How To

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Starting at $50 per linear foot.

Setting up your Post and Rail Frame

ANI-Aluminum-Breakout-300pxThe first step in creating a complete cable railing system is putting together a post-and-handrail frame. Below we’ll go over some of the materials you’ll need and the choices you’ll need to make.

The graphic to the left will help walk you through the process. You can click on it to watch it larger. It also repeats in case you miss something.

This is NOT designed as instructions for installing your system, it is merely a visual aid to help you along the process of deciding what you need.

If you’re having trouble you can always call us at 1-855-820-8439

What type of material will your system be?

You are not limited to any particular material type for your post and rail frame. Any material that can handle the load of the cable rails is acceptable, giving you nearly limitless options.

We currently have 3  material type options for your system. You can pick the same material for your top rail and posts for a cohesive look, or mix-and-match for something more interesting and unique.

You can learn more about each system type with the links below.

Circle Bolt
Stainless Steel System
Stainless Square Circle
Ipe Wood with Bolt

What you need to know about top rail before buying.

Top rail is sold in 20ft sticks. Using a single piece of top rail across the system lends stability and strength to your system. If you can use a single piece of top rail from one end to the other, then you should. There are circumstances which may prevent that, such as the run is longer than 20ft. If for some reason you can’t use a single length of top rail, you should start and stop across the middle of the post.  You can choose to have yours cut beforehand,  which can save on shipping.

20ft sticks of Top rail are shipped via freight (semi) truck. You’re notified by the shipper to set up a delivery time the day before delivery.

Top Rail butts on center of post.
Top Rail butts on center of post.

What you need to know about posts before buying.

Deck Mounting
Deck mounting means that the posts are attached to the top of your platform. To deck mount posts you’ll need a base plate, a base pad, the base screws, and the mounting screws. You can get these separately, or order them as a set.

Fascia Mounting
Fascia mounting means posts are attached to the side of your platform (called the “fascia board”). To fascia mount your posts you’ll need fascia mounting screws, and a post cap to close off the bottom of the post. Again you can order these as a set.

Drilled Posts
We typically send our posts pre-drilled with 3-inch spacing on-center for hassle-free assembly. Our prefabricated components snap and screw together, meaning no welding, grinding, or special finishing is required on your part.

Un-drilled Posts
If you are working with special measurements, on an angle for stairs or ramps, un-drilled posts are also available as well. We also offer a hole drilling service for those jobs that require special cuts.

Terminal Post EndTerminal Posts
Terminal posts anchor the ends of your railing system, bearing the load of your cables’ tension thanks to their inner webbing and wall thickness of 5mm.

Intermediate Post EndIntermediate Posts
Intermediate posts only guide the cable and act as a handrail. They don’t bear any load, but are still 2mm thick, making them stronger than the pickets often used for glass and other railing systems.

Rail Height 36″ or 42″

For residential settings, 36” should be appropriate. For commercial spaces, you’ll probably want 42”. Make sure to check your local building codes, as they can vary greatly between municipalities and might require unusual heights.

All posts are designed to be cut on site, to meet the needs of any top rail thickness.

Post Quantity

Generally, you will need two Terminal Posts, one on each end.

Intermediate Posts require some planning, and a bit of math.

Considerations for Calculating Intermediate Posts:
***Corners require double corner posts.
***How long does your railing need to be?
***What is the max distance between your posts?
We suggest spacing your posts no more than 5 feet apart to prevent cable drop and comply with most building codes.

PostLayoutExampleBasically the math is TOTAL DISTANCE divided by MAX POST DISTANCE minus ONE. This gives you total Intermediate Posts.

Deck mount posts are a little different than fascia mount posts. Since base plates are inset 4” on corners, you will need to measure post distance as distance minus post base times 2, then divide the remaining distance by the number of spaces in between the posts. In this sample the math on the 20ft side should look like this: 20ft – 8in = 19ft 4in 19ft 4in / 4 = 4ft 10in This distance is now marked off and the center of each post is placed on each mark The math for the 10ft sides should look like this: 10ft – 4in = 9ft 8in 9ft 8in / 2 = 4ft 10in Notice the terminal posts are against the house so you only need to deduct for the base plate on one end.

Other Components You May Need:

Besides the top rail and posts, there are some other pieces you’ll need to assemble your railing system. We’ve set up the shop pages to include bundled items (Mini kits), to make it easier for you to find components that go together in completing your installation.

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