What Springs Do I Use For A Tattoo Liner

Spring Tension Test Ball System

Tattoo Machine Spring Tension

"Take my word, I got a method that'll make me king..."

-The Dictators

Spring tension test-push down the armature bar, release the tension slowly until the front spring makes contact with the contact screw and stops, the armature bar should continue to move very slightly before it stops. The front spring should flex, the armature bar should move about 1/32 -to just under 1/16 of an inch. Any more than this and you may have too much tension on that rear spring. This is assuming that you have a front spring of the right gauge. A stiffer front spring may do the same thing when more tension is put on the rear spring but remember that the skin is soft and a front spring has to have some flex to it. Start with a pair of .018 springs and go from there.

This is a rough tension check, always test the machine again when it is fully assembled with a needle bar, tube and rubber band. The slight upward movement means that when the machine is fully assembled with a tube, needle bar, rubber band, grommet / paper towel, that the back spring will have enough tension to move the armature bar / front spring assembly smoothly toward the upper binding post so that the front spring will still be able to make contact with the contact screw, despite encountering resistance from the rubber band and resistance from the skin.

The slight flex of the front spring is what allows variability and versatility in the machine's function--to be turned down to shade consistently smooth grays and turned up more for solid coloring or heavy lining without beating up the skin.

Too much tension on the rear spring will produce:

* Limited variability in machine performance.

* The machine will have to work harder to move that stiff of a rear spring.

* The skin may take a lot of abuse.

* Holes burnt into the front spring will be more common.

Read the above sentence in bold print again and again until you understand it. Try this system along with the "ball system" chart (p. 61).

When running the machine and viewing it from the side (coil side), if the front spring makes a slight football shape, there is way too much tension on the rear spring.

"Ball system"

The term "Ball system" is used in reference to the appearance of the needle bar nub to look like a bouncing ball, when seen from the front and the machine is operating (p. 59). We are using the distance from the centers of these moving balls as general guide lines for stroke distances and how they apply to each machine use. These are our recommendation. A machine used as a liner should have these balls bounce closer together than a shader would, and closer than a machine used to line with larger needle groupings. This is because the needles will hit the skin at closer proximity, (this is important) so that while moving the hand quickly to line, the line is consistant and solid. No matter the distance the balls travel, these should never get closer to eachother when the power supply is running at lower setting for smooth gray shading or when the power supply is turned to a higher setting for color and lining with larger groupings. The armature bar will reach a maximum stroke when the dial is turned up to a coloring setting, this distance should not change when turning down. Rear spring gauge and tension regulates this in combination with the distance set with the turning of the contact screw and the flex (gauge) of the front spring. Use this system in conjunction with the spring tension guideline to fine tune the machine. The smaller the needle grouping, the lower the setting on the power supply the machine will need to run at, to inject the pigment—a smaller stroke and a low power setting is recommended for single needle use because not much power is needed to make the needle puncture the skin. A little more power will be needed for 3 needles and higher. Wether you hang the needle out from the tip of the tube a little bit or wether you use the tip as a "depth gauge", this system will work for you. The chart on the following page explains, in measurements, the distances these balls should travel. This is physics, it's simple. Many artists say, "I love a large stroke", but don't understand what they're saying, ask them to explain it and you will NOT get a technical (answer as to the benefits of a very large stroke) 90% of the time. It's about function, there is a reason for everything!

Ball System Chart

Ball System Chart

Ball System Chart For TattooingTuning Tattoo Machine Liner
Recommendations:

1) Recommended distance for single needle use, or 3 needle use. Some prefer a little more distance for 3 needle use.

2) Recommended for single needle and 3 needle use.

3) Recommended for 5 needle round and higher liners and Shaders

Play with these recommendations until you find what's right for you.

Recommended Machine use

Needle grouping

Stroke Distance

Outliner

1-3 needles

2.5 - 3 mm

Outliner (round)

3-7 needles

2.5 - 3.5 mm

Shader (magnum/flat)

7 and higher

3 - 4.5 mm

These measurements are taken from the center of the "ball" on the armature bar. If you run a consistantly larger stroke, larger than position 3 inthe "Ball System" chart, the machine will be harder to turn down to shade smooth grays, a slightly thicker spring set may be required.

