Embedding nuts in to a wood workbench - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-31-2019, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Embedding nuts in to a wood workbench

I think I'm looking for something similar to a "caged nut". I want to embed some nuts to receive bolts for use in clamping and vices. I've done this before by chiseling a six sided hole to hold the nut but that tends to be loose and doesn't last long in soft woods. Are there any nuts that would lend themselves to this purpose?
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-31-2019, 10:13 PM
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yeah - they are called T-Nuts.
installed from the bottom side of the bench.
there are several styles available.

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post #3 of 25 Old 12-31-2019, 10:17 PM
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There is a wide variety of threaded inserts that you can use. Some can be mounted from above, and some are intended to be mounted from below. Just google threaded insert. (I hope these pictures get automatically resized.)




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post #4 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both! Perfect!
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 01:55 PM
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Unless there is some reason you canít use T-nuts (e.g. unable to access bottom) Iíd avoid inserts. The tension on the screw/bolt tends to pull the T-nut into the board while tending to pull the insert out of the board.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryh View Post
Unless there is some reason you canít use T-nuts (e.g. unable to access bottom) Iíd avoid inserts. The tension on the screw/bolt tends to pull the T-nut into the board while tending to pull the insert out of the board.
I've wondered about that.

I've an application that will demand the inserts. I wonder if there's any particular style/type/brand that works any better than any other?

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post #7 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 03:05 PM
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Dont over-tighten or spill water or other liquid near the screws where the water can corrode the 2 together.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
I've wondered about that.

I've an application that will demand the inserts. I wonder if there's any particular style/type/brand that works any better than any other?

Some have a much coarser thread that goes into the wood like these meant for soft wood:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hillman-3-8...ck-Nut/3012578

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/t...eaded-inserts/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 03:21 PM
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Unless there is some reason you canít use T-nuts (e.g. unable to access bottom) Iíd avoid inserts. The tension on the screw/bolt tends to pull the T-nut into the board while tending to pull the insert out of the board.
No, not if properly installed. I use threaded inserts quite often. The only ones I avoid are those with a fine exterior thread. Those are better suited for man-made materials, versus the ones with a coarse exterior thread.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Some have a much coarser thread that goes into the wood like these meant for soft wood:
Hahahaha Apparently we read each other's mind a little too often for comfort.
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 04:06 PM
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Just as a followup, this is the style that I use most often. They have a coarse, blunted thread, which pushes the wood grain apart versus a sharp thread that cuts the grain.


This is the fine thread version. The threads are finer, but also very sharp. They will cut the fibers as they are threaded in. They work best in stringy, fibrous woods, and are excellent in plastics. (Never use these in end-grain)

This is a tapered thread version. The threads are both coarse and sharp. I have some in the shop, but I don't recall ever using them. They would be best suited for very soft woods, such as pine. Because the threads are also very deep, they can probably be used in end-grain.


The one on the left is a push-in style. I have some of these, but don't recall ever using them. I just don't trust the pull-out strength unless they would be epoxied in place.



The bottom mount inserts are good, but I don't use them as often because they are visible. Here is a picture where I used them to mount a metal subframe onto a large table pedestal that needed to be separated for shipping.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 05:52 PM
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Really great information from @Rick Christopherson! Thank you!

In addition to the above, I have seen screw-on T-nuts at the store, and scratched my head about them. At first I thought they were intended as a top mount, but now I realize that they go underneath like other T-nuts and get pulled tight. The screw holes are there to keep it from rotating, not for attachment per se. They would not work well as a top attachment, because the three small screws could not be very strong.

https://www.rockler.com/screw-on-tee...se-size-thread
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 06:38 PM
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No, not if properly installed........
Rick C, Iíve used inserts successfully in lots of applications too. My post simply stated a mechanical truth about the forces. Surely your ďnoĒ canít be questioning the physics. Regardless of how inserts are installed, a tensile force from the screw/bolt is going to try to pull the insert out, and that is a fact.
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 06:46 PM
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... a tensile force from the screw/bolt is going to try to pull the insert out, and that is a fact.
"Try" isn't the same as "will".


Back when I was putting together the specifications for my boom arm, I did the research on thread pull-out strengths. I don't have the research in front of me anymore, but it was rather surprising how high they were. Don't quote me on this because I don't remember anymore, but I vaguely recall that screw thread pullout strengths were nearly the same as comparable through-bolt pullout strengths.
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post #15 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 06:54 PM
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Thatís why I said ďtry.Ē And what I said is still true. Of course whether or not the insert is pulled out depends on a lot of things in particular the expected force - I get it.
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-01-2020, 07:12 PM
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If this is for a permanent fixture installation, you might want hanger bolts.



These will sink deeper into the wood than any insert for better holding. Wood glue on the coarse thread will help keep them from unthreading, epoxy will make them even more permanent.
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post #17 of 25 Old 01-02-2020, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
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Just as a followup, this is the style that I use most often. They have a coarse, blunted thread, which pushes the wood grain apart versus a sharp thread that cuts the grain.

Where do you get those?

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post #18 of 25 Old 01-02-2020, 01:04 AM
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Woodcraft has them, but I imagine just about any woodworking store will have a full selection of types and sizes. You can probably even get them on Amazon or eBay too. My local HomeDepot has the fine thread, but unfortunately not the coarse thread.
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post #19 of 25 Old 01-02-2020, 08:09 AM
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my local Lowe's, Home Depot, ACE, all have the threaded inserts.
they also come in metric thread, if you ever need them.
you don't have to get the ones that require the "T" handle for installation.
to me, that is just another unnecessary tool.
check YouTube for "installing threaded inserts" to see what best suits
you, your projects and your skill level.

.

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post #20 of 25 Old 01-02-2020, 10:16 AM
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Where do you get those?
I get them at my local Rockler store, but I have seen them in many places. Frankly, I see them a lot when I get drafted into assembling cheap furniture (read: IKEA) for my in-laws.

There are multiple types of inserts. Some use allen (hex) wrenches to insert. Others have a slot on either side of the central hole. If you are very careful, you can use a flat-blade screwdriver to insert the slot type, but you must prevent the ends of the screwdriver tip from going outside the insert and scratching or scraping your wood.

The T-handle insert tool has a post in the middle with flat wings to drive the insert. I do not have one of those, but I have a small insert "bit" with the same post and wings that can be driven by a socket set ratchet or drill-driver. I nearly always forget to use the tool and reach for the big screwdriver instead. Old habits die hard.
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