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frame construction

Posted by slick50 on 06/30/10


im new to the tattoo world and have been unsucessfull at finding a machine i like, so i want to build my own. im a machinist and welder so i know i posess the skills and have the tooling to build my own frames but im looking for any advice on where i can get the basic geometry and measurements. any help is very much appreciated



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RE:frame construction

Posted by Erik88 on 06/30/10


Wow man, well being new to the industry, the advice I can give you is this: there are people already doing what you want to. They have put their years of experience into what they do, and have amassed incredible amounts of knowledge in the quest. I do not understand how you can not find a machine you are happy with, but think you can improve on what these masters have been perfecting for years! If you are still learning to tattoo, especially, take a step back and focus on that. You cannot tell me that as a new member of this profession you will be able to come close to matching the results of masters such as Gaston @ FKI, Joey @ Infinite Irons, Soba and many more. Not to knock you, but there is so much that goes into building machines, that you should know what to compare it to, eh?


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RE:frame construction

Posted by T on 06/30/10


What erik said makes sense and i agree..however at the same time he wrote that reply i was writing mine...and it cracks me up because he mentioned the same people that i mentioned....and in fact i was going to mention joey D as a example of someone who makes top notch machines, but uses strange geometry...but i felt like i already rambled too much. and i did, but here it is....

Fallen king irons have perfect geometry. So do many others, but thats the first machine i can think of that will give you good measurements for a liner or shader, the frames are all purpose. In all honesty tho..a cheaper route might be to buy a spaulding supreme frame and use those measurements, but with 2 exceptions ! the hole for the tube vice (IMO) should be 2 or 3mm further forward because coils can overlap it a bit causing issues depending on how long your tubes are, and the second issue is they drill the damn hole for the front binding post too big and you gotta kinda rig it otherwise the shoulder washers get sucked in when you tighten them...i cannot understand why they would drill it any different then the rear binding post hole, which is fine. the geometry of the frame is perfect for a black and grey machine....move the front binding post hole a bit further forward and you got good geometry for a color machine, and a bit back and you got a liner....of course theres more then one way to do anything. but i think that info is pretty solid. Ive rebuilt supremes and made some kick ass machines out of them. And please, i dont want to get any flack for mentioning spaulding ! just using them as a reference point, the frames are accessible and consistent. Just remember, theres a few basics in machine frame geometry that are key...one is the height of the springsaddle in relation to the coil deck, second is angling the spring deck 2 or 3 degrees.. everything beyond that is balance of allowing enough room for the coils...the tighter it is the faster the machine will be, the longer the frame the slower the machine will tend to be...hope something i wrote there is useful in some way to you. I could have been more thorough and specific, but eh,... sounds like you want to figure it out for yourself anyways.....and back to the fallen king irons, i mentioned him because, in my opinion the contact screw should hit the tip of the spring at a perfect 90 degree angle, his machines demonstrate that....Oh and it just occured to me, if you want to get your hands on a example of a machine with long geometry you could pick up a soba pilot frame from workhorse irons. that will give you a slow punchy machine...but it isint necessary to have a long frame to make a slow puchy machine, but it makes it easyer.....anyways, i must be bored ! later man, goodluck. ALL that being said, there is alot of other knowledge that goes into making a good machine, frame geometry is only a piece of the puzzle.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by T on 06/30/10


Oh yea...and if you cant find a good machine, heres my advice, you get what you pay for !....as long as you know what your looking for.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Gina on 07/01/10


I agree with all the other posts.

Also, you didn't mention what it is exactly that you don't like about the machines you've tried. Is it something like a weight and balance issue? Or is it that you don't like the way your tattoos are coming out? Weather you're behind the wheel of a Pinto or a Mercedes won't make you a better driver.

What exactly do you want your machines to do that the other machines aren't doing?


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RE:frame construction

Posted by max on 07/01/10


I will say yeahhhh theyre is a lot of machines on the market.....but tryin to make them yourself is a good path to see why they are so simple and so difficult at the same time...will help you learn how to tune them.....I will never be a machinist or a machine builder but I did try it (and still) to learn about my tools.....you know......that just how I see it


