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05/15/11 FK Machines [103]
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Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Caseya69 on 11/16/09


Hey Nick, what kind of Gal. II shader do you use, the soft shader or color packer, or do you have it specifically tuned for you? If I had to guess by your style of work it would be closer to the soft shader, I am about to buy one so I was just curious!!!



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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by me on 11/17/09


naw dude, i like that shit running hard and fast usually. gaston hooks it up nice.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Gaston - FKI on 11/17/09


It's actually the default setup I do to color packers.
Medium stroke @ 48-51 Duty Cycle with a medium stroke.
...But the secret on Nick's machine is that he likes to deep the whole machine in
a bucket full of metacide for about an hour. That gives it the extra boost. LMAO!


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by sarah on 11/17/09


hey nick how fast your galaxie run with the needle on?


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by me on 11/19/09


the answer to the above question is, fast enough to get ink in the skin the way that feels good to me. i honestly dont know, im not a numbers guy. healed results are the only standard i've cared about. for better or for worse, that's my approach.

for example: those people who live and die by their GPS systems in their cars. you know, the machines that announce the driving directions to you? those people gradually turn their brains off while driving more and more, as machines and 1's and 0's technology does more of their thinking for them, and i've noticed many times in my life when trying to give someone simple, logical spatial directions ("turn left after 3 blocks, head east" etc) they cant even complete them anymore. they get completely flustered, they need a mindless address to program into a GPS. there is no concept of 'getting your bearings' anymore, visually, in the here and now. im exaggerating a little, but i notice this amusingly in some of my friends.

my point being: strict reliance (or, arguably, any reliance at all!) on numbers and statistics and readouts and technical BS slowly, subtly, over time, reduces your overall awareness of the present moment, dulling your natural instinct and intuition. you train your brain, literally, to defer to a machine. my brain makes my machines do what i want them to do, not the other way around. and my eyes then judge the results, and a complex, holistic process naturally develops with many adaptable factors, making reliance on any single factor less important. if that makes sense.

gaston should rely on numbers when building his machines, its the smart thing to do in order to bring us a reliable product. but when using the machines, numbers take a seat waaay in the far back, behind vision, observation, skill, talent, experience thru trial and error, etc.

keep in mind im being a little bit extreme here in order to illustrate my point. obviously numbers and readouts and blahblah can serve a useful purpose in troubleshooting scenarios, if/when problems arise and other options have failed to solve them. or, if youre learning to become a machine builder yourself.

also keep in mind that i am not criticizing or condemning anyone or their particular methods. whatever works for any of you, do it. so please, no one get butt-hurt. im just getting on my own personal soapbox for a sec. cuz you know, fuck it. its fun sometimes--playing devil's advocate, communicating ideas, etc.

and yes i abuse my machines nightly with madacide because disease puts the fear of god into me


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by tk on 11/19/09


That last part brings up a question I was going to ask you FK. With the Aluminum machines what is the best way to keep them clean and yet minimize the damage from harsh products? Is there a certain product that would work better or is there a certain process to do? I wouldn't want to NOT spray it down in between tattoos just to keep it shiny, but at the same time I would like to keep them from getting ruined by cleaning them incorrectly.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Gaston @ FK Irons on 11/19/09


Nick said it on the dot. Some people are ill by those numbers. I use the meter to ship the machine with some solid accuracy and suit the myth (lol), but again the way I tune may not suit everyone, and people should spend more time trying to find out what works for them. Reason being is because I will tune a machine how I think it performs best in my hands. Unless the artist tells me how they want them.

To ask how fast a machine runs is like to say how fast your car is. The car is going to go as fast as you and the car are prepared for.
I have to agree with the GPS crap, I have no sense for orientation and some times my GPS sends me in the wrong direction. That's why I spend more time paying attention to memorizing roads. Steel I don't can't figure it out.

Machine speed relies on several factors:
a) Stroke being the first one. Long stroke = more aBar travel time from contact point to coil core. Shroter stroke, less travel time hence faster "travel" (speed)
b) capacitors. The higher the uf is the longer it will take to charge and discharge resulting into speed performance. But your speed will not vary much if you go from 33-47uf There is a lot of myths in the caps too.

