make a shallow hole to countersink the t-nut

How Do You Secure T Nuts in Wood

Sometimes you may be forced to fix the nuts into the workpiece.
There are several options for this. You can glue the t-nut fasteners or screw them on.

Many will reach for Ca glue because the name “super glue” suggests that it really glues everything, but that is also not the best choice when you want to glue the T nuts. Ca glue will bond between metal and wood at some point, but it is so weak that it peels off when large forces are applied to the threaded insert.

If you really want a durable bond of the threaded insert in the wood, then epoxy glue is the best choice.

Epoxy adhesives bond the metal to the wood and fill gaps between the threaded insert and the application materials. This allows you to drill the pilot hole slightly larger and makes it easier to fit the threaded insert.

A second option is to use a small screw to secure the nuts in place. You can install this screw in the notches of the flange. The head of the screw will move over the flange, blocking it.

T nuts are one way to anchor bolts in wood. Another way is threaded inserts. Everything you need to know about threaded inserts can be found in my article, What Are Threaded Inserts For Wood – A Clear Introduction. It is recommended that you read this now so that you know the differences between t nuts and threaded inserts so that you always choose the best option for your projects.


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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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