Power supply

We will not discuss the details of construction concerning the power supply, instead we will discuss how it applies to a tuned machine.

Before we get into that, understand that if there are fluxuations in power, it may be the building's own electrical wiring which may be responsible for any power surges. Using the power supplied in a wall's socket is as close as we can get to consistent power without actually connecting the power source directly into a car battery. Therefore, whatever inconsistencies a building's electrical current may have, will show themselves in the way a machine runs through the power supply which runs on this inconsistent current, even if the machine perfectly tuned (an untuned machine will be inconsistent anyway).

The adjustable power supply does not control the speed of the needle's travel by turning the dial up or down (faster of slower), instead, it controls the strength of the coil's magnetic field, which controls the force at which the needles will penetrate the skin. In other words, the more current, the stronger the magnetic field, and the harder the needles will hit. This is important, it enables the artist to check the machine's versatility and function by feel. Using the "ball system", turning the dial counter clockwise will lessen the current flow & the strength of the magnetic field and make the machine hit "softer", the balls should not get closer together. This is a key factor in achieving the smooth gray shading we all want for portraits or large areas of even gray wash. An artist should be able to tune his machine with the "spring tension test" and the "ball system" alone and should not need to rely on a digital readout as each machine has different variables which may produce a different reading. Spring gauges, armature bar weight, width of coil post, contact screw material, spring shape and width, wire gauge and layers, resistance from tough skin and rubber band tightness will be factors which may change numerical readings. So always rely on feel, NOT sound or numbers, neither has anything to do with a quality tattoo as a final product. Neither of these will tell you if the skin is being over worked.

5mm Adapter For Tattoo Machine

A further note:

Despite what others say, the way a machine runs, can, and should be checked with the the soft part of the thumb on the bottom of the armature bar nub. The way the armature bounces on the fingerprint of the thumb, can give a pretty accurate depiction of what the client will feel when being tattooed, it will also indicate how smooth the force and vibration will be as the needles hit the skin. Pressing hard on the balls or using the bony part of the thumb or fingernail will not let you know how this machine will run against skin, which is softer than that part of the thumb. It's a move we have all seen other artists do, just to look like they know a thing or 2. There is a reason for everything, wether it's to look knowledgeable or wether there really is knowledge behind the action. This is science and physics, simple. Again, we can't stress enough the importance to educate yourselves. This priviledged information is being shared with you so that you can help protect your investments, despite the poor quality control some tattoo suppliers' / manufacturers have on the machines they sell. Don't feel taken, or helpless. Learn how to make that lousy machine into a color packin', smooth shadin' hot rod.

Tattoo Shading Techniques

Tattoo Shading Techniques

Black with grey shading tattoo arts are like a representation of who you are and they have a power and magic of their own. This Tattoo tutorial is covering how to do black and gray portrait tattoo techniques. Learn about black with grey shading tattoo art and explore the exceptional techniques of making some beautiful designs.