c) group of needle in the machine. The more needle you push the more resistance and weight the abar needs to push therefore speed will slow down a bit when running bigger groups forcing you some times to increase power.
d) disposable or SS. machine on disposable are going to run slower because the plastic offers more friction than SS. Also some brands of disposable offer more frictions than other. There are some green thick disposable tubes from unimax that I found to be the closes thing to SS in terms of friction and performance.
e) Rubber bands: How many rubber bands and where the rubber band is placed will determine speed as well.
f) Grommet Vs. Paper. I use paper towel in the nipple instead of grommets because grommets offer an extra give and I like the needle stiffer therefore needle runs faster.
g) Springs and spring tension. A harder top spring will make the machine run also faster because there is less give when the abar backs of. Spring tension will also determine speed because the more compression you have on the rear spring the more power will be required to attract the bar affecting the speed of the machine.
h) ABar weight and size. The bigger the abar is the more power is also required to attract it, therefore lightbars or "speedbars" are known to be faster runners but that not necessarily means harder hitters. Ughhh so many variables!!!!

The list is long but these are the main things that I can remember at a glance that control/ or affect speed.

Therefore , when people say "I don't like this machine because is too slow or too fast" that is an understatement because the machine needs to be adjusted to suit personal needs. Almost any machine can be tuned to perform at least decent.
But again quality in hardware/ components always will determine how long the machine remains tuned and how good it will perform.

Going back to the numbers subject, they don't really matter if you don't know how they affect your tattooing. That's why feel and sound will always be the most accurate way to determine what works best for you. Some times numbers are on the dot and the machine sounds like crap or the abar doesn't hit right on the coil and in that case numbers don't do anything to tell you all those problems.

Now, when the artist gets familiar with numbers and what they mean but also knows how to feel and hear the machine, then you will be using the best from both worlds to tune your gear.

Machine tuning is a never ending learning curve, and that's what makes it fun to get into.

Machine Maintenance:
The best way to keep your machine clean is to bag it to begin with.
Bagging it will avoid any of the flying particle to get in direct contact with the frame and components.
the best thing to clean your AL13 machine is metacide/ Cidex or similar. Aluminum will tolerate more than steel because of the material and anodizing. Anodizing is a hard treatment that embeds in the material providing look and more resistance.

With steel machines you can use the same but you have to be careful enough to clean it out because it will eat your blacken and rust your components. Specially your springs. When springs are rusted they lose their property and memory.
A good thing to do to your steel machines and springs is to treat them with antirust spray or simply rub a tiny bit of ointment with paper towel around the machine and springs.

I always rub ointment on my springs after cleaning the machine.
Every month I even take my machines apart and sterilize the frame (aluminum ones) clean all the components and put them back up. It gives me the feeling of "brand new machine again" I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you know how to tune it.

If any of you have questions message me directly to my email. I'll be glad as usual to answer any questions. I will also have some tutorial vids on the site soon to answer all these FAQ. (restricted to customers though)


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Gaston @ FK Irons on 11/19/09


and excuse my typos if any A-D-D over here.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Gaston @ FK Irons on 11/19/09


Shit I just found some: I meant "Still, I can't figure it out"
Whateva'!


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by brian on 11/19/09


speed doesnt matter
my favorite liner run at 80hz the technique makes the diference.
if you like to pack color a slow machine is better for this,if you like make gradations a faster one is better.
buy a rotary like the hawk and try it.is a very fast machine run at 150 hz at 14 volts.good for gradations but not for packing color


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by zombie92272 on 11/19/09


Thanx for sharing info guys !!!......


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Grey Pvc on 11/22/09


i have been running a pyro 2 aluminum liner, and just got a galaxie 2 color packer. im proud to say i decided these seemed to be the best made machines for the money, before i even knew nick endorsed them. (although im pissed at gaston for not telling me they were about to drop lime green with blue bolts 2 days after i settled for an 09 toxic blue frame) im a bmx/skater from the 80's i love bright colors. im not really mad, but if you send me some colored bolts ill be your homie.

i will say the fk's are great, but as a beginner (1 year apprentice/1 year working full time) i feel like the FK is better than me, like i will grow into it and when i do, it will be the best machine to grow into. it seems like geometric perfection went into the machine. i own a set of S&S irons which are GREAT. (see ebay) and inexpensive. they have a hand made feel and there are certain mysteries about hand made machines that may run/work perfect but thier appearance is so visually crude compared to an FK that i find myself tuning while tattooing. how else do i know if the machine is working right. the FK's contact screw is Exactly flush with the front spring. there is no question about it. the spacing is set perfect when it comes. and its not hard to remember if you change it and want to put it back. but i dont fuck with my FK's.