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RE:frame construction

Posted by slick50 on 07/02/10


ok well first off thank you all ! i totally understand "you get what you pay for" and before i even started buying machines and learned that the hard way i went to many shops, talked to artists got their ideas and thoughts about different machines. i ended up with a matching set of 3 walkers (liner shader and packer) from S&S custom irons. i love the performance of my machines and im not saying i can make them any better than the masters that came before me or engineer them better, but i, like im sure many others, take pride in my equipment, and would like to say that the machines im running were taken from raw stock and are 100% hand crafted by me. i know it wouldnt quite be all my design as i would be basing it off of some one elses geometry but the work involved in making it was all me. im a freak i know, instead of buying something id rather make it myself. it gives me a sence of accomplishment and when some one asks where i got my machines i can tell them that i built them. also as im still new to tattooing the balance and weight of my machines still throws me off once in a while. i know "practice makes perfect" but if i could look at a blue print and study the geometry and placement of all the components i think i could make a lighter more balanced machine and just all around more fitting to my style. thanks again, and ill continue my research from the advice you all gave.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Madmosher666 on 07/02/10


First of all i'd agree that you may be opening a can of worms at this early stage in your experience but also if you're a machinist and engineer you've got that innate sense of wanting to know precisely how things work and thus seeing if you can build one yourself. In some instances i've seen the old protective nature of machine building knowledge that still happens sometimes with tattooing so getting a machine blueprint may prove difficult. Start by building on other frames first then progress from there.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/02/10


slick50,

just do what you want... it's your metal.

and i disagreee with "you get what you pay for" i think alot of machines are way the fuck over priced.

a huge part of tattooing is (or atleast used to be) taking matters in to your own hands. most people are going to tell you not to attempt to make a machine frame because odds are they're not metal fabricators, but you are... so go for it.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/02/10


and definatly no flack for mentioning spaulding machines... people forget in the days before www.blahblahblah.com the spaulding catalog was the equivilent of the internet for alot of people.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Solomon on 07/02/10


Just so you dont waste your time asking, or get flamed in a builders forum if you can even get accepted in one. Dont go around asking people for frame geometry, You wont get an answer. And honestly you shouldnt. People spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars casting and filing and welding and burning and cutting themselves to get frame geometry that performs for them. They are not gonna just tell you cuz you asked them. It is one of the last closely gaurded secrets left. Like the others have said. buy a frame that is considered quality and start from there. There is one book that has rudementary frame geometry explanations in it. Like I said though, remember that what your askin for is what people build there livlyhoods on. People sell machines to feed there families, so y would they just post on a forum all there hard work for others to just copy.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Solomon on 07/02/10


And this goes out to all the people that are saying machines now adays are way overpriced. Im not sure who they are talking about, but Id like to see you build a machine that even come close to the look and performance of whats out there for 350 dollars. Go build some from scratch, then tell me that 350 dollars is way too much. In fact I bet if you built a couple machines that looked as good and performed as well as say a brand new pulse or next gen or workhorse or fallen king, with the same quality of components the same warranty and support etc. etc. etc. you wouldnt beable to make a living selling them for 300 hundred dollars a peice.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/03/10


@ solomon

"All" those people that said a lot of machines are over priced was just little ol' me... and i'll say it again... a lot of machines are overpriced.

and when did i say 350 was too much? dont make assumptions about what people are saying, its rude.

oh and another thing... fuck your precious little secrets. hows that? im sick and tired of seeing people with a friendly, genuine, and innocent curiosity about tattooing only to be met by some asshole who one way or another tells him to fuck off... secrets, cold shouldering and deterring someone from seeking knowledge about something has, does, and will always do nothing but thwart the growth and expansion of anything that needs new people to build upon it to stay alive... the mentality of thinking someone shouldn't have access to particular information about something just because they're an "outsider" will do nothing but make that very thing become stale, jaded, and burnt out whether it be tattoo related, baking a cake, or eating pussy.

and so here we are... on a message board basically telling a machinist looking to make machine frames to go pound sand... unbelievable.

how about instead of making him feel like he made a mistake asking an honest question we make him feel welcome, work with him, help him learn the right way instead of wasting metal... how about someone out there who always wanted to prototype a frame help this guy out, become friends, and make some nice machines... if anything just for the two of you to have?

is that so fucking horrible?


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/03/10


but, i will say for the record i generally enjoy your posts :D

with love,


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RE:frame construction

Posted by bbi on 07/03/10


I'm going to agree with Anthony and say this "To share your knowledge is to achieve immortality" Do we want every generation to relearn how to start a fire from rubbing sticks or should we tell them how to make matches? I will also add: REVERSE ENGINEERING. So, in this mentality, all the know it all builders best protect their assets by locking their products in a safe.

So what is the point of building such asset with this attitude?