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Responses

  • ermias
    What springs do i use for a tattoo liner?
    7 years ago
  • lena
    What springs to use for a liner tattoo machine?
    7 years ago
  • ralph
    What do the front and rear springs do on a tattoo machine?
    7 years ago
  • KELLY
    How to check tattoo machine spring tension without a spring gauge?
    7 years ago
  • madoc sandyman
    Which back spring for lining tattoo machine?
    7 years ago
  • vanessa
    How to tune springs for liner tattoo machine?
    7 years ago
  • Alvisio Russo
    How to read tattoo spring gauge?
    7 years ago
  • ali
    How to use a tension gauge on tattoo springs?
    6 years ago
  • susanna kapanen
    How to get your tattoo machine to hit softer?
    6 years ago
  • Mulu
    How to make front and rear springs for tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • iida huovi
    What spring guage to use on a liner tattoo machinr?
    6 years ago
  • brigitte
    What gauge springs on a tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • thomas
    How much tension on front spring tattoo liner?
    6 years ago
  • REBECCA
    What is the tension of back spring for tattoo liner?
    6 years ago
  • Bruno Took-Brandybuck
    What gage spring do i use for a liner machine?
    6 years ago
  • maureen
    How do i release tension on back speing of a tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • Hanna
    What is give or flex in tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • Tewelde
    Do stiffer rear springs make a tattoo machine faster?
    6 years ago
  • faye
    What spring gauge for liner tattoos?
    6 years ago
  • simone
    How much rear tension should a liner have?
    6 years ago
  • tobold
    Do i use a thick back spring on my liner tattoo machine?
    6 years ago
  • Bandobras
    What springs are used for tattoo guns?
    5 years ago
  • Filibert
    How many rubber bands for tattoo lining?
    5 years ago
  • alem neftalem
    What springs make a liner tattoo machine?
    5 years ago
  • Robin
    How do you check the tension on a tattoo armature bar?
    5 years ago
  • luwam
    How to set up contact spring liner on tattoo machine?
    5 years ago
  • bildad
    What springs are for lining a tattoo needle?
    5 years ago
  • lucas
    What mm springs are on a shader?
    5 years ago
  • Rita
    What gauge spring for liner tattoo?
    5 years ago
  • EMMIE
    How many grams for setting up tattoo machine with spring tensioner?
    5 years ago
  • marmaduke
    What should the spring tension in grams tattoo machine liner?
    5 years ago
  • Fearne
    How much throw should a liner tattoo machine have?
    5 years ago
  • Fatimah Ambessa
    Can you use two soft springs for shading tattoo machines?
    5 years ago
  • Rhiannon
    What spring What gauge spring for a liner tattoo machine?
    5 years ago
  • cinzia
    What gage spring to use for a tattoo machine?
    5 years ago
  • Brian
    How to use tattooing equipment?
    5 years ago
  • selam zula
    Why use a lightened armature bar for tattoo lining?
    5 years ago
  • jose
    Which gage springs should i use for shader tattoo machine?
    5 years ago
  • Sandra
    What is the tension in grams using a spring tension gauge on tattoo machines?
    5 years ago
  • Belladonna
    What makes a tattoo machine be able to run larger needle groupings for lining?
    4 years ago
  • gebre girma
    How does tension on rear springs affect tattoo machine performance?
    4 years ago
  • Sabine Papst
    Is a light armature bar for lining or shading?
    4 years ago
  • gerardino
    What springs to use in a eikon tattoo liner?
    4 years ago
  • Jan
    What should a tattoo liner run at with needle and rubberband on?
    4 years ago
  • Ursula Decker
    How many grams of tension do you use when your lining a tatoo?
    4 years ago
  • leslie
    What gauge springs to use on tattoo machines?
    4 years ago
  • Ville
    What is the recommended spring size for a tattoo machine liner?
    3 years ago
  • Selene
    How does a liner spring for tottoo machines look like?
    3 years ago
  • arwen
    What are the measurmenst for liner springs for tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • francesca
    How much tension on rear spring for shading tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • Brogan
    What is the difference in gauges for tattoo springs?
    3 years ago
  • peony goodchild
    How to make a spring tension gauge?
    3 years ago
  • CAIRN
    What springs do i use on a tattoo machine you tube?
    3 years ago
  • marcho
    How to test a tattoo machine in grams?
    3 years ago
  • Sarah
    What springs should i use for a tattoo outliner?
    3 years ago
  • fiyori
    How to tune a round shader tattoo?
    3 years ago
  • drogo
    What coils do i use for a tattoo liner?
    3 years ago
  • J
    How much tension should the front spring in a tattoo machine have?
    3 years ago
  • Gringamor
    What happens if you put a thicker back spring on tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • tommy madetoja
