I'm installing wire rope for a fence. It would look something like this fence here: like this fence here.

I was thinking of using a hand winch to tighten the rope. So let's say the winch does its job, I crimp the ends, and the wire rope is tight. My question is: do I really need turnbuckles?

I've had issues finding stainless steel turnbuckles. The ones at Amazon look flimsy, and the ones I've seen at other websites are just too expensive.

  • And the ones you see at your local hardware store? Oct 11 '18 at 8:24
  • Too expensive is one thing, avoiding potential lawsuits because someone's small child falls due to a broken/corroded turnbuckle is another. Just something to consider...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 11 '18 at 12:46
  • I have not seen a turnbuckle fail like you suggest. If the cable can be tightened to the level that you like without a turnbuckle go for it. Just be aware that you may need to retighten after the wire rope relaxes . agree with ratchetfreak and isherwood, should have read further + , +
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 11 '18 at 16:32
  • The problem is that I don't know which ones at amazon are reliable.
    – rbhat
    Oct 11 '18 at 17:33
  • 1
    I use galvanized wire rope all the time I know of some overhead runs that I put in almost 40 years ago are still in place. Stainless hardware has issues it tends to gall and although not supposed to rust it may have rust spots galvanized rope will last and if any problems a spray can of zinc rich paint or cold process galvinization only takes a couple of minutes to spray and it looks new.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 11 '18 at 22:17

When installing that way you will not be able to get maximal tension because you need some space to apply the crimps.

Also over time the cable will stretch. This means that you will need to retighten the cable a few times. That is impossible if you crimped the ends.

  • 3
    Not just that, but as you work the tension of each new cable will affect the tension of the cables installed before it. There's not enough stretch range to accommodate more than a tiny variance.
    – isherwood
    Oct 11 '18 at 15:01

I believe what you want here is a "threaded end fitting":


There are a bunch of options, but the basic idea is that you crimp a threaded fitting onto the end of the cable, then tighten it with a nut. This way there's no visible turnbuckle, but you still have some flexibility to tighten the cable to compensate for stretch or other issues.

  • 1
    Thanks. I've seen that link tons of times. The problem is that I don't know how reliable these are.
    – rbhat
    Oct 12 '18 at 12:03
  • @rbhat - Only done this type of system once, so: reliability, idk. But you have to cut and crimp the cables with less than an 1/8" tolerance, or somewhere you'll run out of thread during final adjustment. And at ~$5 a fitting, that's something you really don't want to mess up. And if you want it to look like that or this, that's what you're looking at paying.
    – Mazura
    May 29 '19 at 17:01

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