I can spend 5 hours building a machine from the ground up, with 25 USD invested. Without fancy CNC machines. I'll say my time is worth $30/hr. Sounds like less than $500 or 350. By the way, CNC machines do not provide means for a better machine, just a FACTORY STYLE production of them, big deal for mass producers. A good machine is a good machine. Reliability, low vibration, strong efficient field producing no heat and ultimately, repeatability. It's a glorified door buzzer.

When choosing materials, be careful mixing metals, corrosion at electrical connections on a machine with low resistance (2-4 ohm typ.) can be drastically disrupted by any small change in corrosion caused resistance. Denser the material, the more "dampening" . Rust protection should be permenant. The coils form a "U" magnet, so fields are in series, and soft iron or silicon steel should prvide the pathway, including the yoke. The direction of the wire turning a circumference dictates the "poles." But the front coil and rear coil just need to be of difference. Capacitor is to equalize the voltage between the open contact and the power supply, reducing arcing and providing better response. Longer open contact times and high iron core coil hysteresis will require larger storage values of capacitor. etc etc.

More info available.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/03/10


bbi, spot on man. i agree.

i still stand behind the basics of what i said, but i take back any snarky and untactful comments i made above, i find most of solomon's posts pretty informative, and it's very obvious he has a clear understanding of what he's talking about.

i just believe not holding back information. i know the root concern is having certain knowledge fall into irresponsible hands, but i've noticed that 9 times out of 10, that info is almost too much for people like that to handle, and they give up right then and there.

this is all just my opinion of course, but it's an opinion based on observation.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by chris van r on 07/03/10


i'm all for sharing info...it can make everyone better eventually, but the problem with public message boards is you never really know who's on the other end asking the questions...i'm not going to point fingers, but i think we can all pick out a few posts that leave you scratching your head a bit.

in this case, i agree with solomon. are there no secrets left? do we really want no secrets left? i think some info you should have to earn or by studying at least. the answers to this question are all right there in front of you; you just have to look.

i recently[after going on 13 years in the industry] decided to have a go at designing my own frame. i did what i imagine most people did 'back in the day', and tried to replicate a frame off a couple of my favorite machines with a change here or there to suit what i wanted it to do. it worked out alright, but in the end it's trial and error.

so often the 'posters' on here say 'mentor this, mentor that'...where are you now???


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Solomon on 07/03/10


@Anthony

well If you took what I said as shutting the door in his face or telling him to suck my dick and fuckyou have a nice day. I could see what you are saying. But what I said is becareful about askin people for frame geometry, because when you go around askin machine builders for there specific frame geometry they will get mad, flame you, call you lazy, tell you to eat shit blah blah blah. I was trying to bring that to his awareness, then I tried to explain why that is. Now if someone wants to ask me how do you get this color, how do you get this affect, how do you make your stencils, I will tell them. But when it comes to frame design, I am with the old heads. Tattooing is an art, I love art and want to nurture it, and treat it like art. I want those around me to be better tattoo artists so I will share my knowledge on tattooing freely. To me making machines is a totally differant thing. It would be like askin a japanese sword maker over the internet exactly what ratio he mixes his metals, and what secret family tricks he uses to get finishes, etc. etc. etc., now if your answer to that is he should tell him then you and I will forever disagree on that subject. But in no way will I ever be rude to someone and totally shut the door in there face. I will always try to help if I can. If not for anything else but my own desire to feed my ego as someone who has information that can help someone else :)

Solomon


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RE:frame construction

Posted by anthony on 07/03/10


yeah, im with that... im not saying people need to know all the bells and whistles, if anything just because it would probably be useless info to them that early on. but i dont see the harm in putting someone on the right path... if they get put in the right direction and can see the road before them, great. if they can't, well, they'll probably quit, and most likely had no business attempting it to begin with.

but i appreciate your point of view, and i think there are too many variables for one of us to be right and one of to be wrong. so i'll leave this convo thinking we are both right.


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Solomon on 07/04/10


word


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RE:frame construction

Posted by Madmosher666 on 07/04/10


Some very interesting and thought provoking points made. I'd just like to point out that frame geometry is no big secret. Buy a Workhorse, FKI, Next Gen, Pulse etc and the frame geometry is there for everybody to see! Take some measurements and you've got their geometry. Does that mean you'll know why they chose to make them that way? All this secret talk makes me giggle. What fuckin secrets? Nikko, Mike Devries, Guy Aitchison have all done tutorial DVDs does that mean i'll be able to tattoo like them? No


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