Custom shaped metal tube profiles to enhance product design
Bespoke tubing solutions for R&D, prototypes and niche projects
Our engineers are regularly entrusted to help create prototypes and bespoke tubing for niche jobs in cases where other tubing fabricators wouldn’t have the set-up or skills to do so.
We have a vast portfolio of exciting new products that we’ve helped to develop – many of which have been prototypes and proof of concepts that have turned into high-volume manufacturing jobs. Our team are very used to working under NDAs.
Whether the project is architectural, electrical, mechanical, structural or decorative, our specialist engineers can work with you to create the size or specification that you require. As part of that process, we will review alternative profiles, materials and finishes in order to give you the best and most cost-effective product. If you need telescopic tubing or you want to house cabling or other components inside a tube profile, get in touch.
Customising tubing often means customising tooling. We work closely with a team of experienced toolmakers who create and modify tooling so that we can achieve the right size and shape tubes for our clients. As well as forming tube, we bend, flare, etch, cut and weld as part of the solution-finding process.
Creative customisation - some case studies
We have been tasked with custom-making parts and prototypes for a varied list of clients spanning several industries; we are continually surprised by these novel applications for shaped metal tubing.
Here are some of the projects we have been part of:
Concealed gate hinges
Custom hinge designer and manufacturer PE Marine Designz cleverly integrated a concealed hinge mechanism inside a piece of our oval tube handrail for a one-off commission. The beautifully engineered fitting was made for an offshore motorboat. The owner chose to replace all the original wooden handrails on the boat with Timeless’s oval stainless steel handrails, and improve the functionality and aesthetics with innovative gates and ‘flip-over’ railings.
Find out more about the fabrication of the gates.
In-Place Extensometer (IPX) Soil Movement Measuring System
The Timeless team were thrilled to work closely with Osprey Measurement Systems’ engineers on their innovative IPX extensometer. The device, which uses a robust casing made from a custom-sized D-shaped tube, houses geometric sensors which allow soil movement to be monitored remotely. Automating the process makes soil movement monitoring a safer, more efficient and more effective process.
Discover more about how we helped develop the optimal component housing with this unique tube profile.
Subaru Impreza 2001
Timeless Tube fabricated a piece of flat-sided oval tube for the fuel tank of Richard Burns’s Subaru Impreza 2001 World Rally Championship winning car.
The car restorers used the stainless steel tubing to connect the lower parts of the fuel tank to ensure that the car retains a low centre of gravity.
Virtus Dynamic Seating System
We were asked to create part of a lift mechanism for a footrest used on a dynamic seating system for wheelchair users. The dimensions for this oval tube were absolutely critical; we had a very tight tolerance level because a component needed to fit inside the tubing (within a mm of the specified dimensions).
We made the tubing from aluminium 6063 to reduce the weight of the wheelchair.
Wires Sunglasses Cases
Designer eyewear company Wires used us to manufacture limited edition sunglasses cases for their pop-up shop in Selfridges, London. We used oval aluminium 6063 tubing for the outer shell of the case, which we polished by hand.
We then applied a clear anodised coating to seal the aluminium and protect the polish. We laser-etched the logo onto each case.
Emily Pugh’s moving installation for Selfridges’ Radical Luxury window scheme, 2018
Artist Emily Pugh commissioned us to make some elegant twisted square tubing that she used as swings in her installation, which was seen by thousands at the world-renowned London department store. Pugh questioned the playfulness of luxury commodities by swinging fragile porcelain vases from the metal structures.
The decorative tubing, which complemented the aesthetic of the ornamental vases, was crafted from stainless steel then painted gold.
Pocket-sized, dual-channel ICP® (IEPE) digital signal conditioner
US electronics company Modal Shop uses Timeless Tube to make the tube housing for a USB pen that measures sound vibrations. The stainless steel flat-sided oval tubing contains electrical components, so it is imperative that the dimensions are absolutely accurate.
To guarantee the repeatability of this sizing, we calibrate the exact measurements and we source material from the same origin to ensure consistency.
Purelab Flex Veolia Water dispensers
Veolia entrusted us to create the outer ‘tap’ for a line of water dispensers they were bringing to market. These clever devices allow lab technicians and clinicians to measure a precise amount of water with a digital mechanism.
For this job we also had to weld the stainless steel flat-sided oval tubing to the CNC machine-cut components.
Food manufacturing processing equipment
Timeless Tube supply all of our six profiles for the food and drink manufacturing industry – from stainless steel 316L oval tubing for a carousel mechanism for bottling to twisted stainless steel strips for food processor mixing.
Radius square tubing is increasingly popular for custom-made manufacturing equipment because when it is jet-washed clean, water glides of the contoured edges easily rather than pooling on top, washing away oils and residues with greater ease than standard square tubing.
We have custom made flat-sided oval tubing for conveyor chassis systems.
Oval tubing for luxury furniture
US Interior Designer Gigi Aelbers (Synergigi) used our stainless steel oval tubes and our joiners for a custom-made coffee table commission. In a one-off design that Aelbers describes as “organic and geometric combined”, the commission comprised two asymmetrical wooden tabletops mounted to pieces of oval tubing connected in a ‘continuous’ U-shape.
We worked with the designer to supply various tube samples until she felt the ratio was right for the piece.
Talk to our team about our bespoke tubing solutions
Our experienced engineers welcome the opportunity to use their creativity and technical skills to find solutions – sometimes this requires us to make new tools in order for us to create custom sizes.
By chatting and really listening to our clients, we’re confident that we can provide the right tubing for your application. This includes the right material and finish, as well as the shape and size.
Our careful consultation process has even led to the evolution of new tubing profiles. Timeless Tube’s twisted oval tubing is a result of a refinement made for a client who wanted a staircase with twisted spindles, but with the elliptical characteristics of oval tube. We experimented and eventually made some new tooling that resulted in this popular profile.
We are very happy to send samples, so please speak to us if you want to see what we offer.
Tubing used in prototyping and niche projects
An ergonomic, tactile shape that is perfect for handrails and balustrades in conjunction with structural glass and brickwork. A low-maintenance design commonly used for architectural and marine purposes.
Flat-sided Oval Tube
Clean, rounded lines and a flat-sided profile provide strength for architectural purposes – with a flat side useful for fixing to other elements.
With a smooth top, flat section and incredible lateral strength, this ingenious design prevents water ingress and it’s easy to install. Ideal for handrail in public buildings and on marine craft.
Radiused Square Tube
Blended radius corners and a slight convex side provide greater strength than standard round tubing. This great alternative to box section tubing is popularly used for baluster railings and furniture.
Twisted Square Tube
Aesthetically striking, with the power to make a significant impact. Provides impressive strength integrity while being lighter and more cost-effective than conventional solid twisted bars.
Twisted Oval Tube
Innovative spiral forming applied to a classic oval tube design. This stunning twisted tube profile creates a mesmeric effect that is ideal for decorative metal architecture on buildings and boats.
An easy, seamless way of connecting tubes at corners — no need for awkward cutting and welding.