Improvise a Wing Nut by Using a Hex Nut

In a previous article, I discussed how to make an improvised wing nut with a hex nut and epoxy. The idea there was that the bigger space n the hex nut hole would allow space for epoxy to bind the smaller nut to the bigger hex nut.

In this article, I'll discuss a way to create the improvised wing nut with just a hex nut and no epoxy. The trick is to find a hex nut with just the right-sized hole.

This technique simply utilizes compression force to keep the small nut in place inside the bigger hex nut. To do this, you need to find a big hex nut (bigger than your 1/8" dia. small nut) whose hole is just a little small for the small nut to entirely fit in. That means the small nut shouldn't be able to slide into the hex nut's hole even if you push it in.

The photo below shows the two nuts I have. The one on the left is the 1/8 dia. hole nut which I use for my project. It is too small to handle and so I was looking for a way t make the surface area bigger.

The one on the right is a big hex nut I found to have a right-sized hole that will allow me to expand the "holding" surface area of the small nut. This hex nut has a hole with an inside diameter of 1/4". But you may have to go to a hardware store to choose the correct size hex nut for this DIY improvisation.

To test the hex nut, attempt to slide the small nut inside. Much of it goes through but it won't fit entirely as shown below.

How to Affix the Hex Nut to Improvise a Wing Nut


  • Small nut with matching bolt - 1/8" dia. Hole

  • Big hex nut - 1/4" or whatever is appropriate (see above hex nut test)
    This will serve as the body extender for the small nut.

  • Masking Tape - 3/4" wide


  1. Rest the big hex nut on one side. Position the small nut on top of the big hex nut and keep it as flat as possible so it doesn't tilt to any side.

  2. Cut a piece of masking tape and lay it on top of the small nut. Tape it over so it secures the small nut to the big hex nut and prevents it from moving.

  3. Place the two taped nuts on an anvil or hard surface like a weight plate.

  4. Tap with a hammer so the small nut lowers a bit into the hole without tilting. Then hammer it for three to five times more.

  5. With the masking tape still on, feel the small nut with your fingers. Determine if the small nut is now flat with the big hex nut. If it is, remove the masking tape. Otherwise, continue hammering.

  6. Once flat, remove the masking and the small nut embedded into the big hex nut should look like this. This is the finished product. Ensure the bolt freely turns inside the small nut hole.

The other side of the big hex nut looks like this.

Notice how the small nut is flush with the big hex nut and resulting in a flat surface. The big hex nut compresses the small nut and secures it permanently.

This is the side that faces the bolt when engaged as shown below.

Notice how the grip on the small nut is now considerably better because of the bigger hex nut that acts as an extension.

Here is a size comparison between the big hex nut and the round aluminum tube wing nut that was discussed in another article.

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