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  1. #1
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Default stainless steel cable balustrade

    I have been looking at tables and reading general comments about cable runs.
    My question regards the type. I am ok regarding spans and spacing's but the wire type now has me confused. I will get a 3.2 wire but the tables say that 19x1 needs more tension than 7x7 strands. I have read the opposite and I spoke to a supplier today who insists that the 19x1 is the better choice.
    Anyone the wiser on this.
    thanks

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    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Default stainless steel cable balustrade

    I have 19x1, it looks nicer than 7x7. Also works best with machine swaged end fittings, I think from memory it's a lot stiffer as well.
    I had a life, but my job ate it...

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla73 View Post
    I have 19x1, it looks nicer than 7x7. Also works best with machine swaged end fittings, I think from memory it's a lot stiffer as well.
    Good to know as I think it would look nicer too.

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    1x19 is machine swage only. Hand swaging on site is out. I normally use 7x7 or 7x19 and swage on site. Some builders just give me a big bag of pre swaged runs which is nice but large holes (9-13mm depending on type of swage) need to be drilled in any intermediate posts which looks a bit gawdy I reckon. There are grommets available though. 1x19 also costs more due to the factory swaging. Get on to Miami Stainless website and have a look around Phil. I've been using them for years. Very good prices and awesome service. Cheap postage too.

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Had a glance at the Miami site today, will go back. Had read about not hand swaging 19x1 but apparently the hydraulic hand swagers can do it or is this wrong?

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Hydraulic ones for sure but to buy them you will need some big coin. Everyone just gets them done at the factory.

  7. #7
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Hydraulic ones for sure but to buy them you will need some big coin. Everyone just gets them done at the factory.
    $70 pretty much wherever I look online.

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    had a few hassles with certifiers with jobs over the years using wire on decks.. if your deck is under a metre its fine.. if its over you will need to go 60mm centres..disregard what most say is right on their own website..also has to be tensioned just right...pain in the ass really..i wont do them again.. its cheap in material but dearer in labour than primed balustrade..as rigntail stated the 1 x 19 is only machine swag..7x7 is easy to swag yourself..good luck with it all

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    had a few hassles with certifiers with jobs over the years using wire on decks.. if your deck is under a metre its fine.. if its over you will need to go 60mm centres..disregard what most say is right on their own website..also has to be tensioned just right...pain in the ass really..i wont do them again.. its cheap in material but dearer in labour than primed balustrade..as rigntail stated the 1 x 19 is only machine swag..7x7 is easy to swag yourself..good luck with it all
    You need to change certifiers sol . No idea how many cable decks I've done but it's a lot. High set, low set you name it. Some at the old standard of 100 mm centres most at the new standard of 80 mm centres. Never had a problem at all. Never had a certifier do any test other than grab the cables. I will always use 7x7 and hand swage unless the cables are supplied. IMHO, it's the only balustrade to have. Virtually maintenance free, very cost effective, lets the breeze and view through and looks good. Timber on the other hand is what the certifiers really should have an issue with. High maintenance, non compliant fixings, poor construction methods and more often than not just plain dodgy.

  10. #10
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    $70 pretty much wherever I look online.
    Wow, they have crashed in price. The cheapest used to be $500. I would question the quality though but at $100 ish it's worth a shot for sure.

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Thinking of these:
    bt1.jpgbt2.jpgbt3.jpg

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    I wish mate.. most decks i do are at least 2m high.. no way any certifier now will let anything but 60mm centres pass.. most even advise me and the owners not to use it its too much of a hassle..

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    I wish mate.. most decks i do are at least 2m high.. no way any certifier now will let anything but 60mm centres pass.. most even advise me and the owners not to use it its too much of a hassle..
    How can they defy the standard as a fail!

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    I wish mate.. most decks i do are at least 2m high.. no way any certifier now will let anything but 60mm centres pass.. most even advise me and the owners not to use it its too much of a hassle..
    I did one 2 weeks ago. 2.7 from NGL. No problem at all. Certifiers like to try and make their own rules sometimes. Just tell them to produce the official documentation that states the new (if there is a new, which there isn't) standard. If they can't produce it then go straight to the QBCC and let them sort the certifier out. After all, that's why we as licence holder pay them a massive fee each year. I have certifiers try to override engineers specs. Things like " oh, I want to see it done this way ". Tough luck tiger, I don't care what you want to see, this is the code, these are the approved plans. Built to both so sign off or lets take a trip to the QBCC. Easy. Never had one stand his ground yet.

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    And even at 60 centres what's the problem ? Still the best system by a long way IMO.

