Getting Started, Setting Up, and Getting Ready to Tattoo
Know Your Tattoo Machine
Guys and gals, I am not going to beat around the bush when it comes to your tattoo machine. If the tattoo machine is not set correctly, or the points are not maintained for a good connection, then you are going to have a hell of a stressful time if you don't know how to manage the basic mechanics of your machine. So with this lesson, I am showing some pics of a tattoo liner I use, along with how to set it up correctly. Also and I will repeat this later. If you have any questions about setting up your liner after this lesson, please leave a comment. I will gladly respond to any questions you might have.
Let's Get Started
So first things first, when setting your tattoo machine up there are a few things to know. Tattoo machines used to line, the point on your contact screw and front spring should be a dimes width, no matter what. Most people can eyeball close but if you literally have to put a dime in there to get it perfect then do it, your line work can make or break a tattoo, so make sure that width is set correctly!!!
Second phase is opening your tube, disposable or one autoclaved it should be packaged so opening it a for sure thing, if this is a step you missed, opening a needle or a tube, then question if you want to take a chance with dirty equipment.
Third Phase, open that pakaged pre-sterilized needle, check it by eye for any burs or bent needles in the grouping, if you observe any then discard it open one that is good. Burs or bent needles will cause the tattoo process to bleed more and the ink will not insert itself into the skin correctly potentially causing scar tissue
So now that you have the needle in the tube you are ready to insert the tube into the machines tube slot. Make sure to slide it up far enough that you can semi tighten the wingnut that attaches the tattoo tube and machine together. Now you want to turn that eye loop of the needle to the left, and then insert the armature bar nipple, this insures that you put the needle on the armature bar correctly, if you don't you will notice that no ink is really going into the skin when you are tattooing and you will also see a lot more blood as the skin is being traumatized. Pay attention to this detail.
Next press down on the armature bar to guide the tip of the needle out of the end of the tube. This helps you determine how far out you need to let your needles hang so you can get the right depth set on your needle that will penetrate the skin. As a rule of thumb, let the tip of your needle hang down on its own about 1/16 of an inch the stroke of your machine should do the rest. If you're not sure don't tattoo right then, tattoo on a gourd or melon. Your needle should never go more than 1/8 of an inch deep into an average person's dermal layer. The melon will give you a better visual of what you need to do for your settings.
Time for Power
Ok so you have pre-tuned your tattoo machine by setting the contact point screw and front spring to a dimes width. You have your armature bar nipple in place making sure the eyeloop to the needle is facing your left hand. Next thing is slipping two proper sized rubber bands around your tattoo machine and the needle. Make sure the rubber bands are placed evenly apart this will distribute equal pressure to the needle which will stabilize any wobble the needle has inside the tube creating a clean solid line when tattooing.
Next it is time to attach your clipcord and get ready for the next lesson. Down below are few other photos showing what your machine will look like when set up.
I will talk about power supply settings and touch base with persons that might have questions.
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Link to Lesson Three
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Jason Goodrow