Tattoo needles, machines, tubes, power supplies, sanitary supplies… there’s a lot involved in tattooing, and being fully stocked is a must for any artist.
YOUR TATTOO MACHINE
To adjust your machine to a smooth speed turn your contact screw back and forth until the machine sounds smooth.
Two elastics will hold needle on perfectly. Use our Spaulding elastics, they are the correct size. The cheap coloured ones from China don’t work and are the wrong size.
The gap between the coil and and armature bars on my machines is 1/16 of an inch minimum. That’s about the thickness of a fat quarter.
TUBES & GRIPS
I set my needle at 1/16 inch and allow the needle to retract right inside the tube. I use the depth of the tube to control the depth into the skin. If you have your needle coming out 1/8 inch or farther you cannot control the depth and end up with thick or thin lines or skips. Also you often feel the needle snag in the skin as it is pressed against the side of the tube tip.
I wrap an elastic around the tube tip observation hole. If the needle flutters the elastic band acts like a shock absorber and keeps the needle running true.
Press the spring and armature bar down against the coils. This pushes the needle out as far as it can go. Now slide the tube up into the frame to set the needle depth. My needle comes out 1/16 of an inch and goes back into the tube when the spring is released.
Your machine won’t operate without electricity, so you’re going to need a power supply. This device acts as a regulator for the electricity that flows through your machine, allowing you to adjust the power while tattooing. Your machine and footswitch both plug directly into the power supply.
Cords and Footswitch
You’ll need a clipcord or RCA cord to connect your machine to your power supply. Which cord you’ll need will depend on the type of machine you are using. Your footswitch will also plug in to the power supply and is how you turn the tattoo machine on and off.
Ink caps are easy to disinfect containers for holding ink while you perform a tattoo. Ink caps should be disinfected before ink is poured into them. After finishing a tattoo, leftover ink should NEVER be put back into the bottle for later use. Discard your leftover ink and the ink cap its contained in after a tattoo.
You’ll need some sort of skin safe disinfectant that you can wipe your client down with while tattooing. We sell tincture of green soap and Dettol for that purpose.
You’ll need to disinfect your workspace. A lot of products exist for this, but our most popular one by far is MadaCide FD.
Bag your equipment! If it’s going to brush up on the client or you think fluids may splash onto it, bag it! It will reduce cleanup and create a more sanitary environment in which to tattoo.
Just wear gloves, there’s no reason not to. Ideally you should have latex or nitrile exam gloves on hand.