Tabbed TubeNotcher Pattern Creation Tool

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Simple Tube Notcher

Hints and Suggestions:
  • If you don't want to see the inner surface cut line, just set material thickness to zero -0-
  • We're pretty flexible on data entry formats, both metric and inches. The default entry is millimeters (mm). If you want to enter dimensions in inches, no problem. Use 1" or 1 inch format to let the system know that.
  • Enter data in either decimal or fraction format. Examples: 25.4 or 20-1/2 or 25.4 mm or 1" or 1-1/4" or 2.5" or 1-1/2 inch
  • All data entries are repeated on the printout in both english and metric. Please verify you have the intended measurements.
  • As an experiment, try to create a cut tube that is LARGER in diameter than its base tube. Check the results. You can create your own thru tube holes this way.
  • DXF output? We're assuming that's because you want to print something big. You can take this DXF file down to the local printer and they can print it out on a large printer...
  • If you want a dxf file to feed into a CNC system (X axis, rotational positioner for plasma cutter), that's a different story. Contact us for customization

Decorative Tube Ends

Notes: You may notice the alignment reference lines don't always print out in the same place when using this decorative element feature. This is dependent on how many cycles you've chosen.

We've done a rotation so the peak (or center) of a node element has a perfect reference line. This is to make things line up more naturally with the rest of your design.

Bicycle Seat Stays to Seat Tube Joint

The Seat Stays to Seat Tube joint can be frustrating. Hopefully this stuff helps.

New Feature under investigation... let gap between the two seat stays go less than zero, provide flat mating surface...

Info you will need:

Round Tube to Tapered Tube

This calculation was pretty difficult, and in fact is a linear approximation. Its a place to start, but I wouldn't expect it to be absolutely perfect. You may have to do some slight adjustments by hand to obtain a perfect final fit.

Remember we are mitering the round tube to fit to the tapered tube

Note angles carefully. Tube angle less than 90° means the tube is approaching from the large end of the tapered tube (as shown in the image below). Use angles larger than 90° to indicate the tube is approaching from the small end of the tapered tube.

Oval (Elliptical) Tube to Round Tube

    (e.g. Downtube to Headtube)

    (e.g. Chainstay to Bottom Bracket)

This may not be very common, but I do know there are some bicycle downtubes and chain stays that are elliptical in cross section.

And I do know some folks will gently squeeze a round tube into an oval to get it to fit a smaller mating tube as required. This template should get you into the ballpark, so you can cut your elliptical shaped tubes accurately.


  • Reminder -- major and minor axes of an ellipse:
  • The tube being cut is a true elliptical shape and the mating base tube is round.
  • The elliptical shape is uniform in cross section along the length of the cut tube.
  • Either the major/minor axis of the ellipse is in same plane as tube to tube angle.

Round Tube Bracing

Calculation Method:

There are a lot of places where round tubes can be used for bracing or reinforcement.

This program has two different alternative means of entering data for a tubular brace

  • a bisector brace that creates brace with symetric angles.
  • A measured brace that is custom fit to your specific application.

There are a lot of places where round tubes can be used for bracing or reinforcement.

This program has two different alternative means of entering data for a tubular brace

  • a bisector brace that creates brace with symetric angles.
  • A measured brace that is custom fit to your specific application.


Which product is being calculated?

Collectors allow for multiple round tubes to join in symmetry. Tough thing to weld up, interesting to look at.

Use them for vehicle exhaust systems, for decorative elements, or whatever you can come up with.

SAFETY REMINDER: Be careful, these components are RAZOR SHARP. Wear gloves, be careful! Pay attention to the details.

Note: that vise stand looks great on paper, but I'm thinking three legs probably isn't enough.

Hint: for the Common Output Tube pattern, you may want to cut the paper template at the red 'inner' material thickness reference line. You'll have a bevel gap, fill that via TIG, MIG or Brazing filler.

Round Tube to Square Material


  • Round to Square Tube orientation call out:
  • At this time, for this tool, we are only creating templates for the round tube.
  • Templates for square tubing are possible, but very difficult to implement as the corner radiuses may not be consistent from supplier to supplier.
  • The typical outside corner radius of North American HSS is 2t, where t is the wall thickness of the as-produced HSS, to the standard ASTM A500-10. Reference

Round Tube to Flat Material

Which product is being calculated?

Many folks will have expensive tools for some of these cuts. Others of us are on a budget. Hand tools can be fun, don't cost too much or take up storage room in the shop.

  • We'd like to help you cut your tubes at an angle.

    Note: When doing accurate work using just hand tools, you only want to cut a line you can see. Best to use the template to mark your work; cut carefully just a bit proud of the line. Rotate the tube in your tubing blocks, cut again. Remember, only cut to the line you can see. Don't try to cut through to the backside of the tube. It will go awry every time. Instead, make numerous small cuts. At some point you will have a saw groove to guide your hack saw blade. That groove can help you complete the cut through the material. Way more accurate, much less filing & clean up. Note this hint based on old skool skills taught by John Brooks, Master Craftsman and BoatBuilder extraordinaire, Brooklin Maine..

  • ... or cut an elliptical hole thru sheet metal

    (and yeah, I know this one is actually a casting, but it's expensive, and where is the fun in that?) Hey, wouldn't it be awesome to make this out of stainless steel plate and tube?

  • ... or even create an endcap, either round or oval.
    If you make the end cap a bit smaller than the tube O.D.,
    there will be enough space for weld bead to fill the gap nicely.
    Undersize = Negative Number (-); Oversize = Positive Number (+)

  • We've added a factor to allow for easy adjustment of effective tube diameter. You can make it a negative number to allow for weld bead on a cap. We use that same factor for additional clearance on the thru hole calculations. If you don't desire this feature, please set that value to zero.

Flat Airframe Truss Cluster

This is a joint used by folks in homebuilt airplanes, but its also applicable to vehicle truss structures and a whole lot more...


  • The centerlines of the cut tube and its nearest neighbors are coplanar. That is, Cut / Left / Right tubing centerlines all lie on a single flat plane.

  • The centerlines of all three tubes meet at a single intersection point.

  • Note, Left/Right terminology is arbitrary. Just be consistent.

  • This tools is set up for an incremental build process. Lets say you are going to build a joint with long straight tube, and three feeder tubes, each 45° from each other. Build it incrementally. First add the 90° tube, using the Simple Tubenotcher tab. Cut your tube and tack it in place. Then create the templates for the two 45° tubes, using the Airframe Cluster tab. Divide and conquer, keep it simple.

Note: the three truss related images shown here are all from VR3 Engineering Ltd., a company that does custom CNC tube notching and prep work. If you don't want to cut your own tubing using paper templates, you might consider giving them a call.

We really want to solicit your feedback

What is your primary metalwork interest?

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