wire rope deck railing

I want to build a wire rope deck railing with 3/16" galv. aircraft
cable. I was thinking about having 4X4 posts carriage bolted into the
rim joist every 6-8 feet and topped with a 2 X 6 on its flat, lag
bolted into the top of the 4 X 4 posts. Every 4" up the posts having
3/16" through holes for the cable and counter boring the posts on the
beginning of each run to hide the swagged sleeves. My question is
regarding keeping all the cables (8 horizontal, 4" spacing one above
the other) tight. I was thinking either turn buckles or simply eye
bolts through the 4x4s that that could be tightened. Ideally, crimped
sleeves on both ends hidden in counter bores would be nice but it
would be impossible to have them all equally tight. Is 6-8 feet
between post too much? I would not want a kid to be able to pull wires
apart and squeeze through. Thanks for any ideas.
Reply to
mark
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Skip the galvanized and go with stainless. Seem to recall a few examples in Fine Home Building magazine
Reply to
beecrofter
Don't use galvanized. It is great to protect car bodies under the paint, but if left in the rain, galvanizing will last a year or so. Then it will start to rust and look like hell.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I have made several railings, including deck railings, which use 1/8" stainless cable. There are a lot of companies that sell fittings for that cable. 3/16" cable is unnecessarily thick and will cost 50% more but gain you no more, 1/8" is way plenty strong enough.
There are accepted guidelines for cable railings. Your code may be different, but most railings must pass the "baby's head" rule which means that a 4" inspector's ball can not pass through the railing anywhere. If you space your cables 4" apart on 6-8' centers you won't have a prayer of passing. Normal practice is to space the cables 3" apart on max 48" centers (4 feet). That way even when pulled apart in the middle, you can't make the ball go between the cables.
Personally, I would hesitate to use wooden verticals, even 4x4s. I like steel, although it is much more complicated to manufacture. Here are some pictures of recent cable railings I've done:
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The small pocket deck rail is deck-mounted but the big deck rail is fascia-mounted.
Some vendors for stainless cable hardware are:
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I'm deeply indebted to Ernie Leimkuhler for his patient help teaching me how to make cable railings and for the above links.
Grant Erwin
Reply to
Grant Erwin
that's a very good rule. My son once stuck his head between some railings at an airport. It was not fun. I could barely free him up.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus23363
Grant gives excellent advice. Check with your local AHJ (inspector). before you proceed, there are some areas/inspectors that will not accept horizontal (climbable) railings in addition to the 4" ball rule..
Reply to
DanG
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Hi Grant, nice work - thanks for posting the photos. How did you get the finish on the steel? - is it painted, powdercoated? - and where you did the welds at the corners it looks perfecto, no sign of welds - how did you do this. Was it worthwhile to buy the proper crimp tools for the wire, or did you hire it? - and how did you cut the stainless wire? - I imagine it would be a bugger to cut with boltcutters etc......
And I can only agree from my amateur work at fencing - ANY timber will twist/warp, and if its under considerable tension from wire, it will be doing it before you have finished the job......(bad enough running string to grow beans on in the vegie patch.....)
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
The stair railings were spray painted with Hammerite, installed, then touched up in situ again with a spray can. Exterior deck railing joints were sanded with flap wheels to make the weld less obtrusive. The large deck railing was hot dip galvanized and the small deck railing was spraypainted with cans of cold galvanizing spray, the bright kind.
I only made the steel, the builder bought & installed the stainless cable. I don't know if they bought or rented the swaging tool, but for sure they used one.
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
If you reqlly want child safety and care less about style and durability, use galv chicken fence, either 1" or 2" mesh 36" high. Cheap, will stop all kids and balls, and will last several years, maybe until the kids grow up. I used it sucessfully on mine, it did rust and I had to replace it every 5 years. Maybe a mesh fishing net would rust less, but any mesh has huge redundancy. A really bad crash with a hi-speed trike might require sooner replacement but it will have saved the day.
Reply to
Nick Hull
I just found this site. They have many examples of using timber with the cable.
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Reply to
mark
Your idea is not very good. Commercially made, stainless steel railing and fittings, designed and alloyed for marine use is a far better choice. As said by other posters, 1/8" stainless cable is more than good enough. What I haven't seen mentioned about your idea is all the weight you are adding topside. I don't know how big your boat is, but if you figure stanchions every eight feet, it isn't a small rowboat. All that extra weight could seriously raise the center of gravity and reduce the boat's righting moment and therefore, resistance to capsize. 4x4's belong on the porch, not on the water. Boris
Reply to
Boris Beizer
I should have mentioned this is for a house deck on land. I found stainless 1/8" cable at very reasonable price ($.23/foot canadian) and stainless turnbuckles for a little over 2 bucks each.
Reply to
mark
Yep. Its your money, time, and work. Do it any way you like - but have a look at the photos, see how the majority of them have stress relief at the corners, either by double posts or a rail running away as a stay. Some of them pretty big too...
Oh, yes - their photos, on the internet, from people who want to sell you something......
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
I know those guys (the guys whose company posted the photos in question). They are very competent and (to my knowledge) honest. Sure, they're in the business of selling you their products, but they also are very free with their how-to information.
The double posts on the corners solve the problem of running cable around a corner. A single corner post would have to be very strongly built to resist the cable tensioning forces. The cables need not be tensioned as tight as the Web pages suggest, I've found. For steel, they recommend 2x2x1/4" posts minimum, and I've gotten away with 1-1/4x1-1/4x3/16" tubing.
If you're worried about cable tensioning pulling the bottoms of the posts together, you can always add a lower rail. That also cuts down the amount of wire you have to buy.
Deck railings with vertical wooden posts sound really easy to me. You lay all the verticals next to each other and draw lines across all of them at once to lay out your hole spacings, then set up a fence on the drill press so you drill in the center of the post, and just whip out the holes. You will very likely need 2 people to install the cable, though. Each individual wire will take you about 20 minutes after you get practiced at handling it.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Hey - not saying it cant be done, just dubious about it long term - but its not my decision. My experience of fencing has been rural, designed to stop moo cows wandering around - high tensile steel wire through star pickets, with big strainer posts at the corners....and its unlikely the job described will need to be that strong (and if he has got cows wandering around his deck, well, hes got more problems than building a fence....)
So, I bow to someone more experienced than me, go for it.......you are doing it for a living, so respect your opinion.
Regards,
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
For an inside railing I have used plastic-sheatherd steel cable, and I epoxied the cable into the anchors, as well as epoxying the anchors into holes in the hardwood railing. I bought stainless turnbuckles of the closed kind (looks like a tube swaged and threaded at both ends) from a boat supply house. Looks very nice, if I may say so.
Reply to
przemek klosowski

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