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Old 12-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
Grannyknot
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Default Tap Handle Inserts

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I've been making some tap handles as Christmas presents. Anyone else find these inserts very frustrating? I can't seem to get them to thread into anything harder than a block of cheese. The threads are so coarse, they strip out any type of wood I've used. I've tried threading a bolt inside them and using my impact driver, which works pretty well, but then the bolt is locked inside the insert from all the torque, and backing it out pulls the insert out of the tap handle.

Anyone got any tips for threading these things in, and keeping them in there.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:42 PM   #2
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I used these the only time I made handles and had no problem with them. I put my block of wood in a vice, drilled the hole, and screwed in with a wide blade flat screwdriver. Took all of 5 minutes to do 2 tap handles.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Have you tried pre-drilling & the using a tap to thread, the screwing in the inserts?

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Old 12-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
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Yes, I pre drill 1/2" holes.
Its possible that the problem is i'm using a very hard piece of walnut.

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Old 12-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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I've had success with screws in hardwood by rubbing the threads on a moist bar of soap for lubrication.

It's also extremely important to start the insert square to the hole or else it can bind.

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Old 12-24-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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Would it be possible to match the thread with screw from HD. Use that to cut the threads in?

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Old 12-24-2013, 02:48 PM   #7
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Default fittings

I had the same problem with a piece of cherry burl, no matter what I did it worked more like a drill and would not bite into the wood. I ended up drilling the hole larger and installing the insert with some epoxy.

Those are not the only threaded inserts that exist. Check Grainger or McMaster.

I have used some that were tapered and use an allen wrench to install. These worked well but I had to install them only 3/4 of the way and grind off the allen head depression. I did this to provide enough threads for the handle to screw on securely to the faucet. It was not very neat looking but it worked.

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Old 12-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #8
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I use a bolt with the head cut off in a drill to install these.

Drill your pilot hole just a bit larger than the diameter of the insert if the threads weren't there.

Put the cut off bolt in your drill. Put a nut on the bolt to lock the insert against. Leave enough thread above the bolt to back off the nut prior to reversing the drill.

I just did this with some white oak which is much harder than walnut.

Walnut is actually fairly soft. In the past I've glued threaded inserts in with epoxy in soft woods where they tend to pull out.

For tap handles I've actually just started tapping the 3/8-16 threads right into the handle. I then drip some superglue into the tapped handle and thread in a bolt. Wait for it to dry then unscrew the bolt. The super glue helps seal and harden the threads.

I have over 20 handles with the style name carved in and didn't feel like spending 30 bucks on inserts.

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Old 12-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaeldesign View Post
I use a bolt with the head cut off in a drill to install these.

Drill your pilot hole just a bit larger than the diameter of the insert if the threads weren't there.

Put the cut off bolt in your drill. Put a nut on the bolt to lock the insert against. Leave enough thread above the bolt to back off the nut prior to reversing the drill.

I just did this with some white oak which is much harder than walnut.

Walnut is actually fairly soft. In the past I've glued threaded inserts in with epoxy in soft woods where they tend to pull out.

For tap handles I've actually just started tapping the 3/8-16 threads right into the handle. I then drip some superglue into the tapped handle and thread in a bolt. Wait for it to dry then unscrew the bolt. The super glue helps seal and harden the threads.

I have over 20 handles with the style name carved in and didn't feel like spending 30 bucks on inserts.
Interesting ideas. Thanks.
I agree that Walnut is typically softer than most Oak, but this Walnut is ~120 years old & borderline petrified. I checked the moisture content last night and it was below 1%!. Its the first thing I've run through my table saw that slowed the 5hp motor.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
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McMaster has a driver for them as well. I bought that with a couple of ten packs of inserts. I've only done a few but found that a drop of wood glue with it will get it to set up nicely.

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