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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.
Installing T-Nuts In Wood | Fasteners101
Installing T-Nuts In Wood Transcript
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Bob: I have here what they call a T-Nut. T nuts are used mostly in wood; most commonly. They do use them in plastics also.
T-nuts are made to go in a hole that's drilled into wood or a plastic product and then these prongs that you see here. They come in 3-prong or 4-prong. This particular one has four prongs. 1-2-3-4. 4 prongs. And then it has this, barrel they call this a barrel and you push it into the hole that you drilled and then you suck the screw in and this flattens right out with the wood. Typically, (a) very commonly used nut.
I have a Tee Nut here, as you can see. I have a pre-drilled hole in this piece of wood to demonstrate what T-nuts are used for. Okay. Let's look at this as the backside okay? The hole is drilled already. You can see those prongs ready to grab into the wood.
I'm gonna take this, bolt with a washer, put the washer on it. And I'm going to screw that up into the T nut, like so. I'm just snugging it up and not I'm going to tighten that up. As I tighten it, it's going to pull that tee nut flush, or I can even pull on it a little tighter to make the bottom flush with the wood (countersunk).
Now when you're going into different types of wood this is just, you know, 2 x 4 pine, so it's very soft wood. Very easy to pull this down. Now you can see I'm starting to pull this down. Get it close and tight. You can really torque on these things. They take a lot of torque.
That'll show you how a T-nut works. These are used in many applications. Many finished products: cabinetry, used on snowboards to keep the bindings attached to the snowboard along with skis. Many different applications for this T nut.
That's the demonstration of a Tee nut.
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