Machine Tuning

Machine tuning is hands down the most important thing you will need to know about machines themselves. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "I don't need to know how to tune a machine. I just use it out of the box and its fine." This kills me. If you are going to operate any kind of tool you need to know how to do so properly. The theory behind tuning your machine is to get the machine running as smooth as possible. The less vibration the easier operation will be. If you want a smooth straight line then the machine has to be in tune. When tuning a machine, many factors come into play. Your grommet on the armature nipple needs to be in good shape and your o ring on the front spring also needs to be in good condition. Another thing not everyone looks at is the quality of the contact screw. If it's dirty or has carbon build-up it will not get a nice smooth connection. Contact screws can be made from brass, steel, copper, and silver. Copper is fair, stainless and brass will work, but in my personal opinion silver is the better choice. Brass and steel are a very hard metal and they also spark a little. Over time they will burn a hole all the way through the tip of a front spring. If the machine is out of tune it will burn a hole much faster. Silver is a softer metal so front springs will last a very long time. Silver is also less incline to spark so you have less problems with plastic machine covers. The only thing I don't like about silver and brass is that they tarnish. Because silver is a very soft metal you have to be careful not to tighten you're set screw to hard, it can eat the threads right off of the contact screw.

You also want to take a look at the hole in the frame that your front binding post screws into. Almost all machines have a longer hole than needed. The reason for this is more adjustment. With the machine sitting on its yoke, if you barely loosen the screw you can move the entire front binding post assembly up or down to adjust for lining or shading. Moving the front binding post upward is better for color and shading, down is better for lining, and the center is universal. I just run the binding post in the center. Either way you set this option, the tip of your contact screw should be dead center in line with the hole for your tube vice. The best way to check the alignment is to hold the machine like a pistol that you're about to fire. Hold the machine so that you can see the contact screw tip closer to you. While holding the machine at this angle, move your head a little to one side to see if the machine is level. If not pivot the "contact screw" up or down till it is level. You can check to see if the armature bar is also in the center position by doing the same thing only looking in the tube hole with the armature bar away from you. The more in line the armature bar and the tip of the contact screw are to the center of the machine then the less resistance you have while the needle bar is in motion. This will make for a steadier stroke.

I have already talked a little about the stroke but what exactly is it? The stroke of your machine is the distance traveled by your armature bar while in motion. The duty cycle of the machine is the length of time that the front spring stays in contact with the contact screw. The duty cycle is measured in percentages. If your duty cycle is 50% then the time the front spring touches the contact screw and time it does not touch the contact screw while open is the same. If the duty cycle of the machine is 40% then the front spring is in contact with the contact screw 40% of the time and away from the contact screw 60% of the time. Studies have shown that optimum duty cycle is around 55%. This can be measured by using an electronic multimeter that has a duty cycle setting on it. You attach one lead to the clip cord post in the spring saddle and the other lead to the contact screw. Some newer power supplies come equipped with a duty cycle reader. The stroke strength is hand measured by taking your thumb while the machine is off and pressing on the armature bar nipple. You want to push the armature bar all the way to the coils. If you apply pressure to the front spring then it will bend and you will not get an accurate measurement. The old way of machine tuning is a little less technical. If you've been around tattooing you may have hear of the old nickel and dime trick. A nickel is about two millimeters thick and a dime is about one and a half millimeters thick. The nickel and dime trick means that if you can just fit a nickel in that space then you're good for lining, and a dime if good for shading. This is not always the case.

Setup Machine Tattoo With Nickel

I believe this image is from the A to Z guide to Tattooing from Spaulding. I found it online at HTTP:// www.Forum.Ink-Trails.com (You Guys are Awesome)

Thickness should be checked when spring is depressed

CONTACT POINT

I believe this image is from the A to Z guide to Tattooing from Spaulding. I found it online at HTTP:// www.Forum.Ink-Trails.com (You Guys are Awesome)

The idea is that if your lining, then you need to be a little deeper so you're black is darker, while shading your working the skin a little more so you don't want as much depth to avoid scarring. Definitely sounds like a good idea, but all this does it set the stroke a little different and it does not smooth out the action of the machine. Like a few close held ideas about tattooing, this was cool for the sixties but not by today's standards. Most tattoo artist use two machines in the course of one tattoo. You set one machine up for shading and one for lining. Doing this means you don't have to switch needles and tubes. You just use one for each. Since this is a guide for beginners, most apprentices can only afford one machine at first (speaking as a veteran artist I find it's easier to do this anyway) you can also set one machine up universally to do both. I set a few machines up to do different things and different styles but any artist can tell you they have one machine that they like more than any other.

