How to Install Brass Thread Inserts


Self-tapping brass thread inserts offer you the ability to easily install sturdy threads in thick plastics and wood. You need to select the proper brass insert for the material in which you are installing the insert, as the external threads are sized according to the holding power of the base material. Large external threads are designed to gouge deep into soft material, and small threads take advantage of the density of hardwoods and plastic. If you attempt to use the improper brass insert for the base material, the insert will either not hold or break during installation.

Step 1

Set the material that will receive the brass thread insert onto the worktable.

Step 2

Read the insert installation instructions to determine the size of the pilot hole that you need to drill in the base material to accommodate the brass thread insert.

Step 3

Select the drill bit from the drill bit set that matches the size of the pilot hole required for the self-tapping brass thread insert and secure in the chuck of the variable speed drill motor.

Step 4

Put on your safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.

Step 5

Align the tip of the drill bit where you need to drill the hole in the base material, and press the trigger of the drill motor to drill the pilot hole for the brass thread insert.

Step 6

Secure the square end of the brass insert installation tool into the tap tee-handle.

Step 7

Thread the brass thread insert onto the threaded end of the installation tool.

Step 8

Place the end of the brass insert into the pilot hole that you drilled in the base material.

Step 9

Turn the tap tee-handle to thread the brass insert into the base material. Stop turning the brass insert when the top of the insert rests slightly below the surface of the base material.

Step 10

Reverse the direction of the tap tee-handle to remove the installation tool from the brass thread insert.

Step 11

Test the installation by threading a bolt into the brass insert. The insert should not move when you turn the bolt into the brass insert.

Things You'll Need

  • Worktable
  • Brass thread insert with installation instructions
  • Drill bit set
  • Variable speed drill motor
  • Safety glasses
  • Brass thread insert installation tool
  • Tap tee-handle


  • Helicoil: Brass Insert
  • E-Z Lok: Knife Thread Inserts for Wood
  • H.W. Eckhardt Corp: Self-Tapping Insert Installation Methods
Keywords: brass thread inserts, base material, self-tapping

About this Author

C.L. Rease , based in Texas, has been a professional construction and outdoor writer since 2003. His articles have appeared in The News-Press, a local Southwest Florida newspaper and a small Southwest Florida fishing magazine. Rease served a four year apprenticeship to become a union sheet metal journeyman and earned a construction management degree from Florida State University.

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