Threaded inserts are handy pieces of hardware. Unfortunately, installing them perfectly square can be difficult. To solve this problem, I use a handy installation jig.
Using the jig is really quite simple. The first thing to do is drill a hole in the workpiece to match the diameter of the body of the insert. To prevent the edge of the hole from lifting, I like to drill a small countersink around the edge of the hole. Next, slip a washer onto the bolt and thread the insert on. Then set the jig (and insert) in place over the hole. To seat the insert in the hole, simply press the jig down against the workpiece. Now it’s just a matter of turning the head of the bolt with a ratchet until the insert is flush with the surface.
The jig is nothing more than a block of hardwood with a notch cut at one end. A hole drilled through the notch holds the hardware that keeps the insert straight.