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Deck Railing with "goat panels"

mccarthyml's picture

Good morning all - new member here.  I'm planning on adding the railing system pictured in FHB #221 of July 2011 to a deck I'm building.  I'ts currently framed and the post positions are laid out.  I'm planning on 6x6 treated posts, spaced approx. 5 1/2 feet apart connected to the framing with DeckLok steel brakets.  I'd like to set all the posts first, deck around them, then install the railing system.  My question is this:  Will it  be easier to slide those 1" steel pipes with the goat panels captured in them into pre-drilled holes in the posts already set, or easier to install the "infill" sections one at a time as I set the posts?  If I do the latter, I'll have no decking to stage all this on.  As the deck is about 9' off the ground, that will be an issue.  Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Depends (post #205776, reply #1 of 2)

If the holes for the pipe in the post are deep enough, and you should design them to be, then you could slide the pipe in and then back into the post behind it, starting at the corners and working in.  Then just drill in and secure the pipe from the outside. 

I'm not sure the 1-inch emt is actually strong enough to meet code.  I'd lean more towards a 1-1/4-inch steel pipe, the thicker wall and larger diameter will make it considerably stiffer. 

Also, if you are in a wet climate, you might want to drill drain holes in the bottom of the pipe, and plug the ends to limit the amount of water that will get carried into the posts. 

Goat Panel railing system (post #205776, reply #2 of 2)

Thanks for the response.  The article talks about deeper holes in the first post to allow for your methodology.  I had not considered a thicker pipe, but the added strength appeals to me.  The bigger pipe might make drilling all those holes in the pipe for the goat panels easier too (bigger radius).  I'd really like to set all the posts first to allow for a better decking installation, but if your method is troublesome, I suppose I could unbolt them, one at a time to install the infill.  I've already figured on drainage holes, and sealing the pipe ends.  Also planning on a block, or a pipe standoff bolt at the midpoint of each bottom rail pipe to give added rigidity.  Thanks again!