Improvised Wing Nut Using Big Hex Nut and Epoxy

In a previous article, I mentioned the use of a short aluminum tube and epoxy to improvise a wing nut. The idea is to simply make the holding surface area bigger. To do this, we created a bigger nut with the same hole size.

However, some may find the added step for cutting the aluminum tube a bit too tedious. One way around this time-consuming step is to use a bigger-sized hex nut rather than the aluminum tube. The hex nut's hole should be big enough to provide some space for the epoxy when the small nut is placed inside.

How to Attach the Small Nut to the Big Hex Nut


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

  • Two-part Epoxy (adhesive and hardener)
    This will bind the small nut to the bigger hex nut.

  • Big hex nut - 5/16" or bigger
    This will serve as the shell or casing for the body of the wing nut.

  • Masking Tape - 1/2" wide


In general, perform the steps as was done in a previous article.

  1. Put the nut at the end of the matching bolt. Be sure the nut is flush at the bolt's end.

  2. Wind a short piece of masking tape around the bolt so it is flush against the side of the nut as shown below.

  3. Rest the big hex nut on one side. Carefully position the bolt with nut inside the hex nut. With the nut as the base, let the bolt and nut stand dead center inside the big hex nut.

  4. Mix the two parts of the two-part epoxy. Mix an amount that's just enough to fit inside the big hex nut. Carefully pour the epoxy mix inside the big hex nut, burying the small nut and covering a part of the masking tape.

  5. Let the two-part epoxy cure and dry.

  6. When the epoxy has cured and dried, unscrew and remove the bolt from the hardened mix.

  7. Some bits of the tape may be left behind. Remove these bits of masking tape with a pair of tweezers.

  8. With a sharp knife or cutter, deburr the rough edges of the hardened epoxy. Use sandpaper or flat file to smoothen the edges.

  9. You will be left with a bigger-sized nut that is now easier to handle, tighten and loosen on the bolt. The finished product is much bigger than the original 1/8" dia. nut and will be easier to find if you drop it.

Shown below is the finished product. Notice the small nut now embedded inside the big hex nut. This side is flat and the small nut is flush with the bigger hex nut.

This is the side where the epoxy was filled. This side is rounded due to the excess epoxy.

Here's the wing nut engaged to the 1/8" dia. bolt.

Advantages of Using the Big Hex Nut over the Aluminum Tube

  • Bigger Surface Area. Allows easier handling. The hex nut is bigger and heavier than the aluminum tube. It is easily found when dropped.

  • Hexagonal Shape. Allows a better grip when positioning, tightening or loosening on the bolt. This is compared to the circular shape of the aluminum tube.

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