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Thread: Tattoo Machine Build How Too Pic heavy

  1. #1

    Tattoo Machine Build How Too Pic heavy

    We will be building a Tattoo machine from start to finish. My way of doing it is not the only way and may not even be the best way, but they work when I'm done and I keep getting orders for more so I must be doing something rite. First let me say this started out as a lets see if I can make one kinda thing. My first Machine wasnt pretty but it worked I refined my skills from there and my results got better and better. I now Build Machines to raise funds for other projects. There is money to be made from building and selling your Machines. You wont get rich but it will support other hobbies. I have sold Machines for $425.00 each I even sold one for $590.00 Dont expect to make that kind of money on your Machines untill you have been building for a few years the industry depends heavy on reputation. I have a dont disclose customers way of doing business. Believe me they all talk if you do good work and build reliable Machines your name will get out there. I build for several high end shops as well as local shops that includes from empty frames to coils and complete machines. There are many Artest who build there own machines for those folks frames and coils are something they dont normaly make and depend on guys like me to furnish. I build series and 1 of a kind machines. Series machines are numbered 1-12 and each comes with a cert that says its number X of 12 of the design and the only ones I'll ever build. there will never be another made like them. Same thing for 1 of a kind machines. Why do this? well it get your machines into a different bracket then junk builders and factory build by the millions. it means you will get more cash for your work, But only once you build some rep. A good way to get your stuff into the market is build and lend to shops to try out. Ok with all that said this will be a build thread to show you how I make Machines I have done machines in lots of different Materieals including Lexan My Machines start with Casting metal I cast the frames or parts of frames then machine them to my specs from there The Machine we will build is one I cast parts for.

    This frame is My design I call it tribal it was drawn up for a customer who liked the drawing and ordered 8 The Side plate on this machine is cast and machined I tried ti machine it from plate and found it rather difficult to repeat the first one so I made a mould from the first cast 10 total for screw ups the cast part was cast with a vice tang so I could lock it down and Mill it then it was drilled and bolted down and milled on the other side screws removed and screw area worked down with hand file. Here is the side plate with what will be the base and spring shelf. Those parts are made from Bar stock All aluminum is 7075 the the side plates also they are from ingots I get from a nameless friend at Alcoa.

    Here I converted the Bar stock into the base and the spring shelf This base is my own design The 2 slots alow for dirrerent size coils to be mounted and are for 8/32 screws to pass through. the large hole with the slit is the tube lock and is 5/32 you'll see how that works later, but its one of the best designs for locking the tube. And is paten pending.

    All the frame parts ready to be assembled and fitted. At the end of this thread I'll post some picks of one piece frames and completed machines

    Frame bolted together I used 6/32 stainless socket head screws for this your customer will love that you used stainless trust me. threading the Aluminum was a snap.

    fitting is done so all the parts match up nicely I do this by hand with a file set.

    Notice the hole in the spring shelf this is for the clip cord/power cord the other hole is the spring mount hole and is 5/16

    Tomorrow we will move on to making the springs, Armature bar or Drawbar and Yoke I will also explaine how to get geomitry for holes and some standards that can be used to build any machine

    Comments welcome and I'll answer questions

    Last edited by epicdoom; 06-13-2012 at 08:49 PM.
    It is truely amazing what the mind can conceive and prompt the hands to create <--Mine
    All Soldiers are Brothers
    Semper Fi

  2. #2
    I want to see more!

    Is it your patent on that slit?

    Lookin good and I can't wait to see more!
    Last edited by GypsyTinker; 06-13-2012 at 12:14 PM.
    Knowing how to make something is far more valuable than knowing where to buy it...

  3. #3
    GT yes it's Mine. Wish My camera took better Macro pics used to take fantastic pictures using the Macro feature I have some more done and will post it in a bit was up a bit late last night. I strained the back at work today will see how it feels sitting on the stool at the work bench. will post what I got done last night in a little bit.

