The good running of the tattoo machine

Listen very carefully to the buzz of your machine. You might have to turn the contact screw in or out just a little until you get that right sound. It should sound real smooth. Listen carefully to the sound of the machine as you turn the contact screw and you will be able to “hear” the ideal setting if you pay attention. It won’t be choppy and clatter, yet it will have plenty of power and have a long enough stroke to allow the needle bar to travel between 1/16 and 3/32 inch up and down.

Once you get used to the “purr” that it makes when it is running good, you will be able to keep your points set at optimum efficiency quickly and easily just by hearing it. When it begins to “purr,” take your foot off the pedal and tighten the set screw to lock the contact screw in that position. Then push the foot pedal again to be sure that it is still tuned “right” and doesn’t need any further adjustment.

After you attach the tube and needle bar, you may have to readjust the point gap slightly to compensate for the extra weight. If so, loosen the set screw and push down on the pedal as you screw the contact screw down a tiny bit more, listening to the sound of the machine until it is running smoothly and strongly. Just remember that the smoother your machine runs, the better it will tattoo for you.

Filed under: Setting Machines

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