What Are T Nuts
In this post we will discuss how to install t nuts. T Nuts, aka “Tee Nuts”, have flanges on a thin surface of the nut, often available with three or four “prongs.” These flanges act as hooks and are pulled into the material when the bolt is threaded into the nut. These nuts require a pre-drilled hole to use and can be serrated to provide a better grip.
T nuts are designed to be used with a softer material such as wood or composite. T nuts are a very unusual looking nut, due to the prong design. It can be intimidating to see one of these nuts and realize you have no idea what to do with it. T nuts are great for creating a flush finish on the nut side of wood. You can browse our T Nut stock here.
Before You Begin The Install
Before we discuss how to install a t nut, you must first get the proper tools for the job. You will need a bolt, a t nut that matches the bolt, a washer and a power drill with the proper sized drill bit.
How to Install T Nuts
Step 1: Drill The Hole
The first step in installing a T nut is to drill a hole straight through the material. The hole diameter should be just large enough for the cylinder of the nut to fit through. Then sit the nut into the hole. It will not slide all the way in, is should simply rest in the hole.
Step 2: Connecting The Bolt
On the other side of the material, slide the washer onto the bolt, slide the bolt threads through the drilled hole and begin hand threading the bolt onto the nut. The washer will help you distribute the pressure of the bolt and keep the material from being damaged. It is important to hold the washer in place during this process so it can start to grip the wood.
Step 3: Tighten The Bolt
Once the screw is hand threaded (screwed on by hand until it is firmly connected), it is time to take a wrench or socket and continue to drive the bolt. This tightening will pull the flanges of the T nut into the wood creating a snug and secure hold. Continue driving the bolt until the T-nut is firmly pulled all the way into the material and the bolt tightens. If the bolt is too long it will stick out significantly from the other side and can be removed so a shorter bolt that creates a flush finish can be installed. Do not over tighten.
Signs Of Improper Installation:
Some materials (when installed), such as stainless steel, can cause what is known as thread galling. A process where the threads heat up from friction and cause fusion to occur. This can be seen if the T nut you are trying to install cannot be loosened or tightened easily or if the T nut simply spins without properly gripping into the wood. To protect this from happening, Anti-seize lubrication is recommended to minimize friction and make install a breeze.
In This Video:
Our Fastener Expert shows us how to install a t-nut into wood.