As I had posted once before, I was going to use inserts when installing the joysticks instead of just using wood screws. This works extremely well when screws may be removed, and tightened several times. Without an insert, it’s possible that you’ll strip out the wood, leaving a hole that needs to be filled. Another reason is the thing wood that we have to work with on a control panel. Typically you’ll only have 3/4″ or less to insert a screw in the control panel. This doesn’t give much thread engagement with typical wood screws. With the insert you can tighten the screw as much as you like, within reason, without worry of stripping.
Drill the holes. The inserts that I purchased from Grainger need a 23/64″ hole. Just be careful here as you don’t want to drill too deep. You can either use a drill press with a depth gage, or mask off your bit with a piece of tape to prevent over drilling.
The inserts easily screw in with a 6mm hex key. Later I found out that this is much easier if you use a screw gun than a hex key. It’s easier to get the insert perfectly straight and engage the insert threads into the wood.