How to Install Hanger Bolts

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Use a wrench to tighten down a hanger bolt.
Use a wrench to tighten down a hanger bolt. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Hanger bolts have a wide variety of uses, such as bolting table legs. The leg secures to the table via a corner bracket with a washer and a nut to fit the hanger bolt. Whatever the need for hanger bolts, the goal is the same: to secure one object to another while making it removable, if needed, without destroying either object. This means they will have both wood threads and machine threads. Some are equipped with their own nut-shaped center that fits a wrench. The size of the wrench you need depends on the size of the hanger bolt you use.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Nail set
  • Hammer
  • Drill bit
  • Masking tape
  • 2 wrenches
  • 2 machine-thread nuts

Mark the insertion point for the hanger bolt on the wood. Place the nail set on the point and tap it with the hammer to produce an indention in the wood.

Measure from the tip of the appropriate drill bit and mark it with a black marker at the depth needed for the hanger bolt. Wrap a piece of masking tape around the bit to represent the depth.

Drill a pilot hole for the hanger bolt with the appropriate drill bit, stopping at the masking tape. Insert the hanger bolt into the pilot hole. If the bolt has a center section made for securing the bolt to the wood, tighten it with the appropriate wrench. For bolts without the center section, go to the next step.

Screw a nut on the machined end of the bolt, followed by a second nut. Screw the first nut down to the end of the threads. Hold the first nut in place with a wrench and tighten the second nut against the first with another wrench.

Place a wrench on the second nut and tighten the hanger bolt into the wood. Be certain not to tighten deeper than the drilled pilot hole. Hold the first nut with a wrench and loosen the second nut with another wrench then remove both nuts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the size of the hanger bolt to determine what size drill bit to use for the pilot holes.
  • Be careful not to move the masking tape on the drill bit as this gives a false depth.
  • Do not leave power tools within reach of children.
  • Do not overtighten the hanger bolt because this causes the wood to split.

References

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