You can get obsessed with tools, jigs and fixtures. I free build a lot and am still building Jig number 3 and may sell some in the end. But for now here are some tools you might find useful:

Tube notcher

Low costs Holesaws

High Quality Holesaw

Tube blocks

Frame tubing and lugs from Peter at

Gas regulators

Thermal Arc Tig Welder

Brazing rod Sif 101

Brazing rod sif no.2

Tig 312 rod

Weldmold 880t tig rod

My favorite tools right now are my trend digital angle finders. its the right size, has rounded end so measuring angles with big fillets are not problem and its acurate to a fraction of a degree for any angle:

Trend digital angle finder

Other angle finders i use app on my phone or old analog ones

Angle meter app

Old analog angle finder

Notes for TIG welding you can use standard steel rods but the joint is weaker. stainless 312 is nice to use a low cost and relatively strong (check with supplier as it can vary). A popular choice on forums is weld mold 88OT  but is hard to get hold of and pricey. it does make a nice weld pool and it pretty strong. note if you are using Reynolds 953 you need to use their native tig rods or 312l but that not certified and will give you a weaker joint as will standard steel.  here’s some data:

Rod type Strength Elongation
880t 800 35%
312-16    800-750       25-29%
tigtechtic 680 827 25%
312mol 780 35%
tigtechtic 6800 730 30%
Er80s-g 700 24%
ER80S-B2 655 29%
ER70S-2 640 22%
309lsi 635 32%
309mosl16 600 35%
309 580 32%
ER 80D-2 580 26%


I have been using Rattlecad (you also need ghost script and FOXIt pdf ) for the frame design and geometry and for CAD CNC i have tried Solidworks but much more content using Auto Desk Invetor.