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Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/14/06


This is my first post on this forum and I have been reading some of the posts for the last few days and most of the posts are unique and very informative and I hope that I am accepted well. I will always try my best to give my most honest opionion, whether good or bad, and offer my assistance whenever appropriate.
I have been tearing down machines since I started tattooing in late '99 and have been building my own machines for over a year now. That's not long to some but I have learned alot in this time and would like to offer what tips and tricks I have learned to help the others in this trade. If there are any machine builders in here let me know who you are and we may share some information with each other.
I have read alot of the posts refering to problems with and what's the best pigments to use. I haven't had any problems with getting pigments into the skin since I started using good quality machines. That was my biggest problem for years and I don't think it was the colors I was using, It was due to penetration issues I was having with my cheap untuned machines.
I was using tattoo machines that were cheap and looked cool with designs like dragons, flames, etc. That's OK if you want to show everyone what a cool looking machine you have and are using but I prefer something with function over fashion even if this would mean paying two thousand dollars for quality machines. The extra one to five hundred dollars more for a highly productive machine is where it's at, and if you are operating a tattoo parlor and can't afford a higher quality machine you have bigger problems besides working with certain colors. Just my opinion



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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by ah-dumb on 09/14/06


no offense, but why are you paying so much money when you can get something rebuilt for $100-200 by a respected professional machine builder? Better yet, do what i do and learn how to build your own by buying from the best builders and trial & error.
check out machinebuildersyndicate.com


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by ah-dumb on 09/14/06


I ment machinesyndicate.com


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by money on 09/14/06


i got some good advice about machines from brandon bond last weekend.as he handed me his new book i said i didnt need his book, that what i needed was a good book on machines. he asked why. i said because i cant fix them when they go bad. he asked what machines i use. i told him next gen. pulse, and micky. he asked if they worked right when i bought them. i said yes. he replied with" if the shit breaks get a new one. stop trying to be a electrician and be a tattooist. whether or not that is the best thing to do. i like it.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/14/06


This is a reply to Ah-dumb's comment. Sure your right, I would send a cheap machine to a builder or rebuild it myself but it's hard to find a cheap machine with the right frame geometry / metal content and I think a machine with a price tag of around 400 bucks is not much. I've seen machines built by machines that are made of a non-conductive material and not use a yoke. It just goes to show you buy a cheap machine, It's like a cheap tattoo, It's not going to look so good if it was bought for nearly nothing.
What I said was that if I had to pay 2000 dollars for a machine to do the job right and I couldn't build my own I would be willing to pay for it because it's well worth it. I think I did mention building my own machines so I have no idea why I'm being stiffled. It must be where I'm the new guy but that's okay. If I'm not tattooing with one of my own handcrafted machines I usually use my Soba, Aaron Cain, Adam Ciferri, or Seth Ciferri machines. Nick, if you have any input on this subject, it would be well appreciated.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/14/06


This is a reply to Ah-dumb's comment. Sure your right, I would send a cheap machine to a builder or rebuild it myself but it's hard to find a cheap machine with the right frame geometry / metal content and I think a machine with a price tag of around 400 bucks is not much. I've seen machines built by machines that are made of a non-conductive material and not use a yoke. It just goes to show you buy a cheap machine, It's like a cheap tattoo, It's not going to look so good if it was bought for nearly nothing.
What I said was that if I had to pay 2000 dollars for a machine to do the job right and I couldn't build my own I would be willing to pay for it because it's well worth it. I think I did mention building my own machines so I have no idea why I'm being stiffled. It must be where I'm the new guy but that's okay. If I'm not tattooing with one of my own handcrafted machines I usually use my Soba, Aaron Cain, Adam Ciferri, or Seth Ciferri machines. Nick, if you have any input on this subject, it would be well appreciated.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Steve E on 09/14/06


i hear that dude.. but i also beleive in your spare time or whatever you should really learn about every aspect of how a machine works.. Its one thing to get a great machine but its also very important to know why its so great... I dont think anyone would want to drop a couple hundred bucks everytime the things started to bog out... by the way i have to say pulse machines are the sh!t right out of the video case..lol But seriously i agree that as an artist you should learn about your tools no matter if its the kind of paintbrush bristles you like or the way your machine will sound when its just right... joe you got my myspace address send me some info if you have any dude. im always willing to read or try to learn something new..


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/14/06


Yeah, I've heard of Shag, Brian"Shank"Hibbard, and Dino from the Syndicate. Shank has taken over building the bulldog frames for Mike"Rollo"Malone. Good stuff.
Get you hands on the books "Handbuilt volume 1 & 2" if you haven't already. It's a compilation of the top builders on earth and has some paintings and art by the builders displayed as well but there is no technical advice in these books.
If you want a good machine builders book on the technical aspects of tattoo machine building try to get your hands on the Godoy Brothers book, "Tattoo Machines and their Secrets", no myths, pure science layed out in layman's terms.
Also, the main topic was not directed at any one individual in anyway to try and degrade or demote their expertise in the field of tattooing. It was meant to help those who were steering in the wrong direction. That's what we are all here for anyways, Right?


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/14/06


Yeah, I've heard of Shag, Brian"Shank"Hibbard, and Dino from the Syndicate. Shank has taken over building the bulldog frames for Mike"Rollo"Malone. Good stuff.
Get you hands on the books "Handbuilt volume 1 & 2" if you haven't already. It's a compilation of the top builders on earth and has some paintings and art by the builders displayed as well but there is no technical advice in these books.
If you want a good machine builders book on the technical aspects of tattoo machine building try to get your hands on the Godoy Brothers book, "Tattoo Machines and their Secrets", no myths, pure science layed out in layman's terms.
Also, the main topic was not directed at any one individual in anyway to try and degrade or demote their expertise in the field of tattooing. It was meant to help those who were steering in the wrong direction. That's what we are all here for anyways, Right?