i fuck with all my hand mades cause if i didn't. id be sitting there while my client leaves wondering why my machine worked perfectly yesterday, and wont start today!? and for keeping machines clean. BAGS homie. they are cheap. i once had a dumbass tell me he didnt use bags cause the noise. as if you cant get your shit tuned to the ear then bag it. i think i got 500 machine bags for 5bucks. i havent uses harsh abrasives on any of my machines (except my paco rollins which were my cherry poppers, and when i changed the springed i could really tell cause i couldn't wipe the madecide out from under them, they got a little rusted in the crevice. but for good inexpensive machines, S&S on ebay is all american hand made good stuff. powercoats, great looking, GREAT coils, for $149.00 they are well worth it. after that the fk's aesthetics and pristine geometry sold me. but if you are just starting up i wouldnt go for them as they are a set a really great machines that im still not sure im using to thier capacity. like voltage, force, etc. if i dont put two icon rubberbands and double up one of them on my galaxie color packer my mag jumps forward then back but one band twisted stretched loose and doubled up holds it perfect. sorry so long.

if doubling one band is wrong then let me know gaston, i am the guy who bought the #50 pyro at hell city pheonix and ordered the toxic blue galaxie two weeks ago. how bout some crazy colored bolts homie.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Grey Pvc on 11/22/09


i meant to say the s&s are great starters, and that i dont know if im using the FKS to thier capacity. they are better than i am. i dont know how to read them. etc.

i realuzed it looked like i didnt know i was able to properly run S&S's. i use fk's daily, but have my s and on hand at all times......


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Caseya69 on 11/22/09


Hey that's cool, I like my machines hitting fast for my hand motions, soft for B&G and harder for color, I also was a numbers guy then one day it all started to give me a headache trying to get all my machines to run the same, I had an epiphany, simplify things and focus more on my technique, now the headaches not as bad, lol, thanx for the info, and I'll being doing business with ya soon Gaston!

Oh yeah Nick, I know you use both Galaxie machines, in your opinion which machine do you like better the orig. Galaxie or G2???


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Caseya69 on 11/22/09


Hey that's cool, I like my machines hitting fast for my hand motions, soft for B&G and harder for color, I also was a numbers guy then one day it all started to give me a headache trying to get all my machines to run the same, I had an epiphany, simplify things and focus more on my technique, now the headaches not as bad, lol, thanx for the info, and I'll being doing business with ya soon Gaston!

Oh yeah Nick, I know you use both Galaxie machines, in your opinion which machine do you like better the orig. Galaxie or G2???


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by max prime Ink Tattoo on 11/23/09


I own several true hand made machine. But my FK Irons are the first machines that don't force me to stop my tattooing to fix shit around. This machines have been running consistently and solid since the first I got them. I haven't made the switch to the aluminum ones but I hear a lot of good shit about them. I can just talk about the steel ones and they are just the best machines I ever purchase and the ones I tried from FK.
Some people can call it a bit pricey but I just say that you get what you paid for with this machines.
Gaston has gone far with his support by pointing me to the right product to suit me.

Do your research when you buy and don't go with the hype. I can just talk about my experience with FKs but when it comes to machines go with the guys that know the most. I steel love my Cains and Pulse but they are all now collecting some dust.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by clever thoughts from IP: 24.45.237.97 on 06/19/11
, ny United States - website


hahaa that was a long comment nick.You could have just looked at the meter to give a exact speed of your machine or just said you dont worry about machines and tuning, you let the builder do that then you get it and feel for the hit and tattoo. The builders or artists who tune themselves worry about numbers and fine tuning. If numbers/fine tuning didnt matter and only feel you could run a $5 china machine, just feel the bar and go but that dont work cause the builder tunes the speed,cycle,throw ect thats why the machine performs at its best. Basically you should have said you dont tune or know to much about how your machines run and you let the builders do that. The "gps" thing, A meter shows performance and helps fine tune a machine, you cant feel the bar an listen then tattoo or you would just buy any cheap un tuned machine, but you dont you buy from a builder who fine tunes your machine with numbers THEN you feel the bar and go. Try just caring about feeling a bar and sound on a $5 un tuned machine and see if it works. One who tattoos and knows about machines and fine tuning is a complete artist in my book. Point is nick tattoos, he dont tune or have much knowledge of machines and speed ect he lets the builder do that then he runs it thats it. Speed can be answered to exact by checker a meter. If a machine has 120cps you can tune another to run 120cps ,same speed.


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RE:Galaxie II question for Nick???

Posted by Stephen Griffin from IP: 71.109.154.148 on 06/20/11
Ventura, California United States - website


Why are you telling Nick what he should've said on his own website almost 2 years ago? Is there a "clever thoughts" forum on your website we can log into and pick apart everything you say?


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