How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood - 4 Easy Steps - Thumbnail

How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood – 4 Easy Steps


Threaded inserts are useful pieces of hardware that allow bolts to be firmly anchored in wood. Placing it is quite easy, although many struggles with this. The trick is to drill the correct pilot hole and not immediately get started with tools to drive the threaded insert into the wood.

With the four useful tips in this article, I’ll show you how I’ve been able to install threaded inserts in wood for years without any problems and how I can do it in a quick way.

With these 4 simple steps for installing wood inserts, you too will learn how to do this easily and how to speed up this process to gain extra time.

Before you read on, it is recommended to read my article, What Are Threaded Inserts for Wood – a Clear Introduction, first. With all the important information you find there, like the types of threaded inserts and a clear chart with pilot hole sizes for insert nuts, it will be much easier to understand the content of this article.

Watch My Video on How To Install Threaded Inserts

Step #1: Drill The Pilot Hole

Nut inserts should always be placed in a pre-drilled hole, so that will be the first step to take before installing wood inserts. To do this, Use High speed drill bits or brad point drill bits.

The secret to building a well-fitting pilot hole is to drill a hole the same diameter as the shank of the threaded insert nuts for wood. When you drill in softwood, just a pilot hole is enough, the threaded insert will pull itself into the wood with some force and come to lie flush with the surface of the wood. If you place threaded inserts in heart wood, it is recommended to drill a little recess with a countersink bit.

How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood - Drill a pilot hole
How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood – Drill a pilot hole

Step #2: Choose The Right Mounting Material

Most nut inserts have a top opening that accepts a hex key. As a result, the head of this type of threaded insert nuts for wood will be wider than the threaded insert.

There are also threaded inserts that lack this feature, resulting in no head widening. These cannot be returned using a hex key. The solution is to screw a bolt with a locking nut into the threaded insert. You will see how to use it further in the steps that follow.

How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood - Choose The Right Mounting Material
How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood – Choose The Right Mounting Material

Step #3: Start Inserting Manually

Immediately using a hex key or socket wrench to install nut inserts is not such a good idea. You have less sense of what you are doing and there is a good chance that the insert will be set at an angle, which will have an effect on the result.

Therefore, to start placing insert thread into wood, try to manually screw in the threaded insert as far as possible. The insert really only needs to grip the wood before you can proceed to step 4.

How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood - Start Inserting Manually
How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood – Start Inserting Manually

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Step #4: Use your tool to quickly install the insert

All that remains is to locate the appropriate hex key or socket wrench to drive the threaded insert nuts for wood. Start tightening with the tool attached. You don’t need to use any downward force for this because the wire will grab and pull itself into the wood on its own. Tighten until the insert is flush with or just below the surface of the wood.

Unlock the locking nut and engage the ratchet to loosen to remove the bolt from the insert after using the bolt method. You can now remove the bolt and replace it if necessary, or simply leave the cap bolt in place if that is what is required.

How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood - Use your tool to quickly install the insert
How to Install Threaded Inserts in Wood – Use your tool to quickly install the insert

How Do You Secure Threaded Inserts in Wood

The need to secure an insert with adhesive depends on the application. In most cases, gluing will be unnecessary, but it may be beneficial to glue inserts that are heavily used.

There are several special adhesives (thread-locking adhesive) available to secure all threaded items, however, they will not work well on wood. Also, wood glue will not work in this case, because this glue will not stick to metal.

Many will also reach for Ca glue because the name “super glue” suggests that it really glues everything, but that is also not the best solution. Ca glue will create a bond between metal and wood, but it will be so weak that it will come loose when heavy forces are applied to the threaded insert.

You can use these glues to temporarily fix the threaded inserts, and it is intended that they can be removed again later, with the necessary effort.

If you really want a permanent bonding of the threaded insert in the wood, epoxy glue is the best choice.

Epoxy is a more permanent solution to secure threaded inserts in wood as there is no removal process without damaging the threads. Epoxy adhesives will bond the metal to the wood, filling gaps between the threaded insert and application materials. This allows you to drill the pilot hole slightly larger and the threaded insert will be easier to place.

Using the right hardware can make your job a lot easier. This is why I believe my article, How to install T nuts correctly, will undoubtedly contain more helpful information for you, as you are already interested in this article.


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