    How much tension should the rear spring on a long liner be?
    3 years ago
  • Uffo
    How to build a tattoo liner?
    3 years ago
  • jacquelin
    How many grams for a shader or liner?
    3 years ago
  • Jean
    Can i do liner work with a shader machine?
    3 years ago
  • daniel
    How to get a tattoo machine to hit hard?
    3 years ago
  • amalda brandybuck
    What is liner runs for tattoo?
    3 years ago
  • shannon
    What do you say liner mashin?
    3 years ago
  • santeri
    How to turn my tattoo machine from a liner into a shader?
    3 years ago
  • craig hamilton
    What speed should i run on coil tatoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • Yvonne
    What size use in lining tattoos for men?
    3 years ago
  • Feorie
    How to set up liner tattoo machine eikon?
    3 years ago
  • makda
    What does a thick front spring in tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • Sally
    Does a thick front spring make your tattoo machine run faster or slower?
    3 years ago
  • Mikki
    What size springs do u use for liner?
    3 years ago
  • wolfgang
    What size springs for sharer tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • kauko
    What do the front and back springs do on a tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • Cillian Forbes
    How to make my liner into a shader?
    3 years ago
  • kaitlin
    What makes a tattoo machine fast?
    3 years ago
  • Bellina
    How do you tattoo machine needle and use system?
    3 years ago
  • bildad
    How long is a liner tattoo spring?
    3 years ago
  • emily
    What spring for shader machine?
    3 years ago
  • Lukas
    How to make tattoo machine run smoother?
    3 years ago
  • margarita anderson
    What spring should i use for my tattoo shader machine?
    3 years ago
  • Jennifer
    Do you want a thick or smaller spring on a tattoo machine for shading?
    3 years ago
  • libera
    What is a cood spring set up for a good tattoo liner?
    3 years ago
  • BELISARIUS
    What makes a tattoo machine hit hard?
    3 years ago
  • kalimac
    What makes the tattoo gun bounce?
    3 years ago
  • Luukas
    What size needle to use for lining a tattoo?
    3 years ago
  • iiro
    What spring goes to which tattoo gun shader or liner?
    3 years ago
  • felix lowe
    What should the spring tension be on a tattoo shader?
    3 years ago
  • mezan
    What number contact spring for lining tattoo?
    3 years ago
  • bella
    What does having a softer front spring on a tattoo machine do?
    3 years ago
  • Paulina
    What kind of spring for a liner tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • Heike
    What kind of springs should i use for my tattoo liner and shader?
    3 years ago
  • sebhat
    What to use for washer on tattoo machine rear spring?
    3 years ago
  • SHAUN
    How to build a liner tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • jay docherty
    How to tune a liner to run soft?
    3 years ago
  • LENNOX HUGHES
    How to set coil tattoo machine for shading and lining?
    3 years ago
  • Prisco
    How to make tattoo machine hit harder?
    3 years ago
  • reija
    How to boil tattoo machine spring?
    3 years ago
  • seija
    How to build a proper tattoo liner machine?
    3 years ago
  • Rachael
    How to make coil liner hit harder?
    3 years ago
  • troy
    Does a liner have a longer spring?
    3 years ago
  • Maria
    What number do i set a tattoo machine for lineing?
    3 years ago
  • Rudi
    How to make tattoo machine hit hard?
    3 years ago
  • pervinca
    Why a lighter a bar for tattoo liner?
    3 years ago
  • tobold
    How to build a fast liner tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • cataldo
    How do yhu tell witch tattoo gun is lining and shading by the armature bar ?
    3 years ago
  • Tiziano
    How to tune tattoo gun to hit harder?
    3 years ago
  • ferumbras
    What spring set up should you have for liner and shader tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • semhar
    How to setup a liner coil machine?
    3 years ago
  • klaudia
    How to make a tattoo shader machine run faster with a lighter hit?
    3 years ago
  • Linda
    How to lower spring tension on tattoo machine?
    3 years ago
  • gebre teodros
    How to make a tattoo needle out of a spring?
    2 years ago
  • harrison
    What spring gauge is best for liner or shader?
    2 years ago
  • feorie
    Can you split a number seven tato needle to a number three needle?
    2 years ago
  • kaiju
    What power to use when lining a tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • william
    What spring to use for color on tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • FESAHAYE
    How to pick tension bar tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • ernest redding
    What is a spring tension guage generally used for?
    2 years ago
  • giuseppe
    What kind of tattoo machine spring to use for lining?
    2 years ago
  • camelia
    What size armature bar on my tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • ilario esposito
