composite post strength


Old 09-20-06, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NY
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composite post strength

Hello Folks, I'm about to install a 42" high deck rail and I'm going to run 1/8 ss cable. I'm using Choicedek on the decking and railing, but, I've run into a problem.

The cable railing instructions(wood install,no mention of composite) say to use a min. 4x6 at the start and end of the cable run. It's says that due to the 300lb pressure per cable the larger framing is needed. I will be running 14 strings of cable at 3" between. Choicedek doesn't have a 4x6 and I can't find the specs on the Choicedek post strength in any of the literature. I could use pressure treated on the ends, but, I think that will kill the look. Has anyone of you pro's dealt with this and how????

Also, it says that a post/guide should be used every 3 ft to avoid whipping should one of wires break. I'm trying to preserve our view, do you think I can stretch it 4 feet or more safely.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for your replies!!! Eric
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Old 09-21-06, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Composite wood just isn't as strong as regular wood. You'll need to go with what the manufacturer says and use at least 4x6 wood. One option is to use metal to reinforce the ends of the cable run.

As for the post/guide spacing, one thing I have learned through many home improvement projects is that you never compromise on safety. I'd rather concede to something that doesn't have the exact aesthetic look that I want rather than have someone get injured because I tried to stretch the specifications.

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