To set a machine up for lining you want to adjust the front binding post all the way down, as far from the top of the frame arm as possible. Make sure to pivot the contact screw tip to the dead center of the tube vice; unless you choose to use a cutback. For a liner, if the machine is sitting on the yoke and you are looking at the frame side, the contact screw will be at about six o'clock, where a shader will be about four o'clock. Some machines are made specifically to accommodate these angles, and some are universal. If your front spring isn't touching the contact screw just right then loosen it and move it up till it fully touches the screw tip. To properly tune your machine you

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Responses

  • roger verrett
    What percent duty for tattoo shading machine?
    6 years ago
  • Ruby
    What does a dime or nickel got to do with tuning tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • TINA
    Where should the binding post and contact screw sit on a tat machine?
    4 years ago
  • rita
    How to tune up tattoo machine nickel and dime trick?
    4 years ago
  • tewolde
    How thick does the tattoo machine need to be calibrated for shading, is it a dime or a nickel?
    3 years ago
  • aurelia mancini
    How to tune a spaulding shader?
    3 years ago
  • olga
    What is the difference between a shading and lining tattoo gun?
    2 years ago
  • tesfalem
    How to tune set china tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • silke
    Which nickel and dime should i use to measure my tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • Damiano
    What level do machine need to be on when shading a tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • alessandra
    How to tune my time machine liner?
    2 years ago
  • ISIDORO
    How do you know if your tattoo machine is fined tuned?
    2 years ago
  • Paciano
    Do you get smoother tattoo lines with metal tips?
    2 years ago
  • Ruaraidh Black
    How to properly tune a tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • nile
    How do you know when tattoo machine is fine tuned?
    2 years ago
  • essi
    How to setup tattoo with dime?
    2 years ago
  • caradas
    How to hook up the binding post on a shader tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • alaric grubb
    How to setting machine for shading?
    2 years ago
  • Aloisia
    How to tune your tattoo machines?
    2 years ago
  • steve finley
    How o tune a tatto machine?
    2 years ago
  • magnus
    How do you know if your tattoo machine is tuned properly?
    2 years ago
  • emmie schlueter
    How do a properly done tattoo lining?
    2 years ago
  • bruto angelo
    What angle is an armature set on a shader?
    2 years ago
  • celedor
    What right way to tune up a tattoo gun and give a tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • Dominik
    How to check if my liner is tuned correctly?
    2 years ago
  • Hessu
    How to set up a tattoo machine like a high quality machine?
    2 years ago
  • heli
    How much spring u will see when your tattoo machine is running good?
    2 years ago
  • j kortig
    What should the duty cycle be for a tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • luukas
    Which needle is more heavy duty on a tattoo gun, the shader or liner?
    2 years ago
  • PAUL
    How to change the duty cycle of a tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • Severi Inberg
    How to calibrate a tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • Antonina
    What gauge of springs come on a chinese tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • habte
    How to tune a coil tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • william
    What would mess up your tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • mimosa
    How to tune tattoo machine correctly?
    2 years ago
  • stephan
    How to set your tatttoo machine for lining?
    2 years ago
  • Ursula
    How to adjust tattoo coıl machıne?
    2 years ago
  • Ren
    How to measure tattoo machine duty cycle?
    2 years ago
  • thorsten
    How to know machine tattoo tuning not tuned?
    2 years ago
  • Christian