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    i know mate.. most certifiers have never lifted a hammer in their life.. wouldnt know what theyre looking at..yeah as you say if you build to the plans and to code they havent got a leg to stand on but if they change the plans initially then the problem begins...problem is its so hard to find exactly what code is.. every table i look at is different...bring back the good old days..

  17. #17
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Yep. Cable has alway been a bit iffy on the exact regs. We all know that no matter how tight it is made it can be opened up. However, it's been around for years and really, what's the difference between cable that can be opened up and a poorly built timber balustrade with slats falling out in 3 weeks time ? At least with cable you know's still going to be there. How many certifiers are going to spend the money on certified cable testing gear ? None. Get it on, get it tight, do it right. Happy days.

  18. #18
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    exactly right..no matter what your using, if its built right and to spec there shouldn't be a problem.. sorry phil about the small hijack..hope your head isnt spinning too much..some things are just too damn confusing..

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quite aware of the tension problem but geeze things get out of hand, imagine some little one pushing their way through 80mm spaced cable..oh the pain!

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    indeed.. but i think the major problem now is they think kids can use the wire as a ladder and climb over the rail and fall....be pretty hard to do i would think.. more chance of them falling down the stairs..

  21. #21
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Yep and that's when the responsible parents have to "educate" that child . A lot of timber balustrades I replace have fallen apart because bloody parents let their bloody kids jump up and down on the bottom rail. "Education" needed all round

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    same with pool fencing but lets not go there..

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    same with pool fencing but lets not go there..
    Indeed.

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    19 x 1 cable looks nicer and is smoother, but can't be bent around eyelets, so hand swagging with thimbles is out, it needs to be used in a fitting which surrounds the cable, then is swagged around it, with a hydraulic press.
    7 x 7 has more flex, and can be bent around the fittings and hand swagged.

    I have any cable systems used made up at the factory to the length using 19 x 1 as it's much quicker to install, and gives a better finish, go for the small fittings, these only need a 8mm hole in the intermediate posts.
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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    I did some down a set of stairs recently. Pre swaged, supplied by the builder. Worked out well but I had to make a jig and buy some long series 8 mm bits. Even then I found it a bit of a push to get the swaged end through the hole. Looked sweet though.

  26. #26
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    19 x 1 cable looks nicer and is smoother, but can't be bent around eyelets, so hand swagging with thimbles is out, it needs to be used in a fitting which surrounds the cable, then is swagged around it, with a hydraulic press.
    7 x 7 has more flex, and can be bent around the fittings and hand swagged.
    See my #11 post.
    Don't want turnbuckles or thimbles.
    Just don't understand the tables saying 19x1 needs more tension than 7x7...don't want my steel posts bending out of shape.

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    I thought wire spacing was determined by post/dropper spacings. 1200 max spacings with 80mm wire centres. Maybe 1500 mm then 60mm??? Happy to be corrected.

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipper View Post
    I thought wire spacing was determined by post/dropper spacings. 1200 max spacings with 80mm wire centres. Maybe 1500 mm then 60mm??? Happy to be corrected.
    This is just one that repeat identical tables:

    Balustrade Regulations for Wire Rope BalustradesÂ@-Â@All Things Stainless Steel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipper View Post
    I thought wire spacing was determined by post/dropper spacings. 1200 max spacings with 80mm wire centres. Maybe 1500 mm then 60mm??? Happy to be corrected.
    Wire spacing changes the amount of tension needed, more spacing between wires needs more tension on the wires to stop deflection, more spacing between posts also requires more tension on the wires.

    More tension needs better supports to stop them being pulled towards each other, therefore loosening the wires, you will get to a point where you cannot add any more tension because with 11 wires you will rip the tensioning posts out, there will always be a compromise between wire spacing, post distance and tension.

    This is why you need to refer to the table to see what you can realistically achieve with the particular install.

    wire.jpg
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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    That was the first table I looked at but it doesn't cover all possible wire types eg 3.2 (3) @ 80mm which is why I hunted around for tables that did.
    The other tables seem to give erroneous results stating that the 19x1 wire needs more tension than 7x7 for 1200 or 1500 post spacing and 80mm wire spacing!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Just don't understand the tables saying 19x1 needs more tension than 7x7...don't want my steel posts bending out of shape.
    7 x 7 cable stretches more than 19 x 1 as the individual wires are smaller, this is how it gets its flexibility, this means the 19 x 1 can withstand more tension without stretching.
    So the 7 x 7 cable will always have less tension for the same scenario, if higher tension is applied to the 7 x 7 it will just stretch, the forces given for 7 x 7 cable will allow it to perform adequately.

