I have a regular round 1 1/4" steel tube, and I want to insert and eyebolt in it. The tube only has one hole (where the eyebolt goes) so I can't use a nut.

What options do I have and can I find it at Home Depot? I was told at the store that this was not possible, so I thought that maybe I could screw something into the tube and then screw the eyebolt into this something.


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  • How much weight does this have to hold?
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 20, 2017 at 20:54
  • If the hole is larger than the bolt I would weld a nut into the pipe, if it is smaller I would tap the hole, not easy but it can be done.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:16
  • The post has a top, or the drilled hole is no where close to the top? (you can't just reach inside and hold the nut there with a finger?)
    – Mazura
    Dec 21, 2017 at 1:10

2 Answers 2


What can you get at a typical hardware store?

Rather than focus on that one hole that you do have, look at other types of hooks. They have eyelets that are fixed onto metal plates. These plates can then be screwed to the pipe using some self tapping sheet metal screws:

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Harder to find, but another option...

There is something called a rivnut, and as the name suggests, it is a cross between a rivet and a nut. You can secure them from one side only like a rivet, but they have a threaded hole that you can then thread an eye bolt into. They require a special tool to insert them, and you'll probably have to drill the hole that you have bigger to accommodate the outside diameter of the rivnut. If you only have a few to insert, you might be able to get by without the special tool.

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Low strength option

If this is light duty, and the metal of your post is thick enough, you might be able to cut some threads in it with a thread tap and correctly sized drill bit. You'd only get maybe one good thread cut into the pipe, but that might be enough if what you're holding is light enough. You could also force an eye bolt with wood screw threads into the pipe. Again, not very strong at all, but might work for you.

  • Thanks to the influx of cheap tools, one can find affordable rivnuts and installation tools more easily than in the past. Ed Beal's suggestion of tapping is a good one, but if the wall is thin, a rivnut is much stronger.
    – fred_dot_u
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:31
  • I tried searching for "rivnut" in the home depot website, but couldn't find anything. Do you know if these (or something similar) is available? Thanks.
    – rbhat
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:55
  • @rbhat, yea, it's more of a specialty tool that Home Depot or Lowes would not carry. I got them from Amazon the last time I looked. If you want to walk into a store an buy them or look at them, check for a store like Fastenal in your area.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:57
  • What about the self tapping sheet metal screws? Are these available at Home Depot?
    – rbhat
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:58
  • @rbhat, yes the sheet metal screws are very common. They will be on the nail/screw isle with all the little hanging plastic bags. I think the bags with sheet metal screws are color coded red, but that might be regional. Self tapping screws look like they have a drill bit tip at the end. Normal sheet metal screws have a very sharp point. In my experience, its easiest to use the self tapping screws with a hex head. Get a nut-driver for your drill to zip them right in. Note that you can't really drive the self tappers by hand - a drill is required.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 20, 2017 at 22:02

Drill all the way through the pole and bolt it on the other side.

If the load is vertical, use a hook instead of an eye.

  • Through-bolting would absolutely be the best option for this. Dec 21, 2017 at 1:40

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