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Educate me about stainless cable railings

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  • Educate me about stainless cable railings

    Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but it seems like this section gets more traffic, and I do have a structural question (see tensioners below).

    I have been working on building a deck on my house for five years now (it's a big deck), and I'm finally to the point where I can finish up the ipe decking this year and maybe move on to railings. We want to install one of the 1/8" stainless cable railings. My priorities are:

    1. Meets code.

    2. Cheap.

    3. As invisible as possible.

    4. Cheap.

    There seem to be several systems out there, but it seems like everyone prices theirs differently, and anchors them differently too. Anyone have any experience with one brand or another they care to comment on? Feeney seems about the easiest to find (even at Lowe's if I recall), there's also Atlantis, and even eBay and Amazon kits. I have every tool under the sun and don't really concern myself with the whole "ease of installation" thing (if you saw how I built my deck, you'd understand) so I'd rather buy a big spool of cable instead of those silly pre-cut lengths that I have to cut to fit anyway. I also have no problem swaging my own ends, if it saves me a few bucks.

    The technical question that I have is, since it seems like the tensioners are going to be the most expensive part of the project, how often do you need to put a tensioner? If I have a ten-foot run of cable railing, and I have multiple ten-foot runs in a straight line, end to end (let's say 50 feet straight run), I am going to have a mid-post at each five-foot point, and the cable rail can just pass straight through that. Correct? Now, do I need to have an anchor on one end and a tensioner on the other end, for each ten-foot run? Is there a trick or method that maybe I'm missing to reduce the number of tensioners I need overall, both for cost-savings and for aesthetics, since the big, fat tensioner is the most unattractive part of the whole setup?

    Or maybe I'm missing something, and this can be done with stainless threaded eyebolts and coupling nuts or something, and you don't need to have a dedicated, brand-specific tensioner?

    If it matters, I am using wood posts anchored with those Titan post anchors.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    Oh, also, what about bronze / brass cables instead of stainless? I actually think it would look nicer than stainless given the design of my deck.


    • #3
      Darel, I would be glad to discuss your project with you and answer your questions. You can reach me at 510-496-9064, or 800-888-2418, ext 162.