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FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Tommy on 09/19/09


so i got my new aluminum pyro today... there are just a couple snags...

1. the disposable tubes i use (the black ones with the rubber grips) seem to not fit.

that is, in order to have the tip of the tube line up even close to the tip of the needle, the back end of the tube is barely in the vice. hanging on by such a minimal distance can;t be good. are there longer disposables? do i need to go back to steel tubes? am i doing something retarded?

2. the numbers on my meter for the pyro are amazing... unloaded. with needle, tube, and bands, it loses almost all of its punch, and over 30hz. could this again be my tubes?



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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Shaun on 09/19/09


I've got a pyro and yeah the coils are pretty short and so is the frame geometry but I don't really the same problems regarding tubes, I use shortened steel back stems which takes care of this.

As for running the machine loaded and not getting the result you want you're better off writing to Gaston himself and letting him know the figures etc.. Losing Hz when loaded is the norm due to needle friction, number of rubber bands etc all depends on your setup.. are you dipping the needle in ink when you're running it?
I've gotta say my Pyro has some real punch to it even when loaded. Like I said, best speaking to the machine builder.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Gaston - FK Irons on 09/19/09


Hey Pal, someone directed me to this post.
Next time email me directly, but here I go.

The clean read out without needle it is "clean" because you have nothing offering resistance (other than the springs) to the a bar.
Now when you load the machine several things happen:
1. Needle resistance (bar is pushing the needle)
2- Needle against tube, if the tube is disposable the friction is almost 3 times as the friction offered with SS tubes. This is also factor for some machines to warm up a little more than usual. But this factor only depends with the style of tattooing of each person.
3. rubber bands pulling down(in most cases two)

So all these variables may change the readout a bit if you don't adjust your machine correctly. You still can manage to get clean readouts. (I will say that you may have a harder time with disposable though due to property of the material and mass of the tube)

here are some tips for you:
a- place rubber bands towards the front rather than positioning them in the middle of the machine. this will minimized the vibration of the needle bar, therefore less needle motion inside the tip.
b- Use a clipcord with good compression or RCA/ mono jack. Sloppy clipcords are a nightmare, you want your prones to sit tight in the holes specially for aluminum machines.
c- If your machine is a cutback, shorter stroke will be preferred or at least that's how I recommend it for my machine (a dime gap) If you like longer stroke then speed is not your game and you should go with a conventional liner (longer spring) This type of machines are great for people that prefer to sculpt lines, work at lower pace, etc. If you are not a pro with cutbacks I would stay away from them as I build them to run really fast.

Now, going back again to the number issue: NUMBERS ARE JUST NUMBERS! I tell my clients to learn to judge their setup with their ears and thumbs, just like Sailor Jerry did it!
Until this days that's the most precise test setup to judge a machine. If the numbers tell me wonders and the machine feels like is not right then numbers don't mean much to me.

Watch out with the dumb "9 FT. This reading can drive people crazy usually even with a 9FT the machine runs as good as a 0 reading. Again I don't rely much on numbers and I use it to make certain clients happy but the final verdict is rule by ear and thumb.
Some time I plugged machines in the meter that sound like crap and I steel get clean numbers, again that to me means nothing and the machine needs to be adjusted until sound and feel pleases me. A machine that sounds bad is like an out of whack violin. A consistent and clean sound can be orgasmic at times. lol.


Going back to the issue that your disposables don't fit the machine, I do not have the same problem with disposable, even though I only use disposables for white or when I am on the road. Most disposable will fit any shorty machine great, you will get at least all the tube inside the vise part, which is enough. My shorties are same size as most shorties available in the market.

Now if you measure the diameter of a steel tube and a disposable (specially the blacks and the white ones) you are realize that they are smaller than a SS stem.

Chinese manufacturers can get that right still. The proper size of a tube is 5/16" in USA, in europe 8mm (if you want to know) and The Pyro is design to clamp all those.
The machine gets a little softer to adjust over time.

A shorty frame like a Pyro or any other 1" coil machine will be shorter by .25" therefore .25" of the tube will be further out from the machine with a Pyro.

