by John Bradley of
Captain Jack's Tattoo
Setting up your machines before you start your tattoo. Here is some simple steps that one might overlook before starting your tattoo that could effect to outcome of your next tattoo.
1. Make sure that the length of the needle is set properly whether it be set for a long stroke or a short stroke before you start tattooing.
2. Make sure that the needle bar is not rubbing on the inside of the tube. This can cause the machine to slow down and not run properly. This condition can be corrected by removing the needle bar and slightly bending the needle bar, but allow for the tension of the rubber bands. When the needle bar is not set correctly the machine usually spits ink.
3.Make sure that the loop on your needle bar is very tight on the armature bar. If not there will be too much play in between the needle bar loop and the armature bar resulting in premature wearing of the nipple on your armature bar which can result in the ink not going in evenly and will look patchy. Whether you use rubber grommets (which should be changed for every tattoo) or use tape use a pair of pliers to tighten the loop on your needle bar tight enough that it cant be pulled off easily from the armature bar.
4. Make sure that your rubber bands are not to tight or to loose. Being to tight or to loose will cause problems. To tight will cause excess ware to your tube tip, and being to loose will cause the needle to move to easily and not get a straight outline or put the color where you intend it to go. Also after putting on your rubber bands (which you must change for every customer) pull them forward and give them a snap to let them fall back into a natural position. You don't want them to be all bunched together.
5. Make sure that your contact point on your binding post and your front spring are not worn and are clean of carbon and lint....it they are then just file them with a jewelers file.
6. Check the armature bar where they come in contact with the center core of your coils for carbon build up. The carbon can easily be cleaned with a squirt of alcohol and running a business card in between while holding the armature bar down.
7. Check the needle tips under a eye loop to see if they are hooked or dull. These are some of the small things that you must do to produce a good, clean tattoo, and you should do these things every time before you start a tattoo. It saves you time and you don't have to break your concentration and there will be less chance of cross contamination.
When the bottom of your armature bar wears out do to long time contact with the center core of the coils...just turn the armature bar over and use the other side!
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by John Bradley of Captain Jack's Tattoo
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