How to Tighten a Steel Cable

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Turnbuckles tighten steel cables.

Steel cables fill a wide variety of uses. Around the house, cables support railings on decks. Some pet owners use steel cables as guides for pet runs. Zip lines and swings sometimes use steel cables to support the handles and seats. In order for steel cables to provide strong support, the cables must be tight. No matter how tight the cables are during installation, over time they will loosen. It is important to install a tensioner with the steel cable.


Step 1

Unscrew the eyes on both end of the turnbuckle until they are as far apart as possible without falling out of the buckle. A turnbuckle is a tensioning device with a rectangular center portion. A large metal eye screws into either end of the rectangle.

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Step 2

Slide two cable clips onto one end of the steel cable. Cable clips are round one side and flat on the other. A screw tightens the clip from the flat side of the clip.


Step 3

Insert the cable through one eye of the turnbuckle.

Step 4

Fold the cable back on itself and slide the cable clips over the tail. Position the cable clips so that the curved portion of both clips lie on the tail of the cable and the screw presses into the longest part of the cable. Tighten the screws to hold the cable securely.


Step 5

Attach the other eye of the turnbuckle to a stationary object such as a wall or post.

Step 6

Rotate the turnbuckle to the right. As you turn the center portion of the turnbuckle, both screws rotate within their threaded holes. This draws the steel cable closer together, tightening the cable.

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