I'll be glad to further assist you, I am always an email or phone call away and most of the time I pick up 7 days a week. I also have an FAQ on the site check it out.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Tommy on 09/19/09


just to be clear... i'm certainly not here to shit-talk, i respect gaston and love my galaxie shader...

i just asked on here because there's lots of knowledge here and I assume I am doing something stupid.

ill call gaston next week during business hours for sure...

actually, it doesn't look like the cutback. i might have not been clear in my order and got the conventional pyro (i use cutbacks regularly and love them).

it gets REALLY hot at 9.4 volts... the meter says .98 amps, where with my other cutback liner, its only.45 amps at the same voltage.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Tommy on 09/19/09


just to be clear... i'm certainly not here to shit-talk, i respect gaston and love my galaxie shader...

i just asked on here because there's lots of knowledge here and I assume I am doing something stupid.

ill call gaston next week during business hours for sure...

actually, it doesn't look like the cutback. i might have not been clear in my order and got the conventional pyro (i use cutbacks regularly and love them).

it gets REALLY hot at 9.4 volts... the meter says .98 amps, where with my other cutback liner, its only.45 amps at the same voltage.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Solomon on 09/19/09


yeah from what i know about these machines, that is wayyyy too much voltage. With a shorties coil setup on my cains and ciferri machines, im very rarely over 5-6 volts. So if your running a .5 setup which i assume all aluminum FK machines are. then almost 10 volts is way to much and that is why its getting so hot. Id imagine you are close to burning it up soon. You need to get shorter needles so you dont have to hang you tube so far out. It sounds like your probable hanging the disposable so far out its probably kicking out at an odd angle putting waayyy to much resistance on the needle. Thats just my first guess. good luck.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Tommy on 09/19/09


interesting thought, solomon...


does anyone sell premades with shorter needlebars?

yeah, i'm just not getting any punch until about 9 or 9.2v


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Tommy on 09/19/09


interesting thought, solomon...


does anyone sell premades with shorter needlebars?

yeah, i'm just not getting any punch until about 9 or 9.2v


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Petah on 09/20/09


Yo, all I have to say is that FKs machines are one of the only machines that don't need constant retuning and run awesome.
I own two pyros, one steel one aluminum.
They crank lines at 6.5 - 8 volts for me.

I think the problem may be your tubes and not the machine man, because I also use disposables and they fit me perfect and get clear lines. In fact I've pushed as far as 14 rounds for a back piece I did one time. If the bar touches the tube it will heat up and run bad. Try the machine at 7 volts with no needle or tube and stick your thumb in there to see how hard it heats. If it heats pretty good without needle then the problem relies in your tubes and needle.

Non of my FK Irons needed more than 8 volts ever.
My Pyro aluminum barely gets warm.

But yeah talk to Gaston he always answers my questions without hesitation.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Omar on 09/20/09


Disposable tubes can be a pain!.
I also own a Pyro AL13, no heat issues and the machine can push anything I throw at it.
Have you tried the machine with stainless steel tubes?
Did you change the stroke or anything?

Is yours aluminum or steel? Anyway, hit him up because that liner is tough mofo.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by tommy on 09/20/09


does anyone have recommendations for disposable tubes to use with the pyro?

i'd prefer to stay away from steel if i can... i don't miss scrubbing tubes.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Omar on 09/20/09


this are the ones I use, they fit perfect both of my Pyros
http://www.wwta2.com/product/Round-Tip-Rubber-Disposable-Tubes.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by tommy on 09/22/09


those are the ones i use... yet seem way too short .


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by mjollnir9 on 09/22/09


If you need shorter pre-made needles, which by the problems you are having it seems you do... National sells 5 3/8 " premade needles. I am not a huge fan of their needles, but for your issue it may be helpful.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by tommy on 09/23/09


sent it back to gaston for him to take a look...


