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Where to buy quality T-nuts for home woody?


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Steven Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

I'm building a home woody.

Where do you buy your T-nuts? I need about 600. I bought some off Amazon for about $25 per 200. At least one prong snapped off on about 20 of the first 100 during hand-tightening when installing. I only tightened down enough to get T-nut prongs fully inserted into the wood. I see that many commercial gyms use impact drivers when route-setting. This makes me think I bought some pretty poor quality T-nuts.

I live in Seattle and the big box hardware stores don't seem to have the correct size T-nuts.

Does anyone have recommendations on where I can buy quality T-nuts? Right now I'm considering Metolius T-nuts (2x the price) or T-nuts from EowPower (3x the price) on Amazon. Where do commercial gyms buy T-nuts from?

My home woody will be small and mostly used for system training so I really don't want to have useless spots where I can't attach a hold.

Thanks!

T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 51

Can't speak for commercial gyms, but you can always try McMaster-Carr- they usually have a wide selection of hardware including t-nuts. Price is going to be dependent on material, features, and quantities.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#tee-nuts/=1e3fl9y

Also, just call Stone Gardens and ask them what they use. I seem to remember we used steel t-nuts during a massive overhaul instead of zinc plated, but I could be wrong.

MClay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 710

I can't answer for gyms, but I'm building another home wall and sounds like I bought the same Amazon deal on t-nuts as you did. No problems with prongs breaking so far. Some reviews had the same problem as you, but others had no problems. Maybe a bad batch? How did you set them in the plywood?

Steven Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for the replies. It's good to hear that you haven't had any problems yet. It could very well just be a bad batch. I have just gone through one bag so far.

I've been installing them by placing some gorilla glue on them, then threading a bolt through the other side of the wall. As I tighten the t-nut they get pulled into the back of the wall. I've been using a 5/16" t-handle hex key to tighten them.

http://www.threeballclimbing.com/install4prongtnuts.htm

Good idea about calling Stone Gardens. Might make more sense to use something stronger than zinc plated if strength is what I'm after. On the McMaster Carr website, I see that the stainless steel t-nuts are rated to a psi of 70,000 while the zinc-plated t-nuts are unrated, but stainless steel sure costs a lot.

Gavin Boyles · · Montpelier, VT · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 0

I bought mine from Escape Climbing and they're a bit more expensive but they have the screw-in kind (three tiny screws in the back of each t-nut, rather than the pound-in prongs). I think they're well worth the extra $ and time. In two years of having this home wall I don't have a single t-nut that's off-kilter or stripped.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Gavin Boyles wrote: I bought mine from Escape Climbing and they're a bit more expensive but they have the screw-in kind (three tiny screws in the back of each t-nut, rather than the pound-in prongs). I think they're well worth the extra $ and time. In two years of having this home wall I don't have a single t-nut that's off-kilter or stripped.

2nd escape. For longevity, screw in t-nuts are the only option in commercial gyms. 

Roots · · Redmond. OR · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

Liquid Nails or similar glopped around the edge of the T-nuts' base works just fine.

Steven Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks, guys! I've decided to return the remaining 4-prong t-nuts and go with the screw-in t-nuts. It sounds like they're the way to go. 

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
Steven Smith wrote: I'm building a home woody.

Where do you buy your T-nuts? I need about 600. I bought some off Amazon for about $25 per 200. At least one prong snapped off on about 20 of the first 100 during hand-tightening when installing. I only tightened down enough to get T-nut prongs fully inserted into the wood. I see that many commercial gyms use impact drivers when route-setting. This makes me think I bought some pretty poor quality T-nuts.
I'm baffled.  When building a woody, you install the T-nuts before you hang the panel.  Lay the panel flat on the ground (basement/driveway concrete) and HAMMER the T-nuts into each hole until well-seated.  This means the back of the nut is actually recessed a little into the plywood.  Use a heavy framing hammer (20oz) or better, they'll seat more easily.  Wear hearing protection!
Andy W · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 31
John Byrnes wrote: When building a woody, you install the T-nuts before you hang the panel... HAMMER the T-nuts into each hole until well-seated. Wear hearing protection!

^^ This!! The tnut has no torsional resistance until the prongs are completely seated into the wood. I have over 300 tnuts in my wall from Amazon -- none broke on install and only 1 has spun due to a combination of being set in poor quality wood (degrading knot) and over-tightening a hold. Also I did NOT use glue and haven't had a single pop out. If you are vigilant about drilling straight holes, the tnuts will end up square. IMO it is not necessary to spend extra money on fancy tnuts, but is better spent on more holds.

MClay · · Estill County, KY · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 710

Drilling straight holes is very important. The first 5 t-nuts I tried to set were a bit of struggle, but once I re-drilled all the holes to straighten them a bit with a 7/16" bit, especially rotating the bolt hole side to decrease potential friction when installing holds, everything went very smoothly with hammering my Amazon t-nuts. One failed t-nut out of 198, and that was down to trying to force a rusty bolt into a t-nut. I had to use a wrench to unscrew it but the hole took another t-nut no problem.

Sean Peter · · IL · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 80

I’m sure there’s cheaper- but i went with the screw in style from atomik holds. I’ve built a few walls, and over time the prong style causes more blowouts. Depends on the quality of the plywood, how straight the holes are drilled etc. But the screw ins correct most less than perfect conditions. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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