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In the September 2011 issue (p51), an architect described and pictured using agricultural feedlot panels as deck railing panels http://www.finehomebuilding.com/design/articles/2-ideas-for-custom-railings.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp or free version at http://www.chandlerdesignbuild.com/files/fhb_CustomRailings.pdf
These are 16' very heavy gauge galvanized steel welded 4"grids, and the author had them boxed in at the top (with a rope light), set into drilled holes in the side posts, and set into drilled holes in a 1" steel pipe as the bottom. I am considering using this idea on a project, but had a few concerns and would appreciate your thoughts or conjecture. especially if anyone has ever seen this done.
- I will ask at Tractor Supply, but how long before these panels start rusting? Should I use a galvanized steel primer and spray paint them first? They will actually be at my own house, so if they last long enough (10 yrs?) I can just replace them ($50 each) rather than painting them upfront.
- My other concern is water will enter the 1" steel pipe at the bottom through the holes drilled every 4" up top, with no obvious way for the water to get out. (Insert architect joke here...) Just drill a few 1/4" holes in the bottom? WIll this overly weaken the 12' (for me) length? Will I gt rust spots on the decking in those spots? Wil galvanized 1" pipe last as long as the panel before rusting?