    Is it a dime worth when lining a tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • yonas
    What duty means in tattooing?
    1 year ago
  • tesfalem
    How should a liner tattoo machine be properly adjusted?
    1 year ago
  • fethawi
    How to best tune a tattoo for a perfect lining shading?
    1 year ago
  • cosma
    Can a tattoo coil machine burn?
    1 year ago
  • wanda moore
    What is the best lining and shading tattoo needles?
    1 year ago
  • kenneth
    How to tune tattoo machiene?
    1 year ago
  • afwerki
    How to tune a coil tattoo machine for lining?
    1 year ago
  • MARIE LEHMANN
    How to guide for tattoo gun set up?
    1 year ago
  • Thurman
    Where to set armature screw on tattoo gun for lining?
    1 year ago
  • carola rantanen
    How to set up tattoogun?
    1 year ago
  • omar
    Is the outline in tattooing a nickel deep?
    1 year ago
  • katri
    How to tune a linner machine?
    1 year ago
  • matta bunce
    How to better tune a tattoo gun with illustrations?
    1 year ago
  • ADELIA
    How to tune a tatoo gun?
    1 year ago
  • linda
    Can 37 duty on a liner tattoo machine work?
    1 year ago
  • adiam
    How to tune perfect all tattoo machine?
    1 year ago
  • TESFALEM
    What should the duty cycle be on a tattoo liner?
    1 year ago
  • Jussi
    How to tune liner machine for tattoos?
    1 year ago
  • Maddison
    How to bring the duty cycle on a tattoo machine?
    1 year ago
  • hilda
    How to setup tattoo guns?
    1 year ago
  • Nebyat Samuel
    How do you tune a tattoo gun to run perfectly?
    1 year ago
  • jennifer
    How can adjust coil tattoo machine for lining and shading?
    1 year ago
  • Jana
    Do youuse a nickle or dime for tattoo gun?
    1 year ago
  • V LIIKANEN
    How set up spring tattoo for shadet?
    1 year ago
  • Rose
    How to set up a tattoo mechine?
    1 year ago
  • aki enckelman
    What is dimes thick for tattoo?
    1 year ago
  • Prudenzia
    What level Needles setup in the tip image machine?
    1 year ago
  • Sini
    How to tune a tattoo machine for beginners?
    1 year ago
  • stefan bach
    How to set atatoo machine corectly?
    1 year ago
  • maria
    How to tuneup a coil tattoo gun for liner?
    1 year ago
  • Fredrick
    How to get the best setting for moog linner tattoo machine?
    12 months ago
  • Luisella
    Why do most tattoo artist use coil machines?
    12 months ago
  • robert
    What is the dime for in tattooing?
    12 months ago
  • aaron
    How to setup a liber yattoo machine?
    11 months ago
  • bisrat awate
    How to set you action on an armature bar?
    11 months ago
  • mike
    How to setup tattoo gun for beginners?
    11 months ago
  • marie
    How to increase duty cycle on tattoo machine?
    11 months ago
  • mebrahtu
    Why adjist stroke on tattoo machibe?
    11 months ago
  • fiyori neftalem
    How to set up a needle in a two coiled tattoo machine?
    10 months ago
  • roma
    How far back does a contact screw sit on tattoo machine?
    10 months ago
  • pamphila
    How to know if tattoo machine is tune correct?
    10 months ago
  • Tiblets Abraham
    Where to put the contact screw for lining and shading?
    10 months ago
  • MONIKA BAER
    What kind of coils do you need to push a 9 liner needle?
    10 months ago
  • mark
    Why is it important to angle your tattoo machine?
    10 months ago
  • Quintilia
    How to tune a liner coil machine?
    9 months ago
  • CHRISTINA
    What is thr nickle dime techniwyr fir tattooing?
    9 months ago
  • amanda
    Which way does the tattoo needle sit on the armeture bar of a coil machine?
    9 months ago
  • vincent
    What other way can you set a coil tattoo machine besides the dime and nickel way?
    9 months ago
  • Fethawi
    What should your duty be running at on your tattoo machine?
    9 months ago
  • mentha
    How to adjust liner tattoo machine?
    9 months ago
  • lucas
    Are coil machines tuned?
    9 months ago
  • scott
    How to change tattoo machine from liner to shader?
    8 months ago
  • hallie
    How a tattoo machine should sound when in operation?
    8 months ago
  • sofia
    How to setup tattoo gun for colouring?
