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T nuts, commonly called tee nuts and blind nuts, are used in wood, composite, particle or other soft materials. Made from an internal threaded barrel and flange, t nuts have small prongs (usually 3 or 4) that dig into the soft installation surface. They can sometimes be serrated to provide a better grip. The prongs of a tee nut act as hooks to hold the nut to the surface leaving a flush face on the nut side, as long as the bolt is the right length.
Installing a T Nut
Installing a T nut is a simple process. First, a drill bit that is just wider than the diameter of the barrel of the blind nut is used to drill a hole in the soft material. Next, the nut can be either pushed or lightly tapped with a hammer, so the prongs begin to dig into the material. Then, feed the bolt through the other side and thread it into the t nut. Finally, tighten the bolt. As the bolt is being tightened, the nut will be pulled into the soft material until flush against the material surface.
Benefits of T Nuts
A tee nut and bolt will provide better retention in wood over time then wood screws will. Due to the nature of the prongs, they are unlikely to vibrate loose. Although the bolt may loosen over time due to vibrations, simply revisiting and tightening the bolt will retighten the nut anyway. Since the small prongs are what digs into the material, the material is less likely to split or crack.
While t nuts are available in many varieties the most common come with three or four prongs. Four prongs are excellent for soft materials while the three prongs are preferred in harder woods. If a screw fails and is removed but the threading is destroyed, a t-nut with the right barrel diameter and the matching bolt and use the same hole instead of drilling a larger hole or moving the screw location. These nuts are commonly used on furniture both for their ability to sit flush and for uninstalling and reinstalling pieces.
How to Install a T Nut:
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