Threaded Inserts


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Inserts_3_250 Inserts_2_250 Zinc Unf
Zinc Flanged Brass Zinc Un-Flanged

There are many applications where a machine thread is required in wood. Threaded inserts are very useful because any assembly put together with them can be dismantled. They are therefore perfect for prototypes, jigs and permanent assemblies which are more rarely broken down but which require this feature as a part of the design brief.

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Inserts for wood
Our threaded brass and zinc alloy inserts have an external thread which is suited to wood. These inserts have an external thread with knife edges which bite deeply into the wood and keep the insert securely in place. The internal thread is a standard metric or imperial standard machine thread which allows numerous fasteners to be used. (See the very end of this data sheet for a quick primer on Metric, UNC and Whitworth threads).


Brass inserts, although supplied with what appears to be a screwdriver slot, are best set in place by using a fastener of the correct size as a mandrel - either a bolt or machine screw. See the suggested mandrel assembly below. To work around the tendency for the insert to wind back out after seating use two nuts tightened against each other with some spare thread either side to allow the nuts to be parted and the mandrel withdrawn. You will typically, although not always, take care to keep the insertion process at right angles to the wood. Inserts required at an angle to a surface are often best achieved with a pre-drilled, angled landing flat which is best done with either a spade or forstner bit.


You can seat inserts using a drill press to improve the accuracy of the insertion.  Note that the design of the leading nose of inserts assists with accurate insertion.


Although the screwdriver slot in the brass inserts can be used for insertion, the insert may more easily be damaged with this method. The insertion hole size may need to be fractionally varied for some extremely hard woods and a dab of glue on the external thread of the insert offers further permanency.


This is the suggested rig for setting both brass and zinc alloy inserts. To assist with getting the insert in at a right angle to the wood use a bolt as long as you can find. You can obviously use a ratchet handle in lieu of the hex detent shank drive adaptor. Be sure the washer is used in reverse, polished side against the insert. A dab of oil on the insert can also ease release of the mandrell.


Inserts Arbor


Zinc Alloy Inserts

These can be set using an allen key although an identical procedure to the one suggested above for brass inserts works best because the vertical alignment is easier to eyeball when setting.


Dimensions and drill selection:



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 Inserts for metal

t8358_2_180 t8358_3_180 t8358_4_180


Our inserts for metal sheet require a setting tool. See Item Code: T8358. This British made setting tool is supplied in a kit with a selection of metric 4, 5, 6 and 8mm thread inserts.


The application is identical to using a pop riveting tool and can be carried out entirely from one side of the work


Drill an appropriate diameter hole (note the tolerance here is quite tight, you must source a correct size drill), insert the correct mandrell for the insert in the pliers (take care, some of the parts have a left hand thread), wind on the insert and set the insert as you would a pop rivet taking care not to over tighten the setting tool.


Kit Instructions


Unified Thread System (UNC)

Some references to thread specifications cause confusion for Australian readers.

This is largely because the UNC standard uses gauge numbers for sizes under 1/4 inch whereas we are happy with 3/16 inch, 5/32 inch and 1/8th inch.

It is not immediately clear for example that an #4-40 UNC designated screw will be a close enough fit for what Australians would know as 1/8 inch Whitworth.

This subject is as deep as you want to delve but a quick summary is as follows.