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Replacing Stripped Thread Inserts on Wooden (MDF) Tabletop for Legs
Hey guys, I have acquired a new table but one of the legs needs some repairs. As you can see in the pictures, the previous owner tried to repair it themselves with some small screws, but I intend to try and repair this to more original quality standards. The tabletop is very heavy for the size, so I'm guessing it's made of MDF.
I tried installing some new thread inserts but the laminate had definite damage from the previous strain, and around the 3 stripped holes the tabletop material is bulging slightly (you can see in the below pictures), so the strength is somewhat compromised even though the new thread inserts I bought have larger outer threads.
First picture is of the thread inserts that used to be in these holds (left, brass coloured) and the new ones that Home Depot carried, as well as the bolt/washers I have (I had to buy those, they couldn't find the originals). They are the same thread size (5/16") and the same diameter at the widest end. The old ones are of a tapered shape, the new ones have a slightly larger thread diameter overall.
The second and third picture are of the damaged holes.
Fourth picture is of the holes and the table leg assembly. Moving the holes is an option I would take if necessary, but I want to know if there is a way I can repair the existing ones.
Fifth picture is of the good thread inserts. I can't quite tell if the laminate is covering up some sort of dowling insert or what, but these don't quite look like they're directly into the tabletop material.
After viewing this video, I realized I was an idiot trying to install the new thread inserts with a flathead screwdriver:
Tools I have: power drill, drill bits up to 1/2"
I live in an apartment and don't have access to a workshop, but I can acquire new tools or drill bits like hole cutting bits if needed. I also need to get a 5/16 bolt and some nuts so that I can install the new thread inserts properly as shown in the above linked video.
What should I do? Move the holes? If so, does it seem like the original thread inserts are just screwed straight into the tabletop material? Is there some other good way of repairing this type of material? Get bigger thread inserts and drill out the holes?