In a cable railing system, the end and corner posts have to be able to handle an enormous amount of force. The combined tension of all the cables can equal the weight of a small car. It is very common that an amateur Cable Railing Systems designer/builder fails to understand the forces involved and how to safely counter
act them. Seek help from someone with proven experience here or your railing can end up failing your
building inspection and be very costly to rectify.
There are basically three types of material suitable for cable railing posts: metal, wood and concrete.
Note: Composite lumber is not strong enough to be used for cable railings.
Here are the main types of posts and some things to consider:
Wood posts can be a good option for rustic style homes. Wood is more visually bulky than metal however so it may not be the best choice where a preserving your view is the primary concern. Wood is a good option for the budget minded as it is fairly inexpensive and can be cut and drilled with inexpensive tools. A
drill press is advisable for drilling holes straight through the post. This is pretty important since you
will be drilling hundreds of holes and if you get one crooked, it will change the “visual line of the cables” and make the whole job look sloppy. Some cable fitting manufacturers offer a drill guide to aid in
this. Wood siding is not suitable for an end post unless there is significant wood blocking behind it and
long lag screw fittings are used.