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How To Install A Threaded Insert Into Wood Without The Insert Tool!

Installing A Threaded Insert Into Wood Without The Insert ToolHow To Install A Threaded Insert Into Wood Without The Insert Tool!

Threaded inserts are great fasteners that dramatically extend the life of a hole by creating a metal threading point instead of using wood repeatedly. By using metal inserts, the bolt can be installed and removed multiple times without diminishing the hold strength of the hole. The downside of threaded inserts is that they usually require some type of vendor specific bit or driver to install them properly.

We, for example, carry the E-Z LOK Threaded Insert Install Tool. This tool works great for installing these inserts but what happens if you get to a job site and you’ve forgotten the bit that makes working with these inserts so easy at home? The answer is simple, use a tap bolt to create a different drive point for the insert!



Step 1: Drill The Hole

Tap Bolt and Threaded Insert Ready for Installation

Of course, the first step is to drill the right sized hole (if there isn’t one already). The trick to using these in wood is to drill a larger countersunk section that the insert will fit into and then a smaller hole the rest of the way through the material.

Step 2: Screw The Tap Bolt Into The Insert

Tap bolts have an externally driven hexagonal head. This head will sit wider that the threaded inserts head. Before installing the insert, you need something to drive it with. We use a hex tap bolts head as a drive to drive the threaded insert down into the wood.

Step 3: Get The Insert Started

Using a Socket Wrench to Install the Threaded Insert

It is easy to install the threaded insert from this point on. Simply take the assembly and begin hand threading it into the hole with the hex head facing away from the hole. The insert really only needs to begin gripping the wood before stopping and proceeding to step 4.

Step 4: Use A Socket And Ratchet To Quickly Install The Insert

At this point all you need to do is find the appropriate socket for the tap bolt head you are going to drive. Once found, attach it to the ratcheting handle and begin tightening. You will not have to use any down-force for this as the threading should grab on its own and pull itself into the wood. Continue tightening until the insert sits flush or just below the surface and the bottom of the head of the hex tap bolt is sitting flush with the surface of the wood.

Tap Bolt Sitting Flush With Wood Surface

Now that you have installed your threaded insert, switch the ratchet to loosen and break the bolt loose from the insert. You can now remove the bolt and place a different one in if you need or just leave the tap bolt installed if that is what needs to be there.

Installed Threaded Insert Without The Tool

Installing Threaded Inserts in Wood Without a Tool | Quick Tips

Installing Threaded Inserts in Wood Without a Tool | Quick Tips video
Installing Threaded Inserts in Wood Without a Tool Transcript

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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners – Fasteners 101. I’m Bob and today I want to demonstrate to you the installation of a (brass threaded) insert.

So there’s two ways you can put this insert in. You can do it with the manufacturers driving tool. Which goes right into a drill or if you don’t have the driving tool you could just use your fastener or a hex cap screw.

Install the hex cap screw all the way into the insert and take the insert and get it started. Grab your ratchet and drive it in. Okay, we’re almost there. Not there 100% yet. Okay. That’s pretty good. Ok, I’ve driven in the insert with a hex cap screw. I’m going to now back this off. Take the screw out and you can see there that the insert is in place.

Now a lot of people have said to me “Whoa you got the insert in backwards”. Fact is, it’s not in backwards it’s in correctly. Each manufacturer and manufactures these differently. This is an EZ-Lok product. This is their system for installing with their tool. But you don’t need the tool to install one of these as I just showed you.

Thanks for watching.

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