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Old 08-11-2008, 07:05 PM
platypus20's Avatar
platypus20 platypus20 is offline
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Default Thread Inserts and Installation tools

In a lot of the work I do, fastening sheet metal together is an important part of the work process. There are many ways to fasten the sheet together, nut and bolts, sheet metal screws, zip screws, Dzus fasteners and others. I end up using a lot of threaded inserts, basically a pop rivet style piece. You drill a hole in the panel, using the installation tool, sqeeze the insert into the hole in the metal, remove the tool and now you have a threaded insert locked into the panel, that will allow a machine screw or bolt to lock the panels together without the need to use a wrench to hold back. This is used alot in the race cars I work on to hold electronics, safety gear and access panels, that are not removed constantly, if daily access is needed Dzus fasteners are used. Pictured are 2 of the numerous style insert tools, the red handled Thread Setter is made by Marson, of Pop Rivet fame, install Riv-Nut brand inserts, that have a pronounced flange around the top of the insert. The blue handled tool is sold by Lawson and others, to install Threadsert brand inserts, that have a much smaller lip at the top of the insert. The Riv-Nut is slightly bulkier and allows for slightly oversized installation holes, where the Threadsert is much neater when installed, but need a precise hole to catch the smaller exposed lip. There are also other brands and styles of threaded inserts, but I have found the Riv-Nut and the Threadsert styles cover most of my needs, are easy to buy inserts for and offer many types of material choices, thickness ranges and thread pitch options, both in metric and fractional sizes.

Jack
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Last edited by platypus20; 08-11-2008 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:04 PM
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Default

I've used a lot of both styles and for heavy items, like electronics, brake and fuel line mount/isolators or wiring harnesses, I like the Rivnut style. I made several dimpler tools to set the insert flush with the panel for gauge boards, firewall mounting and seams that have to be fume, splash or smoke tite, or that seal with foam tape. On interior panels, that don't get removed often, I ream the hole to size, add a touch of RTV, and use the Nutsert style because the back clearance required is much less, although I feel that they put more stress in the panel and that can lead to radial cracking, especially when working with 5XXX series .063 aluminum. When vibration eventually loosens them, I replace them with the Rivnut style because , as you pointed out, they are more tollerent of oversize holes. For really high stress stuff, like door latches, side or back glass and body mount trees/braces I stamp out a 22-26 GA. doubler plate (kinda like a dimpled washer) coat with 5200 marine caulk, install, wipe off the excess, and let cure prior to loading. That stuff is amazin'. (just don't get it in the threads, that stuff is tougher than Locktite red) RED
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