I'm looking at redoing our stair railing and going with a more modern look with cable rails. 'Proper' cable rails, however, seem to all come from perhaps one factory. All the options I can find look exactly the same and fall into roughly the same ballpark prices.
For the 5'-ish span we're looking at, I can get a kit that includes two pivoted ends, the turnbuckle and 5' of cable. If I want 6 cables, I get six. At about $40 a kit, that's about $240. Not a crazy price, but got me thinking as to why I'd need 6 individual cables. Why couldn't I just get one cable and weave it in and out?
The idea would be to use only two eye-bolts for the entire set of rails. I'd then weave the one cable in and out of both ends and add one turnbuckle somewhere in the middle.
As you can see, this is a lot cheaper--especially when you put it into the context of say a full deck installation.
The idea would be something like this:
(Illustration just to show the 'weaving' concept. If I were to do this, I'd route the ends through curved channels so that the cable wasn't attempting to make a full 90 degree turn at any one point.)
However, I never see it done this way. I can't find any examples using just one cable--all cable railings I see use individual cables and attachments for each line.
Question: Is there a reason for this other than perhaps habit/preferred aesthetics? Is there a structural/installation aspect I'm maybe not considering?
After more web surfing, I came across this blog post where they had the same idea I had--at least in terms of using off-the-shelf hardware:
Note the turnbuckles are almost closed, so even with one turnbuckle per-cable, a lot of slack needs to be taken out to make it taught. MIGHT Be doable with one cable on my short interior run, but anything bigger, I suppose it does make sense to go with one turnbuckle per cable.
That said, I personally think it looks great--but, admittedly, likely best as an outdoor solution on a large deck. It's probably a bit too 'industrial' for my interior short-run.