    How to make the throw stronger on my tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • cotman
    How long should a shader front spring be?
    2 years ago
  • Nebay
    Why do tattoo machines have different size springs?
    2 years ago
  • barbara
    What size shaders do i use for tattooing portraits?
    2 years ago
  • ippolito
    How much backspring tension should my tattoo liner gun have?
    2 years ago
  • marina
    How long should the spring on a liner tattoo machine be?
    2 years ago
  • curtis
    What sizd of armeture bar shojld i use for my tattoo liner?
    2 years ago
  • muhammad
    How to make Tattoo when my tattoo machine run roun?
    2 years ago
  • laura
    Which spring hard hitting liner.machine tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • geraldina
    What springs for lining shading?
    2 years ago
  • Porro
    How to set up a tattoo gun with the spriny thing?
    2 years ago
  • Ivan Shaul
    How to build a tattoo machine springs?
    2 years ago
  • Max
    What makes a good tattoo liner?
    2 years ago
  • Karolin
    What does spring Tatttoo?
    2 years ago
  • temshe
    How to turn a shader into a liner tatoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • ARSI L
    How to make tattoo machine color?
    2 years ago
  • lawrence daniel
    How to make a tattoo machine run smooth?
    2 years ago
  • TYLER
    What is the spring in tatoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • lea
    What spring do i use to line tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • aurelio
    How to set springs using a powerliner?
    2 years ago
  • Uta
    How to make a longer hit whit tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • pervinca
    What do the numbers on tattoo springs mean?
    2 years ago
  • elizabeth
    How to build a perfect ttoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • mhret
    What size springs do you use on tattoo liner?
    2 years ago
  • david
    What makes a soft shader tatto machine?
    2 years ago
  • AAMOS
    What if the best spring for shading and for lining?
    2 years ago
  • ariam
    What is the best front spring to use for shading?
    2 years ago
  • Battista
    What size springs to use for outlining tattoo?
    2 years ago
  • Chilimanzar Chubb
    How to make tattoo needles from lighter spring?
    2 years ago
  • gary
    What size springs should i put on a liner tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • sam
    How do i build a hard hitting liner?
    2 years ago
  • diamond
    Why is a tattoo liner spring shorter than a shader spring?
    2 years ago
  • leo napolitani
    What is quick liner machine?
    2 years ago
  • Ilberic
    How long is a rear spring on a tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • Jouko
    How to setup shader tattoo machine?
    2 years ago
  • OSVALDO BIANCHI
    What size liner needle to use when doing tattoo on front of leg?
    2 years ago
  • oliwier
    How to test your spring tension gauge?
    2 years ago
  • Lodovico
    How to setup tatoo spring contact?
    2 years ago
  • Fiyori
    Does a tattoo liner have a short or long front spring?
    2 years ago
  • alyx
    Are liner back springs shorter?
    2 years ago
  • Azeglio
    How totattoo machine setup?
    2 years ago
  • halle
    How many coils should a shader have?
    2 years ago
  • donte blanton
    What is the perfect coil capacitor comination for a large grouping liner?
    1 year ago
  • catena
    How soft lining tattoo?
    1 year ago
  • fulvus
    How do you get a coil tattoo machine to hit the skin soft as a shader would?
    1 year ago
  • vittoria
    Do liner tattoo machines have a single spring or dual spring?
    1 year ago
  • sara
    How to make my coils hit harder and faster?
    1 year ago
  • daavid
    What should the length and gauge be on the front sping on a tattoo linner machine?
    1 year ago
  • iain
    What gauge contact springs for liner?
    1 year ago
  • cain macdonald
    What does hard and soft hit for tattoo machine mean?
    1 year ago
  • mezan
    What type tatttoo machine sould i begin with?
    1 year ago
  • chelsey
    What coils are used on a liner machine?
    1 year ago
  • hamid
    Which is thicker tattoo spring 18 guage or 20 guage?
    1 year ago
  • LEYTON
    How much bend should i havein my rear springs for a liner machine?
    1 year ago
  • ky rautiola
    How to crease a tattoo spring?
    1 year ago
  • Anneli
    What type of tattoo springs for shader?
    1 year ago
  • Kacper Young
    Which spring is best for long lining tattoos?
    11 months ago
  • SAARE
    How to set a spring to colour pãck a tattoo?
    11 months ago
  • Mirrin
    How much grams tension on tattoo springs?
    11 months ago
  • sebastian kekkonen
    How does the spring cord work on a tattoo machine?
    11 months ago
  • oliwier
    How to make a needle out of a lighter spring?
    10 months ago
  • Carl Baggins
    Which rod is used in homemade tattoo manchine?
    10 months ago
  • hannes
    How to set the tebsion on a tattoo machine?
    6 months ago

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