Monday, February 18, 2013

Tips for the Proper Care and Maintenance of Tattoo Machines

Knowing how to properly set up and maintain tattoo machines is just as important for artists as artistic skill and experience.  Keeping your machine's components clean and in good working condition lets you produce tattoos of good quality while staying hygienic.

When getting a new machine, it is advisable to tune it to your liking.  Once it is running properly, you can leave the main setup untouched except for minor adjustments for different types of tattoo work.

Whether your machine is custom-made or purchased commercially, you should have a basic understanding of how a tattoo machine works.  You should be able to take your machine apart and reassemble it as needed, so make sure that you have the correct tools on hand.

Always use the correct settings for the type of work you are doing.  Do not tune a machine for shading or fill work and then use it for lining.  This will not only result in an inferior tattoo, but can also damage the tubes and tips.  Before and after every session, check parts of the machine prone to wear and tear, particularly the contact screw, spring assembly and tips to find out whether they need to be replaced.

For general cleaning, you can use a cloth to wipe off any dust or dirt that has accumulated on fully assembled tattoo machines.  Grips, tubes and tips should be sterilized between every use.  These are parts of the machine that come in close contact with the skin and they can be a risk for transmitting disease if they are not properly sterilized in an autoclave.  Never expose the coils or other electric components to water.

Properly maintaining your tattoo machines makes them perform better and last longer, letting you get the most out of your machine.

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