    19 x 1 is a superior cable as it is stronger and smoother, and should be the cable of choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    That was the first table I looked at but it doesn't cover all possible wire types eg 3.2 (3) @ 80mm which is why I hunted around for tables that did.
    The other tables seem to give erroneous results stating that the 19x1 wire needs more tension than 7x7 for 1200 or 1500 post spacing and 80mm wire spacing!!!
    For your scenario, this table explains it.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wire.jpg  
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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    For your scenario, this table explains it.
    That's the other table I referenced, and no, it doesn't explain the discrepancy.

    Too tired to re-examine...one for tomorrow ..er later today!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    That's the other table I referenced, and no, it doesn't explain the discrepancy.

    Too tired to re-examine...one for tomorrow ..er later today!
    The table satisfies your question of 80mm spacing with 7 x 7cable

    I explained the discrepancy as well above.


    7 x 7 cable stretches more than 19 x 1 as the individual wires are smaller, this is how it gets its flexibility, this means the 19 x 1 can withstand more tension without stretching.
    So the 7 x 7 cable will always have less tension for the same scenario, if higher tension is applied to the 7 x 7 it will just stretch, the forces given for 7 x 7 cable will allow it to perform adequately.

    19 x 1 is a superior cable as it is stronger and smoother, and should be the cable of choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    I did one 2 weeks ago. 2.7 from NGL. No problem at all. Certifiers like to try and make their own rules sometimes. Just tell them to produce the official documentation that states the new (if there is a new, which there isn't) standard. If they can't produce it then go straight to the QBCC and let them sort the certifier out. After all, that's why we as licence holder pay them a massive fee each year. I have certifiers try to override engineers specs. Things like " oh, I want to see it done this way ". Tough luck tiger, I don't care what you want to see, this is the code, these are the approved plans. Built to both so sign off or lets take a trip to the QBCC. Easy. Never had one stand his ground yet.
    Ha ha, reminds me of a council "inspector" who asked me -where is the gutter? on a free standing veranda roof that had minimum fall. She pointed to the high side ...
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    SS wires ... think of it this way. if you use rubber strings instead of wire how much force will you need to apply the the rubber to make it tense enough to climb on it?
    And if you use steel reo bars, how much tension for the same purpose?
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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I think the easiest way for me to explain my dilemma is if you look at that first table by Metrix above, and for 60mm spacing only, you will notice that the tension required for 1x19 is less than 7x7 only for the smaller post spans. Going more than 1200 post spacings, the tension required is actually more than the 7x7, and that doesn't make sense to me.

    That second table disagrees with the first and also shows that for any post span, the 19x1 needs more tension than the 7x7.

    Now Metrix and Marc agree that the 7x7 is more stretchy, so wouldn't it be felt that it needs more tension applied than the 19x1. That's what I naturally feel would be correct.

  39. #39
    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    19 x 1 is a superior cable as it is stronger and smoother, and should be the cable of choice.
    I think it's more application specific than that. When I first started doing it I used nothing but 7x19. But that was long before cable was popular let alone mainstream. The looks I got were gold. However, now if site swaging I use 7x7 as it's still easy enough to bend around a thimble. The "factory" can swage anything you want not just 1x19. The 8mm holes required for factory swage give the installer a few more mm's of leeway too. Don't get hung up on the tensions Phil. Just make it tight but more importantly, make you fixing points uber strong. The forces are pretty epic.

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    thats why even certifiers dont know what the hell is going on.. also in the first table the 7x7 wire can only be used at 60mm centres but in the second table it can be used with 80mm and 100mm centres,,

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I think the easiest way for me to explain my dilemma is if you look at that first table by Metrix above, and for 60mm spacing only, you will notice that the tension required for 1x19 is less than 7x7 only for the smaller post spans. Going more than 1200 post spacings, the tension required is actually more than the 7x7, and that doesn't make sense to me.

    That second table disagrees with the first and also shows that for any post span, the 19x1 needs more tension than the 7x7.

    Now Metrix and Marc agree that the 7x7 is more stretchy, so wouldn't it be felt that it needs more tension applied than the 19x1. That's what I naturally feel would be correct.
    As RT said, don't get hung up on the tensions etc, just make sure your tension points are very secure, as 11 cables tightened like guitar string WILL pull the posts towards each other.

    For the cables look at it like this, 7 x 7 is flexible but stretches easily when put under tension so the amount of tension put on a 7 x 7 has to be lower than a 1 x 19.

    1 x 19 is a stronger cable due to its make up, the downside of a 1 x 19 is it has less (or basically no) flex and therefore cannot be wrapped around a thimble, the tensions only mean the 1 x 19 can handle a lot more tension than a 7 x 7 therefore they put higher tensions on the cable in the BCA only because the cable can handle this tension, if you put the same tension on a 7 x 7 it will either eventually snap or stretch.