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Roney on 09/23/09


What are you people talking about. I also own a Pyro and that machine just like any other shorty fits tubes and needles perfect. It hits like a mother fu... too.
I wonder if the poster is phrasing his issue right.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by tommy on 09/28/09


sent the machine back to Gaston, got it back 3 days later.

he said it was a bad capacitor, he set it up with a new capacitor AND new coils and set it up as a cutback for me.

it runs like a fucking dream now. really. it hits as hard at 7v as hard as my other cutback hits at 9.5. cuts like a lightsaber.

he also threw in a bunch of extra parts (he must know i'm prone to breakin shit. lol).

the customer service was totally top notch. i dont see a reason to do business with anyone else when it comes to machines.

im still having the weird tube length issue... so it must be my needles. i order from needlejig, and maybe there's are longer or something. i'll check that out tomorrow.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Why on 12/23/10


Hello Gaston i see you wrote that "numbers" mean nothing. Kinda wierd cause you tune all your machines to the same "numbers" unless someone askes for a specific set up. I bought machines from you that you tuned how you set them up and everyone has had a 50% DC or very very close to it so "numbers" do have a meaning. "Numbers" mean nothing if you dont u understand what they mean or the physic of a cycle !! Numbers show the machines performance, your machines are not tuned and sent out with you just rubbing your thumb on the A bar and listining, you spend quite a few minutes getting those "numbers". And disposables or any tube change the "numbers" , speed drops 20 cps when you load them so know that when tuning !! I know its not true but even if you believe "numbers mean nothing now your machines where tuned like that for years and worked amazingly awesome, your machines still come at 50% DC so.......... Yeah, oh and stephen suck my balls and you wrote you only pay attention to numbers when you tune/mess with your machine on the FK irons topic, long ago you asked where did you say this well there you go, merry Xmass

Remember people this is a public forum so some may say missleading things on purpose ....... Ho ho ho ho merry Xmass Mother fuckerssss

lets see who the first troll is to talk shit, well theres only a handful of dudes on here so we all should know who will shame themselves and there mom by leaving a ignorant statement,,,,,,,,,,


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by Epicdermis on 12/23/10


Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but you misquoted Gaston and took his words waaaaaaaay out of context when you felt the need to dig up this thread that was well over a year old and buried, just to digress from the main topic of it anyway. So who is the troll here?

Gaston never said numbers dont mean anything. He was just making the point that they are not the gospel truth when tuning a machine. And when one of the most revered and respected builders in the world tells you that intuitive feel and sound are more important that numerical readouts, I'd listen a bit instead of stirring shit needlessly. Numbers only have meaning when they are giving value to a machine that runs and feels right. It's like the home address for that machine. Get it to where it feels right and runs well, and then look at the numbers to assign a value to everything, thereby allowing you to find home a little quicker when it needs a little tune up. It also allows a builder to build and tune a whole line of any particular model to the same exacting specs as the prototype that he slaved over and adjusted by feel and sound, rather than having to do that for each and every machine, which Gaston still does anyway as a testament to his quality control and love for the craft.

Point is, G-Man really, really knows his shit, he has an entire industry full of admirers in the top ranks of tattooing, and has nothing but respect for this craft. So when he says something, it carries a hell of a lot more weight than an annonymous pot stirrer with a fake name.

Stuff that in your stocking, Happy Holidays.

Festivus for the rest of us.


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by stephen on 12/23/10


I love it how guys like "why" throw out the preemptive strike and inform everyone that "the first person to comment after whatever bullshit I just wrote for the 42356 time is a poser troll and embarrassing their whole families". Dead horses would cease to need a beating if people on a mission to make such misdirected points would stop digging them up. Maybe there's a hotline you can call for people who are addicted to their power supply readouts. Sorry, I know you hate me, and I'm all torn up about it, but your name really does say it all. WHY?


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RE:FK irons question... cutback liner

Posted by James on 12/25/10


@ Gaston fk........ Numbers are only numbers if you don't really understand what they mean or the physics involved in a cycle....... Amazing machines require more then rubbing your thumb on the nipple....... Theres allot more to it then that IF you require a machine that performs at its best consistently for some time....... the rubbing is to feel for that hit your going for on that specific clients skin and cant tell you the machines performance........rubbing is after the major tunning or goes along with it............rubbing alone is worth shit IF you require a smooth machine that runs consistently over a long period of time..... if your just looking to make it tattoo ok to get by then you can rub that nipple all you want


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