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Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Floyd on 08/08/10


ok, my boss has been cursing at me lately because he tells me that whenever i do a black and gray piece that i need to use long taper needles, but ive been using different tapers, and i honestly cant tell the difference. i havent been tattooing long, so maybe that may be the reason for not seeing a difference, but i seem to tattoo just as well with standards as i can with longs. is there really that big of a difference?



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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Gina on 08/08/10


Using long tapers allows you to work in an area longer but doesn't produce full saturation, like you might want with a color tattoo. So some people prefer them for black and gray.

If you're happy with both the process and result of your black and gray, then I don't see what the big deal is. I think you (any tattooer) should find a balance between not being afraid to try new things and being so spoiled that you can't do a tattoo with just standard needle groupings.

But maybe you'll need to wait to find that balance til after you're done with your apprenticeship. ;)


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Griggs on 08/08/10


Needle taper and needle gauge are very important..if you understand what the differences are between them you can use them to your advantage..if your still an apprentice than I'd listen to yer mentor,if not use what ever needles give you the desired look you want...


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Solomon on 08/08/10


omg, finally comes on a forum and there mentor is telling them something good and they dont want to listen. I dont understand. For one yes its a big deal, because your mentor is making it a big deal, which in turn should make it a big deal for you. And two, yes it does make a big differance. I would never use nature needles to do black and grey, I wouldnt ever use them period but anyways. Just do it.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Gina on 08/08/10


That's why I told him to wait til after his apprenticeship. Different things work for different people. Your way isn't the only way and mentors aren't right all the time. Yes, listen to him now..and then learn how to do it your own way later.

The tattoo world is so disgustingly PC. If these are the things that make you so hostile, I pity you.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Solomon on 08/08/10


Im not sure if you talking to me Gina, cuz I have not a clue at what your talking about, I didnt even read your post before I replied. I just found it hilarious that someone seems to be getting good advice from their mentor for once and now they are fighting it. All we hear on these forums is how they been screwed by someone or their mentor is telling them to do some crazy thing. But anyways, not sure how you even included yourself in what I said, or thought for some reason I was being hostile.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by me on 08/08/10


i agree with this statement: "if you understand what the differences are between them you can use them to your advantage"

however i do not place much importance on needle taper personally, because it tends to not affect the outcome of the type or style of work i do.

i believe its a situational concern, not an absolute.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Alan on 08/09/10


I don't know if I missed something above or not... He said boss, not mentor. Perhaps this is not an apprentice but rather someone with a question about differing opinions. At any rate, I personally prefer long taper #12 or #8 bugs for everything from solid color saturation and multiple pass color blending to blk/grey. Just works better for me. That being said I've seen smooth as butter blk/grey done with standard tapers. Out of my ability range though...


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by Alan on 08/09/10


Just read what I posted and I had meant to add that I did read he wasn't tattooing long.... Just wasn't sure it was a mentor-apprentice situation


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by rhendrickson on 08/09/10


I run both at the same time for color, my larger mag i run long taper smaller mags ussually medium taper. Black and grey bug pin eights or long taper


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by brian on 08/12/10


will depend of what you want and what you believe.
if you like this blending works that stay in the skin for a couple of years you can tattoo with bug pins,medium taper,long taper you dont see to much diference.
if you believe in a trully tattoo for all your live than the taper is very important.
but so important as the taper is the texture in needles

if you like blending and some funny tattoos you can get with polished,if you looking for a real tattoo you have to learn to tattoo with texture needles


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by rudeboy on 11/30/10


Just reading this thread from a while ago, what i want to know is the difference between long taper oo or standard 12`s for Lining?


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by anthony on 11/30/10


@ rudeboy,

this is just my opinion, but i say yes there is a difference, for tights i use a long taper since they can be brought closer together.

for loose i like to use medium taper. since theres no tightening involved.

ive but both medium and short taper in a tightening jig just to see what it looked like before and they cant really be brought to a tight point like long tapers can.

i think usuing anything than a long taper for a tight liner could really do some damage to someone as well.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by anthony on 11/30/10


@ rudeboy,

this is just my opinion, but i say yes there is a difference, for tights i use a long taper since they can be brought closer together.

for loose i like to use medium taper. since theres no tightening involved.

ive but both medium and short taper in a tightening jig just to see what it looked like before and they cant really be brought to a tight point like long tapers can.

i think usuing anything than a long taper for a tight liner could really do some damage to someone as well.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by rudeboy on 11/30/10


cheers anthony, i normally use loose needle groupings as they seem to put a more solid line in, might just be me, sometimes i even use 3rs for lining , i love using 9rl for bolder work, but the tight 5`s seem a little too tight sometimes and seems like a lot more work to get your linework nice and neat, i have to spend more time "mending" lines with tighter groupings, just wanted to know there pros and cons really, thanks for your input dude :)


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by anthony on 11/30/10


totally agree with you.. im all about thick bold lines. i usually keep a small batch of tight 5's for things like small script, little ornate designs, etc. ya know, the stuff im still scared of doing lol.

when it comes to those little "love" and "strength" script on the wrist pieces i feel like you gotta have as crisp a line as possible right off the bat because the girl whos getting it is going to do nothing but stare at it when she leaves.

had she gotten a sleeve she probably wouldn't notice any lines slightly different from the stencil, but since that little wrist tattoo might be the only one she ever gets, she's going to be critical of even the tiiiiiniest little thing.

i have anxiety just thinking about it haha.


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RE:Is the Taper of the Needles so important?

Posted by rudeboy on 12/01/10


hahah i know exactley what you saying dude, i fucking hate doing tiny shit like that, but at the mo girls are getting shit load of text all over the place, ribs espectially.....ooomph! i hate doing text on ribs its a killer


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