A Cable Railing System (also known as cable railing systems and wire rope railings) can be composed of a variety of materials including wood, metal, and some plastics or composite materials. These wood, metal, and plastics or composite materials are often mixed in a design to create a hybrid system that is like no other. Cable Railing is a unique railing design in it of itself, but combined with a little imagination it truly becomes one of a kind. No matter which variation of material you choose to use, the frames need to be rigid enough to support without deflection against the combined pull of several rows of cable. The railing cable must be installed at distances of 3 inches apart with posts no more than 4 feet apart to prevent a 4 inch sphere from passing through the cable railing.
Horizontal cable is the most popular and cost effective way to design a cable railing and provides you with the greatest view enhancing experience. Cable Railing will always require a top rail, but the post material may be as minimal as 1 ½ X 1 ½ inch if designed of material capable of withstanding the strenuous tensioning requirements.
The top rail should always absorb the pressure applied when the cable is tensioned, so you must have very positive fastening between the top rail and post or you must brace the rail between the posts. When building an all wood frame it is always a best practice to securely brace the top rail between the posts rather than simply placing the rail on top of the posts. If your design requires running the top rail across the top of your posts consider adding a smaller brace below the top rail and make sure the smaller brace is secured between the posts.