Tips on Bending Rear and Front Springs for Tattoo Machines
Differences between Front and Rear Springs
Springs are a challenging subject in general. There are the basic's of your tattoo machine you need to know as a tattooist and if you don't and suddenly you have machine problems your tattoo project is going to be a nightmare especially if you have a spring break on you in the middle of a tattoo. This lesson offers some helpful tips on bending your rear and front springs. So with that said let us begin.
Most tattoo machines use allen head screws so make sure you have the correct type of allen keys to break loose the whole spring assembly. You will need to remove the armature bar and the o-ring to completely disassemble your spring set. For those of you brave enough to make your own springs be sure to cut your springs as close as possible to the ones you removed. It does not have to be the most pefect cut but closer the better. *NOTE Be sure to cut your springs using good tin snips or metal cutters DO NOT use a grinder or belt sander to get your final shapes use a fine grooved file or emery cloth to fine tune the shape of your springs (heat will weaken your springs!!!).
Springs Are Disassembled!
Ok So now that you got your springs tore apart and your ready to slap your new ones on. Don't worry, seriously it is not really that difficult. You have your new spring stock that is A. already pre-cut by a company you researched that provides quality product... OR B. you are going to use stock that you cut, either way, how we are going to bend these springs is not going to change a lick.
Putting Your Unbent Springs On
So most of you should have taken your tattoo machine apart a few times by now and that means putting the new springs on is no big deal. It will seem a little strange at first just because there is absolutely no bend in your front and rear springs, and they just lye flat, attached to the armature bar. Take a look at the picture I provided, you don't need to tighten everything down onto the armature bar, just tighten the springs enough so they don't slide around, a little loose is ok (In this photo you notice me holding a rear spring in my hand as well.)
Attach Spring Assembly Back To Machine Frame
Ok simply attach your spring assembly back onto the machine frame you will want to tighten it down pretty good because you will be using the old rear spring you removed to bend the new front spring we just put on!
Not Perfect Science
So a lot of you are going to ask... how do you know when the bend in your spring is right? Well here is the deal, be observant of your equipment, how much bend was on the last set of springs you had? Because the bend in your springs really does give your tattoo machine its punch to get the job done, but don't sweat it, I still to this day have not bent my springs perfect on the first try ever, and there is a little bit of room for error. Don't get me wrong, don't bend your springs back and forth multiple times because that will obviously weaken your springs and even break them, but you can adjust them just be patient and take your time.
Now Time To Adjust The Rear Spring
Now that you have bent your front spring to where you are comfortable with it, loosen the spring assembly a touch and swing it out sideways on your tattoo machine frame (You will see what I mean in the photo I provided). Simply place your forefinger under the armature bar and give it a little bit of pressure upwards, the slight curve you put in the rear spring controls the depth or the fall your armature bar takes to hit the tops of your coils of your tattoo machine.
Reverse The Process
So like I said before... this is not rocket science... if you over bent your rear spring, all you have to do is reverse the process. Instead of putting upward pressure on your armature bar, you will simply apply downward pressure until to achieve the bend you want. REMEMBER* The thickness of your springs matter, so again pay attention to what spring stock you have become comfortable working with so you can further your learning experience.
End Of Lesson
I hope this information helped you figure a few things out, and yes there is a lot of information when it comes to springs. If you have questions I will do what I can to respond in an expedient manner if the question makes sense. Thanks again and please vote up!