    It is truely amazing what the mind can conceive and prompt the hands to create <--Mine
    All Soldiers are Brothers
    Semper Fi

  4. #4
    This section of the build will be Springs , Armature or Drawbar and Yoke. We will start with springs there are a lot of options for springs depending on the Machine type you are building. There are 3 types. Liners, Shaders and liner/shaders. The differences are Liners are fast machines Tattooing single dots as is the case when lining a tattoo design. It requires a machine thats fast meaning it cycles faster then shaders. The faster the better for smooth fluid lines as apposed to broken dotted lines. Can shaders do lining? Yep they can but you have to run your outline much slower. Liners are also normaly Light in weight as it requires less force to penatrate the skin with a 1, 3 or 5 needle liner then it is an 8+ round or flat shader needle. The exception to this is doing heavy thick lining using shader needles and in that case a shader Machine moved slowly will normaly be used. Shader Machines are normaly heavy in weight and sometimes called Jackhammers. liner shaders are the middle of the road. The springs for liners tend to be light guage and heavy for shaders, However this isnt a hard and fast rule. Each artest likes what he likes and tuning the machine may sometimes require going outside the norm. As I said I make everything but the screws and wire. I do make my own springs. I have my own design and none other like them I have ever seen. What I did was buy a spring set and measure them. I then created a template to make my own from the dimentions. I have several ways of making them depending on my needs. I will buy spring steel stock or I will use metal banding strap here is how I do it.
    First Picture shows my template and some banding strap cut close to the lenth I need.

    I lay my template on the spring stock and use a scribe to scribe the outline.

    When this is done I take them to the grinder and grind out the larger sections rite to the lines. I then finish them with a Dremil and Files and sand off any coating, some are brown some black. I use several different coatings for them depending on the Machine, some are Iron oxide, black oxide, gun bluing and chrome if I can use the chromer at the foundry.
    The front spring now gets bent 1/4 inch from the slot end the rounded end

    Here is an asortment of springs I have made in a couple different finishes.

    Now that I have my springs made I move on to the Armature bar these are made from steel only the armature bar needs to be steel because the coils when electrified create an electromagnet and draw the armature bar down to them. You'll better understand how this works and cycles when we get to the tuning section of this thread. I tell you the exact process of how they work. GT HUSH lol
    I'll give you the dimentions for the Armature bars here there are different weights and lenths the ones I make are considered Standard for most Machines. These just like the springs will be coated Iron oxide, Black oxide, gun blue and chrome

    I grind these to size lenth, width the needle Pin is then turned on my lathe with 4 jaw chuck here is another way to make that pin cut the bar to width lenth drill a 1/8 hole in the end on center and install a spring or roll pin with a dab of red lock-tite, grind down the pin to 1/4 inch sticking out of the bar
    Drill and thread the hole in the end for the mount it can be what ever size you want but I make it 1/8

    Bar and springs ready for assembly. Notice the O-Ring this is to boost the spring and give it more bounce.

    springs installed

    O-Ring installed

    Now before tightening the screw up align the front spring tip with the end of the needle pin this is approx. the rite location make sure the front and rear springs are aligned withe the armature bar.
    Spring armature bar assy. ready to be installed on the frame.

    Assy installed and rough aligned to the tube hole. the alignment should be the center of the tube hole should line up with the needle pin on the armature bar.

    Remember I said rough alignment now we will line it up perfectly and exactly where it should be. for this a Tube, Needle and groumet are needed.

    Put the groumet into the eye of the needle and pass it through the tube hole and attach it to the Armature bare as shown.

    Now Install the tube over the needle and into the tube vice on the frame and secure it in place.

    Ok now we will align the Armature bar perfectly to the tube vice hole in the frame we will use the needle to see the alignment from 2 perspectives front and side.

    As you can see mine is perfect and no adjustment needed. It better to be lucky then good any doy of the week LOL. If adjustment was needed you would loosen the rear spring screw (ONLY) that mounts the assy. to the frame and twist it side to side front to back till the needle runs thought the center of the tube from 2 perspectives.
    This part of the build deals with whats called a yoke. This little device is only used on mon magnetic frames like brass, bronze and aluminum Its used to connect the poles of the coils its a simple device thats easy to make and MUST be used in non steel frames. The dimentions are the same as the armature bar 1.5" long, 3/8" wide, 3/16"thick 2 holes will be drilled to pass the coild screws through notice again I used slots this again is to permit different size coils to be installed the center of the holes are 3/8" from each end The one pictured is made from steel stock flat bar its ground to size then coated this one is chrome it 1 of 20 I chromed at the foundry with a few steel frames last year. I have a couple of those machine frames around here someplace ill did out to show you after this thread is complete. ok back to business this is the placement of the yoke on the frame.

