Preparing de client for the tattoo sterilization

With a sterile straight razor (or disposable), remove all hair from the tattoo site including 1 and 1/2 inch beyond all borders. Wipe with sterile napkin (prepackaged, 50 or 100 each and autoclaved). Fold 2 more 4×4’s and repeat the green soap scrub, working from the center of the circle towards the outside, not going back to the center.

Dry the area again with a napkin, from the center in a circular fashion working outward. Fold 2 4×4’s and scrub again with 70% alcohol in the same circular fashion and dry once again in the same manner. Fold 2 4×4’s and apply a light coat of betadine solution to the area, again in the same circular motion. Unfold the remaining two 4×4’s so they are 4×8’s and cover the cleansed area until you are ready to set your stencil.
The above prep procedure is hospital recommended for suturing. It should be alright for tattooing. Believe me when I say your client will be impressed.
CAUTION. Ask the client if he/she has a history of allergic reaction to the use of iodine or iodine related products prior to the use of betadine.
During the tattoo, I throw the bloody napkins or paper towels into a waxed brown paper bag. When I am done, my apron, gloves, ink cups, and lap sheet go in there too. It is then stapled shut and autoclaved for disposal as common trash. If you use plastvc trash, can Iiners, they must be changed between clients and  placed seated mto a second bag that again is sealed and labeled as contaminated with human blood.

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Tattoo locations. Best and Worst locations

Depending on where the tattoo is located, (some on the left side, some on the right) and what the tattoo looks like, you may need two stencils of the same design. On acetate, just engrave both sides, having both a left and right image. Before randomly applying a stencil, give it a couple of turns and try different directions to see which way the design would look its best. Try to be a little artistic and spend a little time shuffling the stencil around.
Skin has wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, lumps, cysts and all kinds of surprises in store for you. Stay away from all the problem areas and work around them if you can. Don’t tattoo moles. Avoid working on heavy scar tissue because it doesn’t heal well. The same for pimples and hickeys. Try to incorporate these blemishes into the design whenever possible. You can actually get quite creative here if you wish. For example, in a butterfly or leopard, a mole can sometimes be hidden as one of the spots.

Parts such as fingers, hands, faces, heads, necks and feet are poor places for a tattoo. Besides being culturally unacceptable, these places are most prone to infection anyway and should be avoided. Even if a customer begs you, make up your ethics beforehand and don’t get talked into doing these things.

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Some basic fundamentals on holding tattoo machines

Now, let’s deviate for a minute and review a few basic fundamentals. When holding a tattoo machine already set-up, turn it so it is facing you. Not in profile, but in a front view with coils on the right and the frame arm on the left. You will notice several things pertinent to needle making. First, that the open end of the needle bar (the loop that fits on the tape on the armature bar), this loop, the open end, always points to the left. This is a standard and never changes.
Now, look down at the opening in an open sanitary tube. Observe that the actual bar is towards you and the needle group behind it. In other words, the needle group is in back and the needle bar is in front. This is also a standard position and never changes. Get this down pat in your head. This position makes for a smooth motion and smooth tattooing. No matter what kind of needle bar is being made, this set-up never changes. Remember that. (Check Tube Drawing in Chapter 6.)
Back to the needle making. You have a nice tight three needle group and are ready to solder it to the bar. If you recall the last chapter, always use a round needle bar for liners. This is now what is needed, a round stainless steel liner bar. With the three needle head now on the needle bar jig, insert the needle group in the small hole in the jig head. The top needle in the triangle should be the uppermost or on the top of the rest, and the group points should be just touching the back of the jig trough located in the head. Place in a round liner bar. On the pin, located in the rear of the jig, fits the liner bar loop. The open end of the loop must always face to the right. The bar rides under the needle group, or the needle group rides on top of the bar. Clamp down the swivel bar and secure snugly with the wing nut. Solder on the needle group to the liner bar. Carefully pull out and you have a three needle liner bar. Check the points for perfection. Store carefully for sterilization and use.

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Needle groups on tattoo machines

Needle making in itself is an exact science. This is the process of actually sol-dering the needle groups together as a unit and then soldering this unit to the needle bar. As a tattooist, you will no doubt be doing this yourself in the future. The entire process is explained in detail in the next chapter. For now though, do not attempt it because you already have enough to do. The beginning tattooist should purchase needle bars (with the needles already on them) from a reputable dealer in tattooing equipment. There are several reasons for this. First, you will get to know what good ones look like. Needle bars from a supplier are just about always perfect and made by an experienced professional. Study them and get to know all the aspects of the various kinds. Second, it gives you a chance to start building up a collection of needle bars. When the needles are no longer useable, the needle bars still are, and can be used over and over again. With care, they can last for many years.
A tattoo needle’s lifespan is very short. If you get three médium tattoos out of one, you are stretching it. Needles cannot be sharpened and when they are used up, solder them off and save the bars. Many professionals use one needle for one tattoo. If it is a big tattoo, it may take two to three needles. This ensures sharp needles all the time. Don’t keep using the same needles. Use them once and get rid of them. Be liberal and you will be better off.
Needle groups used for outlining come in four common sizes. Needle groups are the number of needles on the end of the liner bar. They are one needle groups, three needle groups, four and then five needle groups.

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Guideline to get started for tatttooing

This list is not totally complete, but it is a good guideline to get you started. Few people can purchase it all at once and must slowly put it together. Don’t be fright-ened by the long list, all the equipment is quite small and portable. Compared to other businesses, this list is pretty simple and not as expensive as some practices can be. Buying in order of importance and practicality first seems to be a smart direction to follow.
Tattooists must have an organized área around them for any kind of efficient work. The universal approach is a work table in front of the worker for proper and easy location of Ítems. You may make the table, but the best and most professional one you can afford would be a wiser choice. It’s important to make sure it is fíat, sits sturdy, and is easy to clean and keep clean. It should also be large enough to hold everything you will need. It is advisable to have a knee cutout in the front of the table (rather then solid) so the customer on some occasions can get right up cióse to the table to keep your reaching to a minimum. A standard table is about 20 inches wide, 48 inches long and a comfortable height off the ground. The top can be fórmica, finished hardwood or preferably stainless steel or glass. A small sink with hot and cold faueets should be mounted in the top off to the side. Sit in a chair beside the sink, facing the farther end of the table so the sink will be on your right side. If you are left handed, everything will be the opposite.
Everything should be within easy reach. The things used most often should be located the closest to you, and the Ítems used less often are located further away. The items used the most are things like caps full of ink, the carbolated vaseline and the spray bottle of green soap. Also, the lamp and paper towels should be within easy reach. Slightly further back, but stül within easy reach, is the spray bottle of alcohol, extra ink caps, three washes to clean the ink out of tubes when colors are changed, going from the first distilled water to the second distilled water to the alcohol last. A little further back are bandage supplies, extra needle bars, tubes and inks, with machine rack just barely within reach to hold spare tattoo machines or another machine with a different set-up. One for outlines and one for shading and coloring.

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