I'm thinking of welding up a railing like this for our new deck:
It would be made of all SS 1 3/4" square tube, 16 gauge (because that is what the scrap yard has a lot of). I'd also have a bottom rail. it would lag to the joists. Posts on 4' centers, 42" high. The longest run will be 24'. I'll substitute eye bolts and turnbuckles for the custom cable railing hardware.
Any opinions on the suitability of this tube as railing?
Now since you asked for opinions I will give you mine.
The only thing going for you is that it's stainless and rust should not be a problem. Because that is mighty thin. I don't think much of any thing under 1/8" or 7 gauge. But, some do make them out of 16 gauge and swear by them.
Since you will have uprights every 48" it should be pretty stable. But, keep in mind if any little kids will be climbing or hanging on it or even around it make it kid proof (if that is possible). You don't want them hanging themselves. MAKE SURE ABOUT YOU BUILDING CODES!!!!!! It's your responablity..
200 pounds of force on the free end of 42 inch tall tube like that is enough to stress the tube past yield and make a permanent bend. If the railing is anchored to walls on both sides maybe it is ok. Or maybe if you designed the uprights to use 2 pieces of tubes joined together so that each post was 1 tube wide and 2 tubes deep.
That tube is probably fine for a hand railing (grab rail) but marginal at best for a post.
That's a good idea to double deep the posts. However, the top railing would have to be doubled as well I guess it all depends if he would want the top rail 3-1/2" wide. The bottom rail could be just one tube centered on the post.
So I know this post is 2+ months old, but no.........the 16ga isn't advisable for cable. It'll bow if you try to get any tension in your cable. I know you may not think you need a lot because you don't have codes so deflection is not an issue, but I'd guess it'll almost have to be sagging. If you try to tension one so it's visually straight, the ones above and below will sag. Fix that and the first one is back to sagging. You'll chase your tail like this until your upright is more of a U shape.
Cablerail (which I understand you're not using) calls out 2" sq 1/4" wall uprights. I think the 1/4" wall is a bit overkill, but having installed and tensioned a few I wouldn't go less than 3/16". Sure stainless might have a slight advantage but not enough to overcome 16ga to 3/16, and you're talking 1.75" square.
that looks really nice. just an idea if your not set on square and material cost means anything, i made a similar railing in my house using sections of black pipe and the thread on mounts. its pretty thick but would need to be painted or somthing and wouldnt look as nice as that picture.
i now have a 1yr old who is on the move and i had to take it down and build a new one without cables and using verticle bars instead