Tips On Assembling Tattoo Machines

If the tube is tight in the frame jaws, the slot gap will have to be widened. This can be done by dismantling the machine and clamping the frame in a vice and sawing through the gap with two fine tooth hack saw blades. Screw the coils to the frame base and use a straight edge to see whether the centers of the coil cores are in a direct line with the center of the tube hole and the center of the spring hanger. If one or both are slightly off center, loosen screw and insert a thin piece of copper shim on the low side under core. Tighten screw and see how it looks; you may have to shift shim several times to get it right.

When the machine is running, the armature bar strikes the front core of the first coil, but must not be allowed to touch the rear core. If it does, file a bit off the rear core surface.
Whenever filing, first mark the surface with Prussian blue (available at art supply shops) so you will see just what you have done and where you are going. Afterwards, remove filings with a Q-tip dipped in glycerine. On some frames, it’s necessary to remove coil to file.
Also, on most machines, you can move the spring-hanger slightly from side-to-side or back-and-forth a bit. Clamp the frame base in a vice and grasp spring-hanger with vice-grips and bend gently. Armature bar can be lowered slightly by filing surface of spring hanger, which you will have to do after you bend it in order to level the surface.
If points don’t meet to make a perfect contact, you can move side-arm in or out and on most machines fore or aft a bit – be sure the base is tightly gripped in vice when doing this. The significance of this is that shading machines perform better with longer fore and aft springs – even 1/8 of an inch can make a remarkable difference.

Filed under: Setting Machines

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