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Threaded brass inserts. How do you install them?

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Forum topic by Ken Fitzpatrick posted 02-22-2012 06:20 PM 4172 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2677 days


02-22-2012 06:20 PM

I’m working on a “Dovetail Jig Work Center” designed by Woodsmith. The project calls for a number of threaded inserts to hold different parts of the jig in place. I purchased the inserts from McMasters as suggested in the plan and the bag states I should drill a 3/8” hole to put the insert in.

I’m using some beautiful baltic birch plywood that has been very easy to work with, yet when I try to install the insert in to the 3/8” hole it is very difficult. When I finally get the threads to catch it still doesn’t want to stay on track and starts going in at an angle. I’ve managed to install the four that hold the main jig but am looking for help/suggestions before I try to install the other 8.

My first thought is that the 3/8” hole is just not big enough. I have however been able to put four in with a great deal of effort and trouble. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Ken

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge


12 replies so far

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

691 posts in 1589 days


#1 posted 02-22-2012 06:28 PM

I usually thread a screw into the insert all the way and then screw it in using the head of the screw. When it is seated all the way just back out the screw. You can even put a screw bit in a drill press and manually turn the chuck as you gently raise the table.
Good luck!

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1769 days


#2 posted 02-22-2012 06:35 PM

I tink you want to look at this blog MaFe (Mads ) have made about the little thread insert
and how he is dealing with it

http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/15848

good luck
Dennis

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2677 days


#3 posted 02-22-2012 06:53 PM

Dennis: Thanks for the link. It is exactly what I was looking for. Am going to try this out and see how it works. It’s got to be better than what I have been doing.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

5648 posts in 2082 days


#4 posted 02-22-2012 07:01 PM

I just run some all thread with a nut on it, into the insert till the nut stops it, the chuck it into the DP and hand turn the chuck while keeping pressure on it. Works for me.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1005 days


#5 posted 02-22-2012 07:29 PM

I cut the head off a bolt that fits the insert then put 2 nuts on and jam them together. Then thread the insert onto that then chuck it in the drill press and then line up the insert w/ the hole and hand turn the chuck to get it going straight.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1664 days


#6 posted 02-22-2012 07:50 PM

I use an impact driver. Works just fine for me…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

544 posts in 1935 days


#7 posted 02-23-2012 12:26 AM

Ken,

I use the brass inserts and, for my use, they have to be precisely placed and set. I drill the 3/8” hole and tap it with a 7/16 by 16 tap. This tap isn’t a standard size but industrial supply houses carry them. I think I bought the one I use from Enco. After slightly easing the hole with a countersink, I tap the hole in the smaller items I make with a hand tapper:

I also drive them in with a driver I turned on a metal lathe and machined the end to fit into one of the collets for the hand tapper. This way I get them exactly where I need them, at 90º to the surface and with no surface damage.

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Mainiac Matt

3997 posts in 982 days


#8 posted 02-23-2012 01:25 AM

The ones we use ahaves specie special drivers bits. These have a post that slips inside the machine threads and keeps the insert aligned with the axis of the driver. There are two “ears” that engage the slots and transfer the rotation of the driver to the insert.

We by our brass inserts from Fastenal, and they list the special driver bits in there catalog on the same page.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Mainiac Matt

3997 posts in 982 days


#9 posted 02-23-2012 01:29 AM

http://catalog.yardleyproducts.com/image?cid=1590&plpver=10&categid=3001209&prodid=3001210

Here’s one from Yardley that looks just like what we use….

I love threaded inserts.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1231 days


#10 posted 02-23-2012 02:14 AM

I use the drill press method too.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2677 days


#11 posted 02-23-2012 02:32 AM

Thanks to all. You guys are great. So many options. I love the tool above but it’s a bit of overkill for what I am doing. It did however reinforce my thought that it must be installed straight. I am gathering what I need to try Dennis’s suggestion to use the Mafe method. I’m thinking I will modify that just a bit by using a regular bolt that I can get a socket on because of my arthritis in my fingers. Ironically when I was drilling dog holes on my work bench top I made a block of wood exactly like Mafe did to insure the hole was straight and true. I used a forstner bit running the shaft through the block of wood then inserted into te drill. The holes came out perfect. I’m sure with the right size block and Mafe’s set up I’ll get them installed much easier than the first four. These are great little items to use on jigs. I’m going to use them a lt more if this works ok. Thanks again to all.

Ken

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

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Ken Fitzpatrick

373 posts in 2677 days


#12 posted 02-23-2012 02:53 AM

Nightwalker, thanks for the video link. That looks like another way to do it. I’m confused though when he says that the slot should go in the hole first. After reading some of the other posts above I went back to the catalog I purchased mine from and they did carry a driver that has a piece that fits in that slot and is used to drive it in. His method seems to work and maybe I will try the portable drill method just as he did in a piece of scrap. My problem is my project is build and it would be difficult to get it up on my drill press. Either way will let everyone know

Thanks again

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

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