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An on-the-level solution for screwy inserts

After drilling the pilot holes for several threaded inserts, I ran into a problem. When installing them by hand with a screwdriver, the threads cause the inserts to go into the hole angled by about 5°.

The solution: I cut a 34 " dado 1" deep through a 2×2×3" block of hardwood, and then drilled a 14 " hole into the center of the dado and through the block. With the dado side down, I dropped a 3" long 14 "×20 bolt through the top of the block and threaded a lock nut on the end until about 12 " of the thread was showing below it. I added a washer and then hand-tightened the threaded insert against it.

With the block flat on the workpiece as shown, I thread the insert in the pilot hole by turning the bolt with a wrench. The block holds the bolt—and therefore the insert—perpendicular.
—Ray Pugh, Benton City, Wash.

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