    8 months ago
  • Elen
    How to use dual coil tattoo machine?
    8 months ago
  • tecla
    How to adjust the duty of a tattoo machine?
    8 months ago
  • Ahmad Muir
    How to properly tune a tattoo macxhone?
    8 months ago
  • FABIANA
    How long untill replace the tattoo contact screws?
    8 months ago
  • Elide
    How to make a coil tattoo machine run faster?
    8 months ago
  • annett
    How to tune your contact screw tattoo machine?
    7 months ago
  • birgit
    What level must u set ur power supply. for tatoos?
    7 months ago
  • Alan
    How to tuning a coil tatto machine for liner?
    7 months ago
  • William
    How to recognise the liner machine amd shader machine in tattoo guns?
    7 months ago
  • polo proudfoot
    How to setting machine tattoo for liner and colour?
    7 months ago
  • Romolo
    How to set cool tatoo gun?
    7 months ago
  • cruz hunter
    How to adjust needle stroke on tattoo machine?
    7 months ago
  • timothy
    How to tune perfectly a tattoo machine?
    7 months ago
  • MATILDA
    How to tune coil tattoo machine to liner and shader with images?
    7 months ago
  • brandon taylor
    Can you make a china tattoo machine better?
    6 months ago
  • Francesca
    When tattooing what depth is a nickel used to measure?
    6 months ago
  • fastolph
    How to set up perfect shading tattoo machines?
    6 months ago
  • huriyyah
    What are the easiest tattoo guns to set up?
    6 months ago
  • Dana Johnstone
    How do u know that my tattoo machine is perfectly tuned how should the buzz sound?
    6 months ago
  • fernando
    How the tuner arm should look on a liner tattoo gun?
    6 months ago
  • Roosa Pasanen
    How to fine tune a tattoo machine?
    6 months ago
  • alison
    Is the spring on a tattoo liner tighter than shader?
    6 months ago
  • esa
    How to adjust armature bar tattoo using nickel and dime?
    6 months ago
  • gruffo gardner
    How to connect your liner to a tattoo machine?
    5 months ago
  • Retu
    How to use an electric multimeter on a tattoo mashine?
    5 months ago
  • Belinda
    How you measure tattoo dime and nikle?
    5 months ago
  • Yohannes Tewolde
    How to set up liner tattoo machine contact screw?
    4 months ago
  • Miranda
    How to setup coil tattoo machine strocks?
    3 months ago
  • cooper
    How to tune the tattoo needle?
    3 months ago
  • krystle
    How to make sure my tattoo gun is set up and running correctly?
    3 months ago
  • sonia
    How to change universal tattoo machine?
    3 months ago
  • TRAVIS
    How thick is a dime coin for a tatoo machine?
    3 months ago
  • Sarama Ermias
    How to setup a tattoogun?
    3 months ago
  • Martin
    How do you know if youre tattoo gun is working properly?
    3 months ago
  • Temshe Abrha
    How much tattoo mahine should br tune for lining n shadin?
    3 months ago
  • Tom
    When your tattoo machine is set right are you suppose to see a spark on your springs?
    3 months ago
  • guarino
    How to tune perfect liner?
    2 months ago
  • emilia
    How is a lining coil tattoo machine setup?
    2 months ago
  • carolina
    How to lower the duty cycle of my tattoo machine?
    2 months ago
  • klaus
    HOW TO KNOW TATTO MACHINE IS FOR LINING OR SHADING?
    1 month ago
  • tiegan
    Where does the contact screw holder sit on a tattoo machine liner and shader?
    1 month ago
  • Sesuna
    How to build and tune tattoo machines?
    1 month ago
  • AMY
    How to tell apart tattoo machines from shaders to liners?
    1 month ago
  • Kerry
    How to setup a coil machine for lines?
    29 days ago
  • elisa
    How to tune yoir tattoo machine for lining?
    25 days ago
  • lisa
    How to ajust a liner needle for tattoo?
    25 days ago
  • sheshy
    How t adjust the needle on tattoo machine for outline?
    22 days ago
  • goytiom
    Does a tattoo machine burn while tattooing?
    19 days ago
  • denese
    How many hertz or cycles per second should my tattoo machine color packer be set at?
    13 days ago
  • ermenegildo
    How to run Tattoo Machine Through 12 Volts Battery?
    8 days ago

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