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by ah-dumb on 09/14/06


like i said, i didnt want to offend you, as you thought i was trying to "stiffle" you, also, i didnt say get a "cheap" machine rebuilt either...but this is where talking on a computer is frustrating. Im just saying kind of what youre trying to say, i think. know your tools. buy good tools. have no problems getting your ink in the skin. I use a time machine rebuilt by steve turner, a soba pilot shader, a micro dial mickey sharpz shader i rebuilt, and two other machines i built that i use. i do build machines but am not an expert, im just a snot. I do want to continue chatting here, too..so dont be offended by me.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/15/06


None taken at all Ah, I'm going to leave the Dumb off the end of your screen name, because I see you as not being an Idiot or otherwise. I understand what you were trying to say now, you were just expanding on to what I had already written. I was looking at it in a whole different perspective, because I'm a freakin idiot. I didn't want you to think I paid 2,000 dollars for a tattoo machine either. Yeah, If I were to continue building machines and didn't knowingly learn anything from this point on I would still continue building regardless, It's a passion.
Understood, That's why I try to choose my topics and comments wisely. I need to quit trying to sum things up in few little paragraphs but I fear people will grow tired of reading what I have to say. Now that we're on the same level it's time to start a New Topic and I look forward to talking with every one of you in the near future. Thanks Ah.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Joe on 09/15/06


None taken at all Ah, I'm going to leave the Dumb off the end of your screen name, because I see you as not being an Idiot or otherwise. I understand what you were trying to say now, you were just expanding on to what I had already written. I was looking at it in a whole different perspective, because I'm a freakin idiot. I didn't want you to think I paid 2,000 dollars for a tattoo machine either. Yeah, If I were to continue building machines and didn't knowingly learn anything from this point on I would still continue building regardless, It's a passion.
Understood, That's why I try to choose my topics and comments wisely. I need to quit trying to sum things up in few little paragraphs but I fear people will grow tired of reading what I have to say. Now that we're on the same level it's time to start a New Topic and I look forward to talking with every one of you in the near future. Thanks Ah.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by bobbywatts on 04/15/07


what I really would like to know about machines is...what exactly needs to be tuned differently to get an exact result on my next tattoo...I think this may be hard to understand but only because I dont think I'm getting my point across. for example..if I wanted a long springy slap to slowly saturate a solid field of color, i would adjust what...or If i wanted my black and grey machine to run fast and not penetrate deeply what would I adjust..? does that make sense?


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Donnie don't care on 06/12/10


Its not the arrow its the Indian that's all i got to say.......


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by mystic on 06/13/10


Hi Joe
As a machine builder of over 25 years (sold hundreds) I can say you have hit the nail on the head exactly! If your machines can't push the needles into the skin to the right depth to ensure that the pigment holds you will always have problems with weak colour and linework.
Dosn't matter how much needle you have hanging out the tube if your machine is not up to it, this is why so many have problems with DC point machines, they may sound good but when you hit the skin, if you hear that machine tone soften right up, it is because the armature bar is not hitting the top of your coils and it is a lottery as to what depth exactly in the skin the needles are penetrating. If you are lucky it's ok if not it will never be good and this is why people play around with all the different spring, coil, capacitor combos etc. It is to get the right penetration for the size needle cluster they are using and get the machine to run at a speed that suits them. So many variables that many can't understand it so they generally go to rotaries etc.
If you have a machine that is nice and powerfull, so that you can hear the armature is still hitting the top of the coils as you use it regardless of what needle clusters you use then penetration comes down to you, the artist alone. There's nothing you can't do with a powerfull machine that can't be controlled by hand pressure and technique from the softest geywashes to blackest tribal and vibrant colour. These machines are not cheap as they are not usually massed produced but are built by hand, some may say it's the bowman not the arrow that counts but lets face it, the bows got to have a good string! and I would rather have 4 very good machines that will last a lifetime then 20 crappers.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by U. Banerjee on 10/28/10


Dear Nick,
I think you are true, my god, I just started tattooing and when lining with 5 RL or 7RL for one of my friend, I got so irritated when I found that on the same outline I have to run the needle 9 to 10 times to get a solid outline. Man, I thought its the problem with the colour and I bought the best ink that's Kuro Sumi and then also no result, but, surprisingly it never happens when I use 1RL or 3RL. So I think you are correct, its the bloody machine which is running good with 1RL to 3RL but not with heavier needles.
I used to watch tattooing on youtube and get amazed by seeing how easily the tattooists are lining and shading and why the same is not happening when I do.
One of my good friend bought two tattoo machines for me from Hong Kong (superior tattoo's BLUE RAVEN & SWINGER) and I still don't know what one is shader and what one liner, and, the papers are lost. Nick, will you help me to recognise what is what, tell me if there is any feature of the machine by which I will make out.
Thanking you,
Udayan


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Tony on 10/28/10


This is a question almost any of us can answer. The machine that has the longer front spring is your shader...also, the shader should run slower then your liner.

that should be enough info to figure it out.


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RE:Get yourself some good machines!

Posted by Inkstained on 10/28/10


Besides the obvious mentioned You need to look at the cap and see what size it is. Which those chinese pieces of crap never have correctly anyways. I dont know why in gods name youre lining with a 1 or a 3 anyways. If your e going over linework 9-10 times??? Damn!!! Even sculpting lines softly calls for only about 3 maybe 4passes before trauma.


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