    Ok folks I'm off to make some more parts for this machine to post tomorrow. We will be doing the hardest part of the machine build and that is making the coils. This is the heart and sould of the machine bad coils on a nice built machine is worthless I'll show you how to make them rite to last a long time and strong enough to pull a buick outa the mud.

    Last edited by epicdoom; 06-14-2012 at 12:16 AM.
    It is truely amazing what the mind can conceive and prompt the hands to create <--Mine
    All Soldiers are Brothers
    Semper Fi

  5. #5
    Wow cant wait to see more

  6. #6
    Senior Member nudge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    NorthShore,Auckland New Zealand
    A lot of work has gone into this! Nice
    If the spelins rong blam the wife!

    How to build a Nudge burner (oil)

  7. #7
    Senior Member 4cylndrfury's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Blog Entries
    this thread is awesome - love it!

  8. #8
    Well its that time again the next installment Tattoo machine coils are the heart and soul of any machine there are as many different styles as Nike shoes. The coils are made and sold by wrap number they are 6,8,10 and 12 Coil size is one of the areas thats a to each his own. Typicly 6-8 wrap coils are used in shaders 10-12 liners. The truth is this is just a standard an artest will deside coil size for the job at hand. Typicaly 24 AWG enameled wire is used in coils 24 AWG is IMO the best wire size bar none and a standard. Coil cores are typicaly 5/16 dia. X 1 1/4 long Iron cores are the best but sometimes finding round stock in iron can be a daunting task. I have on ocasion poured round stock for this. Steel can and is sometimes used the best steel I have personaly used is 1018 cold rolled its low carbon content makes it a decent core for electromagnets.

    Another coil component is the washer they can be made from just about anything you can dream up I have made them from lexan polycarb, copper,brass, aluminum and fiber as I'm using for this build. I have even used old indian head pennies. Typical size for these are 3/4 dia. X 1/16 thick with a slightly smaller then 5/16 hole in the center. Covering the coils is only limited to your imagination. I have covered them in shrink tube all colors and clear with nice artfull inserts. I have covered them in copper, plastic and dipped then in enamel. There are a ton of ways to dress up a set of coils. A nice looking set of coils are useless if there not made correctly so more time needs to be put into making a working set rather then a pretty set. Standard wrap count for a 1 1/4 X 5/16 coil is 44 turns if we are to make our coils exactly the same we will use the standard turn count to calculate the total number of turns for each coil. so for our purpose we want to make a set of 10 wrap coils. Thats 44 X 10 = 440 turns. I then measure them with an VOM they should measure the same ohms if you make them rite.

    Ok lets get to making some coils first thing we need to do is turn down some core stock to the rite size. I do this on my lathe starting with 3/8 round stock in iron or 1018 steel. I can just buy 5/16 round stock and cut to lenth but I like using my lathe. While the core is still in the lathe I drill a blind hole half way through and thread the hole for 8/32 screws. I chamfer the end slightly remove the core and reinstall to chamfer the other end. A fine file makes quick work of this. Some cores are just plain some I knurel to grip the washer better.

    Next we need some washers to retain the wire coils these are fibre washers I buy this in sheets and cut washers to what ever size I want 3/4 washers will contain 6-10 wrap coils but 12's will need to be larger. Look close you will see a tiny hole near the larger center hole this will be to pass the wire through to start the turns I make this hole just big enough for the wire to fit. This will be the bottom washer and 2 are needed total for the set of coils the top washers do not get this hole.

    Now we install one of each washer onto the cores the washer with the tiny hole goes on the bottom where you drilled and threaded for the mounting screw. Once complete this is called a bobbin.

    next step is to pass the wire through the hole in the washer.

    Ok we are now going to use a cool little device I created to make wrapping the coils easier. This is my own design home made coil winder it has a motor from a printer as well as gears and belt to drive the output shaft there are belt tentioners installed to keep everything tracking nice and smooth. I use a Tattoo machine power supply to power the motor and control the speed and its foot operated so both hands are free to guide the wire onto the bobbin.

