So I'm installing wire between two 4x4 wooden posts. I've done two but it seems to take forever, so I know there's a more efficient way.

Here's what I'm doing:

  1. The wire's plastic-coated, so I remove about 5" of plastic coating and crimp one side (where the eye screw is).
  2. I take the reel and go to the other post, with the turnbuckle.
  3. I reach the other post and I pull the wire (without bending it) to know the distance from the eye screw to the turnbuckle, say 30ft for example.

I add about 7" (for the crimp) and cut the wire. Then I remove the plastic and put the wire through the crimp.

The difficult part is pulling the wire so it's as tight as possible, holding the crimp so that it doesn't move, and then trying to use the very heavy and very uncomfortable swaging tool.

At the end, I'm able to crimp the sleeve, but the wire's sagging. The turnbuckle tightens it a bit, but it could be tighter.

Is there an easier way? I was considering buying a tool that I can use to pull the wire, but I don't know.

  • 1
    Ask a friend? You've spent more time posting questions about this project than I'd have thought it would take to complete it. It must be some sort of record. :P Git 'er done!
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 13:45
  • I'm confused by the question, though. Doesn't the turnbuckle have an inch or more of movement? Steel cable doesn't really stretch, so I'd think that would be more than enough.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 13:47
  • Sounds like the turnbuckle is too small. When I hang my shade sails over the pool I use a span of cable close to 75 feet, since it’s suspended in air it’s difficult to get it initially tight enough, so I use a come-along and a wire rope clamp temporarily, the final tensioning is a turnbuckle but I do have an intermediate step due to the weight and length of the cable.
    – Tyson
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 15:30

3 Answers 3


Without photographs or sketches, this is going to be more of a general answer than a precise solution. Focusing on the loose end, you have the cable passing through the sleeve, around the eyebolt and back through the sleeve, with the aforementioned seven inches extending.

I would use a simple ground wire clamp attached to the loose end, to add an extension of the same cable. This extension reaches to a location of some stability, a tree, a stake, the next post in line. The extension is reusable, not wasted.

Place a lever at the base of the stable post and attach the extension as low to the lever pivot as possible and as low as practical. Too low means insufficient travel, too high means insufficient force.

As the lever is pulled away from the loose end eyebolt, it will tension the extension cable and the original cable. Tie off the top of the lever to maintain tension (or use an assistant) while securing the sleeve with the tool.

cable puller


You could use a strand grip or a Chicago grip, a device made to grip a bare wire

strand grip

you pull the strand grip to the pole with a come-along (hoist) so it's tight, then you install the hardware on the end of the strand.


Ah another enthralling installment of the never ending quest by rbhat to install wire cable railing. Good times !

Make sure the turnbuckle is unscrewed to it longest length, use a mechanical clamp, ( video of clamps ) to secure the cable in place as tight as possible and then use your swagging tool to crimp on your ferrule, remove mechanical clamp and tighten the turnbuckle until wire is taught.

Good luck and i look forward to installment # 14

  • Is this really only installment 13? I would have thought we’re ready for more like 24 next... I was actually headed to his profile to count at one point but decided it would be easier on laptop and I never actually did it.
    – Tyson
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 20:24
  • I just pulled a random number out of my head I have no idea,
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 8:50

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