I often find myself trying to figure out how to bolt something into wood. Say I’m attaching the side of a wooden box, but I want to be able to remove it later. Ideally I’d have a threaded hole, but of course wood won’t hold a thread. I don’t want to use a wood screw because after I’ve taken the screw in and out a few times, the hole will be reamed and won’t hold.

I could use a threaded insert, but the smallest ones I can find are #8, and they require a pretty big hole. And of course I would have to remember to order them a week or so before I start building.

Here’s my newest idea. For a #6 bolt, I set up the drill press and used a forstner bit to drill a 3/8" hole about 3/16" deep, then a 11/16" center hole. I set the nut into the hole made by the forstner bit with a little Amazing Goop from my favorite hardware store. (everyone should have a hardware store they really like, I think)

I needed to clean the threads a little but it seems to work pretty well. The key is that the nut must stay in place when the bolt hits it. If the nut falls out into the inside of the box, it fails. I was able to break the adhesive by threading the bolt halfway into the bolt, then pushing the bolt out of the wood. I pushed hard enough to leave a dent in my thumb for a couple of minutes, and I think that’s probably strong enough. Notes: cyanoacrylate glue doesn’t really work at all; and gorilla epoxy is kind of a pain to set up but it sticks the nut onto the wood a little better than Amazing Goop.

Once the bolt is seated, all’s well — the bolt’s pressure will draw the nut into the board I’ve set it into. This is going to be a go-to solution for me, I think, but I might need to tune the adhesive a little bit.