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tuning tattoo machine

Posted by feelgood71 on 11/28/06


I just wondering if anybody could tell me or give me a link to a site that helps you to tune your machine. I think that a well tuned machine is like a well tuned car. you'll get better results.



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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by godoy on 11/28/06


www.tattoolz.com

book on the subject, book also on cd...highly detailed book, everything from top to bottom, frames--specs, material, coils, magnetism--core material, wire gauges, magnetic field, layers...springs-- tension, gauges, shapes, contact screws, material, understanding screw threads....and much more....


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by bonditio on 11/28/06


Sweet shameless plug Godoy. Did you start this thread yourself too?


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by godoy on 11/30/06


No i didn't start the thread. just wanna help, understand the frustration...we've all been through it at one time or another, haven't we?. We need to set standards and legitimize this aspect business...there are tons of artists who don't understand the main tool of their trade. Just doesn't seem right to be turned loose to mark people up, when you don't know what your machines actually do. It makes us all look bad to the mainstream, who all have their eyes on tattooing now.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by bonditio on 11/30/06


Than offer some advice rather than just spamming your book.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by feelgood71 on 12/02/06


looks like a good book but it contains a lot of info I already know. I know the way the machines work and I understand the the materials and reasons they are used. but what I would really like to know is how to tune it without all the other stuff.

a lot of people know the basics of how cars work but wouldn't know where or how to start fixing them. basically people know how to drive there cars but not how to tune them.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by godoy on 12/02/06


Tuning a machine is a game of compensation between the rear spring tension/gauge, front spring's flex, and their shapes, frame specs and contact screw. The measurement from the spring saddle to the tube vice hole, will dictacte the spring gauge you should use...the rear spring has to deal with the weight of all the components attached to it (armature bar, screw, washer, oring, front spring, needle bar, needles, rubber band tension and the resistance the skin will exhert on the needle penetration) it's something that takes some time to explain. NOT just that but there are issues of parallelism and other things which a machine needs to be versatile machine, all machines should be able to line, shade and color with. Look at all the cans of worms I just opened...how am I gonna explain all that in a forum? Tuning a machine also involves the materials the parts are made from. It's helpful to know the information on parts and their function, because from there, modifications and improvements can be made. I recommend the book because is the best way to have all the information handy in case you need to refer to it when you have a problem. Some people out there have problem with this and wanna keep all the info for themselves, others don't wanna be called out because the tattoo artists who admire them may find out that these guys don't really know what they claim to know and their egos will be deflated. We don't care about their petty personal issues some artists may have with our book, we love tattooing, and believe that all artists should know this stuff, so we made it available to ALL serious tattoo artists who wanna learn this stuff.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by spellchek on 12/03/06


I like paragraphs, obviously you don't......


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by me on 12/04/06


i agree with godoy that most of these technical issues people bring up on here are way better solved either in person or via a much more thorough medium such as a book. not that we shouldnt keep discussing these things the best we can on places like this here forum, but it's just a forum. it's the not the answer to all your tattoo prayers and wildest artistic dreams. dude's got a book out. it sounds like it's pretty good. i applaud anyone putting out that kind of effort for our craft and proffession. but i also applaud people trying to put out as much free knowledge as they can on a place like this forum, and not just hoarding it all for themselves or trying to sell things.

aka: computers make bickering way too easy for bored, overpriviledged first-world people like all of us. so...less infighting, more progression! the moments you spend staring at this screen youre never getting back, so make them count! For yourself, and for the rest of us. thank you.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by mrchecks on 12/04/06


Very well put Nick


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by ah-dumb on 12/05/06


i dont take any rebuttles personal here, and i hope no one else does either...props Godoy, you are respected for being a professional guy and not a "quick to judge" type-o-guy...plus coming back on to explain yourself is awesome...


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by ETLegacy on 07/10/08


you want to know how to tune your machine? check out www.diytattoo.com everything you need to know is in the forum. I understand why everyone keeps saying get an apprenticship. and I agree. Its why I got in the biz, To much sh ty work, at a ridiculios price.Been Slingin ink for 9 years, have my own shop licensed work with the health dept. licensed Emergancy Medical Tech. But we need to help stop the crap that some are doing. by helping or giving these pepole apprent. Theres to much ego, and personality conflicts and opinions involved none of witch help the industry. with out knowledge these"scratchers" will still Tattoo and some one is gone get sh ty work or worse. so lets give them advise. at least they are looking. If you all are so good, helping another get in the buisness isn't going to effect you,right?


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by ETLegacy on 07/10/08


you want to know how to tune your machine? check out www.diytattoo.com everything you need to know is in the forum. I understand why everyone keeps saying get an apprenticship. and I agree. Its why I got in the biz, To much sh ty work, at a ridiculios price.Been Slingin ink for 9 years, have my own shop licensed work with the health dept. licensed Emergancy Medical Tech. But we need to help stop the crap that some are doing. by helping or giving these pepole apprent. Theres to much ego, and personality conflicts and opinions involved none of witch help the industry. with out knowledge these"scratchers" will still Tattoo and some one is gone get sh ty work or worse. so lets give them advise. at least they are looking. If you all are so good, helping another get in the buisness isn't going to effect you,right?