    The end of the output shaft is threaded to accept the coil bobbin and it has a sleeve that will force the washer into the correct place on the core

    The other end holder has a hole to force that washer onto the proper location and is locked down with 2 screws.

    the wire I passed through the washer is wound around the sleeve so it wont get in the way of the turns.

    now I power up the motor with the foot switch and set the speed. Enameled wire is great stuff for coils but there are some things you must know about it. It is sensitive to the oils and salts we have on our hands for this reason you should never touch it with your bare hands it will break down the coating and lead to problems. because we are wrapping this wire with an ever growing size each layer presses down on the one below it and can crush that layer tension on the wire during wrapping has to be kept to a Min. This is how I combat both problems at onceI use a piece of tissue paper folded up to grip the wire and apply tension. I pull out 1 foot at a time and wind that onto the bobbin with just enough pressure to keep the turns even and flat its a very light touch and take some practice to master.

    Keep your wraps close together as you see here.

    first pass/ wrap complete notice how nice the wire lays this is what you want on every single wrap. second wrap started.

    third wrap half done see how the wire is still laying nicely.

    Coil completed all 10 wraps.

    Now we use scotch tape to hold all the wraps tight to the coil you only need a piece long enought to wrap around 1 1/2 times

    Both coils complete and ready to be wired up

    Continued in next post
    Last edited by epicdoom; 06-14-2012 at 10:56 PM.
    It is truely amazing what the mind can conceive and prompt the hands to create <--Mine
    All Soldiers are Brothers
    Semper Fi

  9. #9
    here is a set of shorty coils I wrapped some time back these are covered in copper they are 1 inch tall and for small frame machines.

    with the coils complete we now need to wire them up for this I solder all connections in the picture you will see 2 solder lugs and various sizes of shrink tube and a Capacitor. The Cap is a 47uf 36V cap polarized. Mark the direction of flow IN wire with a sharpie and install a piece of shrink tube over the cap just enought to wrap the edges. Ill explain why we use a cap in a few min.

    Next locate the 2 leads comming through the coil washers gather them together withe the coils close together you can use the Yoke and screws for this so the spacing is rite. Cut the wires till only 1" is sticking out from under the coils Strip the enamel off the wire using an exacto blade just scrape lightly it will come off easy. Do this all the way around the wire.

    Now Tin the wire ends with solder.

    and solder together.

    Install shrink tube over the wires and fold them up between the coils.

    Now I mount the coils to the frame and pull the remaining leads out to each side of the frame as pictured

    Now I lay the capacitor in the location I want it and bend the leads so they lay near the binding post holes in the frame. remember the lead that was colored this one will go to the rear binding hole. Pull each coil lead to the front and rear holes as well. Snip off excess wire close to the respective holes.

    remove the coils solder the coil wires to the cap wires shrink tube the wires but leave the soldered ends exposed now solder on the solder lugs and shrink tube the connection.

    reinstall the coils with the cap side near the side plate as it was during lay out pull the front and rear solder lugs to there holes.

    Thats all we got for now to go back on the Capacitor The cap is is in the circuit for spark suppression during rapid collapse of the magnetic field a spark is generated the cap helps to smooth that out it also will dictate run speed using a 47uf cap is pretty much a standard and considered middle of the road. for liner machines typicaly use lower rated caps to help them run fast higher rated caps are used for shaders to help give them grunt. Higher and lower will be from the 47uf36V cap used here caps can be polar or non polar electrolitic types polar are usualy smaller and there for used more then NP types
    Tomorrow we'll Install the insulating washers binding posts and contact screw and get this puppy barking. Will show you how they work and how to tune them.

    Last edited by epicdoom; 06-14-2012 at 10:40 PM.
    It is truely amazing what the mind can conceive and prompt the hands to create <--Mine
    All Soldiers are Brothers
    Semper Fi

  10. #10
    Senior Member nudge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    NorthShore,Auckland New Zealand
    What do you use to cut the shapes on the steel frames?

    Thats a neet rig you have for winding the coils
    Ive been thinking how to go about making something like that for winding coils for spark plugs. I think I would need to put a lap counter on the one I make. I need to do about 10,000 winds!
    If the spelins rong blam the wife!

    How to build a Nudge burner (oil)

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