Foolproof Cable Railings

A crimping tool is needed to attach swaged fittings to cable.

Typical of other swageless fittings, Feeney’s Quick-Connect fittings have locking jaws that grab the cable without requiring the use of a swaging tool. After the cut end of the cable has been inserted into the fitting, a pair of wrenches are used to tighten the fitting and tension the cable.

When wood posts and rails are used, a structural subrail is needed to resist the compressive force of the tensioned cables.

To gain a little extra square footage, fascia-mounted wood posts can be lag-screwed or through-bolted to the framing. Or fascia-mount brackets for wood posts can be used.

Steel posts can be fascia-mounted, as well.

The author, Tom Salas, fabricates his own stainless steel frames; here, he’s smoothing a welded joint.

Salas' shop is equipped with simple jigs that allow him to accurately weld mounting plates and drill holes through the tubing for the cable.

Surface-mount structural post kits with threaded inserts to accommodate cable-rail fittings are now available from several manufacturers.

Salas often combines wood top rails with aluminum- or steel-framed rail systems. To maintain the cable spacing, posts and intermediate pickets should be no more than 3 feet apart.

Surface-mount fittings are useful when access to the back of a post is limited or where the cable terminates at a wall.

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