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Thread: Installing threaded brass inserts in wood, hole size?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Union City, CA
    My approach is pretty simple: on a test scrap, drill a hole slightly larger than recommended. If you can comfortably turn the insert in and out of the hole in the scrap, the size of the hole is correct.

    Drill the hole of the same size in the workpiece. Before installing the insert, give the hole a drop or two of epoxy glue (don't overdose).

  2. Perhaps my information was not available in 2005 when this thread was started.woodcraft threaded insert pilot hole.jpg

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Quote Originally Posted by bennie blackwell View Post
    Perhaps my information was not available in 2005 when this thread was started.
    Thanks Bennie. With that I was able to find the PDF for download. It's good info to have on hand.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Landenberg, Pa
    Good pdf if info. I recently did brass inserts in cherry. I basically slapped a caliper on my inserts, and used a bit 1/32 smaller than the thread diameter, and set a depth on the shoulder of the bit to 1/32 more than the insert. Worked like a charm. I drove the inserts using a hex driver.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    Thanks Bennie. With that I was able to find the PDF for download. It's good info to have on hand.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    This driver works very well.,180,42334 You get to lean on the end of the drill to ensure the insert starts well, and you get to focus on holding the drill at right angles to the work. Much better than the socket wrench approach.

  6. #21
    Pilot hole size will vary with the hardness of the material. I've found that often times, really hard woods simply will not allow the soft brass to cut in. I usually use a threaded driver on a drill to drive threaded inserts in, it lets me concentrate on applying downward pressure and staying square.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Long Island N.Y.
    This is the correct way, using a drill press.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    I picked up some Hillman threaded inserts with a 5/16-18 internal thread and a 15/32, coarse external thread. The thread minor dia is .370, or just a smidge under 3/8.
    Should I use a 3/8 drill bit? They'll be going into maple burl, I don't want to crack it.
    I have on occasion done it a completely different way, depending on the circumstance. On the last brass inserts I put into endgrain on woodturned kitchen things I drilled the hole large enough to snugly slide the insert into place then epoxied it in permanently.


  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    I once installed a bunch of them in 165 year old Heart Pine window jambs, to make the sash easily removal by taking the stops out. The inserts allow anyone in the future to take them out without having to pull nails. The old Pine varied in hardness, and grain size on every side, of every jamb. I finally used the ones intended to be threaded into metal. They screw into normally sized tapped holes, and the tap cut threads just fine in the Heart Pine.

    Before I did that, I had an impossible time threading the ones for wood in square to the surface. In the shop made jigs forum here, someone posted a while back about a jig for installing them square to the surface. If I had that, I may have been able to use a combination of the ones for softwood, and hardwood, rather than the ones for metal. The ones for metal worked fine, but were a lot more expensive.

  10. #25
    You might want to take a look at this tool/jig one of our members made specifically for installing threaded inserts.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

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