Types of Posts Available for Supporting Cable Railings

Posts Available for Supporting Cable Railings

The foundation of a cable railing system is the posts that support the cables. There are several types of posts available, each designed for a specific purpose. When selecting the right posts for your project, consider the shape, material and hardware you are using, as well as the spacing of the posts and the type of cable you are running. Choosing the right posts can help to ensure the long-term strength and integrity of your cable railing system.

Posts are primarily constructed from wood, stainless steel or aluminum and come in many different shapes. Whether you are looking for a more traditional or contemporary look, there is a post to suit your design. Posts also come in a variety of finishes to match the color of your deck or stair rail.

There are also various mounting methods for the hardware and cable that is attached to a post, including face mount, through mount and tab/eye mount. The type of attachment is based on the method that you will use to attach your cable railing wires to the fittings and turnbuckles that are used on the ends of your posts.

When you are ready to install your cable railing supplies, the first thing that you will need is a set of specialized tools. Depending on the kit you are purchasing, this may include cable crimpers and cutters, drill bits for the various frames and fittings and a deep penetrating oil treatment to protect your stainless steel.

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Types of Posts Available for Supporting Cable Railings

Once you have the specialized tools and the materials needed, it is time to begin installing your cable railing. First, decide what diameter cable you want to run, based on the appearance and performance you are looking for. The two most popular cable diameters are 1/8” and 3/16”. 1/8″ is great for residential systems, and offers a minimal look that really exposes the beautiful view. 3/16″ offers a more substantial look and is a good choice for commercial and heavily trafficked public areas.

It is important to note that the spacing of the posts will also impact cable rigidity. The spacing between the posts should not exceed 5 ft on center to prevent cable sag. You can determine the correct post spacing based on the length of your cable and the spacing that is recommended by the manufacturer of your equipment.

In addition to the proper hardware for each post, you will need to select the appropriate cable railing end fittings and turnbuckles. There are three common types of end fittings: machine swage, hand swage and mechanical/swageless. Choosing the right fit for your railing is mainly a matter of style, but the way that your end fittings are attached to the post is important as well.

There are also special surface-mount cable railing posts that have level hardware built in to allow the cables to be terminated at these locations. These are a great choice for corners where you will be installing corner posts. These allow the cables to bend at a 90 degree angle without the need for double corner posts and terminations.

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