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by Darin on 07/10/08


All I can say is that Godoy's book is not even worth the 100 buck and his attitude of rockstar sucks big time.
Want a good book. Look into Joey D's. book.
However there is nothing better than spending the time on your own to figure out your gear.

Every artists should know basic tuning skills to troubleshoot the gear. That is something that every mentor should enforce to apprentices.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by Fallen King Irons on 07/10/08


I've heard good things about Godoy's book too. There are different approaches when it comes to tuning but than goodness we can stick to some basic rules.
Refuse to cut corners when it comes to your gear but this doesn't mean that expensive machinery are the way to go. Look for quality.

Simple tips to keep in mind while tuning your machine:
If you decide to tun a machine that you ignore its prior condition, the best thing
to do is:

- check all connections to make sure they are not shorting.
- change springs if they seem rusted, banged up or simply have no idea.
- Replace o-ring if your machine needs one,
- Clean coil cores to make sure they are free of rust
- Make sure that your contact screw and binders are at least sterling silver, brass, copper. Replace any cheap hardware that rust or has poor conductivity properties!
- make sure the contact screw has clean edges and not all mangled/ worn out.

Once you assure that all parts are checked and replaced if needed you can follow these steps:

1- One of the first thing I would suggest to pay attention to when you tune a machine, is to make sure your armature bar lays dead flat on the top core leaving a thin air gap between the a bar and the rear coil (0.5-1mm) The gap in the rear coil ensures a full force hit on the top core.

2. If you replaced your springs I would recommend you curl them and not bend them straight. This will endure the life of the spring and give you a better FT reading.

3- Top spring should have an angle between 30-35º (curl it) bottom spring should have a slight angle depending the type of compression your are looking for, Excessive compression will result into the top spring flexing inwards once laying against contact screw. This not only will decrease the speed of your machine but it will also require more power resulting into more heat.

4- Make sure a bar is perfectly centered towards vice hole. Also make sure that the hight of your needle bar fits right in the center of the vice hole (1 mm higher so when you install rubber bands it centers right in the middle of the vise hole.

5- In most machines rubber bands work better when they are separate by 3 mm and closer to the vise rather than the a bar.

6- Make sure that you have a good contact point between top spring and contact screw. A flat 90º contact point is preferred. The air gap is determined by your style of tattooing, I personally consider that the dime and nickel old school theory is just that "old school" but again anything over 4mm seems excessive.

7- Listen to the machine when running it, your cycle should be clean and even, if you hear skips your machine may be experiencing problems in many possible places. This presence of this problem can be measure with an Eikon PS for example. A perfectly tuned machine should have a FT = 0 That means that there are no false contacts in your cycle.

8- Springs for the right job/ style. An 18/18 (personal preference) is an ideal configuration for all type of work: line/ shading. However you may want to go for a harder top/ softer bottom for liners and vice versa for shading.

9- Voltage there is not a one setting of voltage, different machines with different coils sets will require different voltage.
Voltage is the result of your tattooing speed/ style.

10- Rubbing your abar nipple with your thumb is a quick way to find out how strong/ weak the machine will hit the skin.

This is not even a 10% of what an artist should know about tuning but I hope it helps. Sharing is caring.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by scott76 on 07/11/08


I have nothing but good things about godoys book myself, joey ds book is also a great book there is also eikons machinegun they are also a great read mr fk knows his shit so i cant really add to what he has to say.

What i can say we all tattoo different when i build my machines i build them and tune them the way i like to tattoo and hope the people who buy them like the way i run them, unless you are standing over someone's shoulder watching them work its really hard to tell someone how to set up a machine that works for them.

hope this kind of helps or makes some kind of sense as i am on my 4th tin of icehouse.

Thats not a plug for icehouse lol


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by Fallen King Irons on 07/11/08


Excuse my prior post full of typos. Between my A.D.D, dyslexia and lack of time my posts can be a pain in the ass to read. :P


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by aw8one on 07/26/08


?? for all you machine gurus,, so i kind of have an idea of how to tune a machine when its not working quite how i want it to or sounds funny. I know how to make it run faster slower hit harder etc. However I have some machines i want to sell mostly do to the fact that i got new ones that are less finicky and easier to tune. I dont want to sell my old ones without having them working well. My old shader is a next gen and ill have it tuned and running fine use it for a half hour and the thing starts cutting out. What could be the cause of this all the readings are fine right up untill it starts running like shit. Had the machine run like shit from the get go i could fix it but im not sure what causes it to start running bad after a certain time. Its ussually the same ammount of time lapsed each time before it runs like shit...


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by jess on 07/26/08


i have had this happen too with next gens and other machines. i think that it has to do with the brass contact screws. they wear down quickly. my machines that have copper contact screws never do this. but im no expert on this.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by aw8one on 07/27/08


Yeah maybe thats it all my other machines work great and i have a new power supply i have even sent them in and they come back working good for maybe a week. I llike long strokes and the machines seems to be maybe more suited for a shorter stroke but i dont see how it should matter.


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RE:tuning tattoo machine

Posted by Murray on 07/30/08


Tattooing A to Z!!!

Spaluding laid it all out for us!


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