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Cable Rail Systems

5089 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Greg Di
Booked a job today to install 4x4 Ipe posts (24 of them) with a 10 strand 3/16" cable rail system today.

The Ipe deck already exists and we are surface mounting the Ipe posts on the deck surface using Titan Post Anchors/Bases.

Does anyone have a good brand of hole saw that works well in Ipe?. The Titan Post Anchors require a hole at the bottom of the posts and I don't want to make a federal case over drilling the 24 holes I need.

Likewise, we'll be drilling lots of holes for the cable to pass through the posts. 240 holes to be exact. I'm going to need longish bits for use in the drill press to drill the posts. Any nice bits to recommend?

In the past, I go to Harbor Freight and buy junk drill bits by the fistful for Ipe jobs and toss them frequently. I'd rather not be buying 24 hole saws for this project.

Lastly, cable rail is new to me. I've never installed it before, but it doesn't appear to be extremely complicated. I have a quote for material from, but am open to alternate vendors if there's a reason to use someone else. I'm all ears!
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Greg, I've done a few cable rail projects. Here is my supplier.

They are very helpful and will even do a material takeoff, if you give them a plan.

Runs are limited to 75', I think. End posts should be 4x6's. Make a template for your hole layout. Spacing should be less then 4", to keep that 4" sphere from getting through.

My frames are always redwood or Cedar, good luck with the ipe. Once the holes are drilled, which are easy in softwoods, the cable goes up very fast.
We have done over 200 Ipe decks with cable and they all came from (Feeney Rope Wire) like Greg recommended.
Ask for Mike extension # 107 and he will help you out.
You should be able to do the cable with no problem if you do a little homework before you start. It can be tricky if stairs are involved.
The 1/8" is used for residential. They come in 5' increments. Make sure you always have a few feet extra. For example if you measure 29' for one section I would order the 35' set since one foot is not much room to play with. Make a 1x4 jig and drill 10 holes spaced 3 1/4" apart. We use 5/16 bradpoint bits. Should last about 20 post. Holes for the bolts we use 5/8 paddle bits. They are cheap and last about 10 to 15 post. For drilling the holes you need to stop as soon you are coming out on the other side, turn the post around and finish it to avoid splintering.
The manual should be easy to follow.
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Forgot to mention than it is easier to predrill the holes on all level post. All stair post install without the holes. We normally extend the cable to the bottom of the steps. If you have a landing area you start with a new set.
As soon the stair post are set you line up with a string the location of the holes and drill them. If a post is right next to another post you need to predill them first but that is common sense. The 3/16 is a little pricey but not needed for residential.
I am butting in on another issue about the drill bits.

Greg I use the Kobalt drill bits from lowes all the time. The 9/64 are what we use a lot of and they are pretty good the nice thing is they come in a 10 pack and are usually less than $10. Might be a little better than the harbor freight ones.
Carbide is your friend. Don't know what size bits you need but I know McFeelys just started carrying hole saws with carbide cutters, or you can pick up forstner bits with carbide cutting edges. For the smaller diameter bits I know they make solid carbide bits but have never needed to use any. Google can help with that.
For the larger holes I would use a self-feed type or better yet the carbide tipped as metioned prior. Big Hawg style is one choice. Nice clean hole and very fast.


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