    That's not to say a 7 x 7 cable is inferior, although it is inferior under load, but a 7 x 7 will perform the job required to pass all the standards without a problem, a 1 x 19 will perform it better.

    As RT said, same if I'm site swagging I will use 7 x 7 because you can wrap it around thimbles you cannot wrap a 1 x 19, and I don't own a swagging tool which will do insertion type fittings, as the right tool costs around $1200, those $50 hydraulic tools are not very good, you want one which will crimp the entire fitting in one go. (I can explain why later but I have to go as the plumber is here)

    If factory swagging I will always go for a 1 x 19 as I like the feel of the wire better, plus 7 x 7 has a tendency to grab the hairs on your arm ripping them out making installing them painful

    I know in the US, they are trying to mandate the use of only 1 x 19, unfortunately there are two standards for these systems, all depends on they type of fittings you will be using.
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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    You would think we could get some agreement between those tables, and why the first table doesn't include 80mm spacing seems to be an unknown. Now I need to resolve Metrix's last comment regarding swaging with a hydraulic hand tool as I am leaning towards 19x1. The supplier says the swager I pictured before will be fine for 19x1 into the tube.

    Have just got back after picking up the 50x2.5 gal SHS. Hopefully should be strong enough to take the tension.

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    i used the hand held hydraulic swager on the insert fittings and it worked great.. mind you it takes a bit of force but it certainly holds....much better and quicker system than the thimble method. also what needs to be not the post bending but coming away from the wall.. if its not secured really well with a few batten screws or coach screws then it may pull away..

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    i used the hand held hydraulic swager on the insert fittings and it worked great.. mind you it takes a bit of force but it certainly holds....much better and quicker system than the thimble method. also what needs to be not the post bending but coming away from the wall.. if its not secured really well with a few batten screws or coach screws then it may pull away..
    Can you post a pic of your swagged fittings with the hydraulic tool
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    was at a job i did a few months ago.. no pics.. i was a bit sceptical it wouldnt hold but we tested a few before we put them up...held great...i found this pic online.. look at the bottom pic.. i used to use the 7x7 method with the thimbles but tried the other method and wont go back...the pic on the right resembles the fittings we used..i used 7x7 wire tho..

    1x19 Wire Rope | 3.2mm Wire Cable | Wire Balustrade

    the swaging tool i use is just a cheap thing i bought on ebay years ago..similar to this..

    Hydraulic Swager Swaging Swage Tool FOR Stainless Wire Rope Crimping Swagger | eBay

  46. #46
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    Ok, when you crimped how wide was the crimping area ?, ie what was the width of the die's they look around 10-15mm wide, and I assume you had to crimp 4 or 5 crimps per fitting
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    #10 die i used....its about 10mm wide.. only one crimp per fitting but i squeezed the hell out of it.. the wire fits pretty snug in those fittings .. i came up about 5mm from the end and crimped..doesnt take much to hold them...

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    perfect..just remember to really tighten the round knob every time..

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I think the easiest way for me to explain my dilemma is if you look at that first table by Metrix above, and for 60mm spacing only, you will notice that the tension required for 1x19 is less than 7x7 only for the smaller post spans. Going more than 1200 post spacings, the tension required is actually more than the 7x7, and that doesn't make sense to me.

    That second table disagrees with the first and also shows that for any post span, the 19x1 needs more tension than the 7x7.

    Now Metrix and Marc agree that the 7x7 is more stretchy, so wouldn't it be felt that it needs more tension applied than the 19x1. That's what I naturally feel would be correct.
    With horizontal wires as deck balustrade, the objective is to minimise the deflection of the wire between post for obvious reasons. If the posts are very close, the allowable deflection is larger because the post will itself be a barrier to the cable being pushed up or down. If the post are further apart, the further they are the more tension is required to stop the cables from opening up.
    The tension required for the less flexible 19x1 cable is always lower than the tension required for the more flexible 7x7 to achieve the same resistance against a lateral force (deflection). I can see the discrepancies you are talking about. There are discrepancies between the tables and within each table.
    Who knows who banged those tables together.
    7x7 wire has a load braking point of 660KGF in 3mm and the 1x19 860KGF, so that is another difference yet a stiff wire will require LESS tension than a flexible wire to achieve the same resistance to deflection.
    A bit of an academic exercise since how are you or the inspector going to measure the tension?
    I suppose that for all practical purposes, you would have to have a gadget that measures the force required to deflect the wire once installed. An easy contraption that surely can be bought or made with one of those spring loaded scale used in the markets to weight produce.
    Pull up say 20 kilos and measure the deflection. If too much, wind the wire a bit more. If everything fails, use reo ...
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

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    What has been suggested to me:heavy-duty-hydraulically-swaged-crimped-connection-3-large-.jpg

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