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Needle Depth Ticking Me Off

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right guys - i done plenty practicing on pig skin - but with pig skin you cant see how its healing and you could go a inch deep and still have a good looking tattoo

so i done a couple on myself - the 1st i did about a month ago - its scarred raised and itchy all the time - my guess is i went too deep and messed up - the next i reset my machines got them running real nice and it went ok - i went back and added a little to it 3 days ago and it looked waaay better than my 1st and second attempts but now 3 days later i noticed my lining in places has spread out - is this a blow out ? so now my nice crisp lining in places looks like its 40 years old and has spread out - this has really pissed me off - i set my machines how ive read on here using a penny and a tupence for a general guide in the gap and then adjusted the contact screw till it ran smooth - when assembling the tube i insert the tube so the tip of the needle is barely visible - about the width of a piece of paper showing - then i press the A bar down to make sure its not sticking out too far - and it all looks good - tattoo's good but then obviously im getting theis damn spreading of the ink? where am i going wrong

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It sounds like you are riding the tube - ie working with the tube tip in contact with the skin - to regulate your working depth.....is that right?What sort of angle are you holding the tube in relation to the skin,ie 45,60,90 degrees?How much needle is hanging out of the tube when you depress the a bar?Is the line uniformly spread along its length or are there knots,gaps or places where its OK?

Yes,it sounds like the line is blown out.

Just out of interest...what machine,what type (cutback?),volts,needle group,ink?

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noimnot riding the tube - id say theneedle is sticking out around a mill maybe mill n half i used a5rl - it was running around 9 volts i tend to hold it at about 45 degree as i would hold a pen -there are lines that are good and havent spread - then theres lines that have spread out completely but its useless me posting a pic cos its all scabbing at the mo

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noimnot riding the tube - id say theneedle is sticking out around a mill maybe mill n half i used a5rl - it was running around 9 volts i tend to hold it at about 45 degree as i would hold a pen -there are lines that are good and havent spread - then theres lines that have spread out completely but its useless me posting a pic cos its all scabbing at the mo

Line with the machine held as close to 90 degrees as possible,holding it like a pen means if you go too deep/slow the ink will actually be outside the stencil line as you are pushing it "into" the stincil line AND under it... hence the '40 year old' looking tattoo, make sense? I'm still very much learning myself, but a problem shared is a problem halved i guess. Im sure there will be more replies.

mac

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Line with the machine held as close to 90 degrees as possible,holding it like a pen means if you go too deep/slow the ink will actually be outside the stencil line as you are pushing it "into" the stincil line AND under it... hence the '40 year old' looking tattoo, make sense? I'm still very much learning myself, but a problem shared is a problem halved i guess. Im sure there will be more replies.

mac

so when lining i want the needle going in at 90 degree rather than using the machine as though i was using a pen or pencil - i guess that would make sense why its only in certain places it has happened - i think i need to work on getting my machines tuned spot on too but at the moment theyre just doing my head in - none of them run well below 10V

while im logged in here - tha A bar i know its supposed to touch down on the front coil first but should there be a gap between the a bar and rear coil when the a bar is pressed down and touching the front coil? imean quite a big gap - does anyone hav a pic how big the gap should be? ill try and get a pic up ofthe gap in a bit

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id say theneedle is sticking out around a mill maybe mill n half i used a5rl

when the A bar is pressed down , touching front coil ?

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yeah when the a bar is pressed down and touching coil -

when the a bar is up the needle is sticking out roughly the thickness of a piece of paper - just showing

thats how i was told to set it up

ive tried riding the tube before but couldnt really figure how deep i was going so the guy who used to teach me said not too if i wasnt comfortable with it

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seems to me you angle is prob the culprit here, 90 degrees for lining and 45 or so for shading and fill.....

like the previous guys said, your angle for lining at 45 degrees is causing the ink to migrate to the left or to the right (major blowouts....40 year old looking tat)

try 90 degrees for your lining and then let us know if they are still bleeding out

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while im logged in here - tha A bar i know its supposed to touch down on the front coil first but should there be a gap between the a bar and rear coil when the a bar is pressed down and touching the front coil? imean quite a big gap - does anyone hav a pic how big the gap should be? ill try and get a pic up ofthe gap in a bit

tinyest gap you can manage without it actually touching, shim her up.

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yea thats what i thought but the gap on thi little fecker is big but if i slam a washer under it - it touches and dont let the a bar come down - im thinking it needs a thicker a-bar

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yea thats what i thought but the gap on thi little fecker is big but if i slam a washer under it - it touches and dont let the a bar come down - im thinking it needs a thicker a-bar

or dont use a washer and get a set of shims, they range in sizes from 0.5 which is tiny, half a mm i think.

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Dont bother setting your "gap" using coins or measurements as such!! on your liner machine hold it by the tube-vice with the arm bar facing u,turn the contact screw out till there is no contact at all,now,push the pedal down (have your volts between 7-9 ish for now),now keeping the pedal down, turn in/down your contact screw until your machine fires up,continue turning it till the nipple on the arm-bar makes a figure 8. now how does it feel on your thumb? how does it sound?try adjusting your volts a bit now! OK when you pull the arm-bar down and then release is there any give in the front spring after it makes contact with the screw? let me know

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where would i find shims? wtf are shims lol - ill do a google search lol

thanks paint

Shims

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Dont bother setting your "gap" using coins or measurements as such!! on your liner machine hold it by the tube-vice with the arm bar facing u,turn the contact screw out till there is no contact at all,now,push the pedal down (have your volts between 7-9 ish for now),now keeping the pedal down, turn in/down your contact screw until your machine fires up,continue turning it till the nipple on the arm-bar makes a figure 8. now how does it feel on your thumb? how does it sound?try adjusting your volts a bit now! OK when you pull the arm-bar down and then release is there any give in the front spring after it makes contact with the screw? let me know

no give on the spring - it is just touching

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well if your needle is just hanging out with the arm-bar up,it must b at least 3-4mm with the arm-bar down? which is perfect for riding the needle! when you line look at how much penetration u have,you want about half of the 4mm in and half out, keeping the machine as close to 90 degrees as u can. try laying a small simple tattoo on your leg making sure to stretch well(which is something you dont need to do on piggie) use your fingers as a depth gauge to keep constant and try just pulling your lines. Your speed is a very important factor in good linework, however because every machine is different you are going to have to try to work it out yourself. for my machine(cutback) you need to move about 1inch every 2 seconds ish but for some people it can b as slow as 4 seconds. if you post pics of your machine you might get more advice.

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yeah when the a bar is pressed down and touching coil -

when the a bar is up the needle is sticking out roughly the thickness of a piece of paper - just showing

thats how i was told to set it up

ive tried riding the tube before but couldnt really figure how deep i was going so the guy who used to teach me said not too if i wasnt comfortable with it

Sinker,please dont take this as an insult or critisism,its just me being slow understanding......

I fully understand that you are not using a technique cos you are'nt comfortable with it....but surely one knows how deep one is going when riding the tube,the tube tip is in contact with the skin so you are de facto going as deep as the throw of the needles from the rest position of the armature to the depressed position...at least,thats what happens if I do it.I dont by the way.But if I did.It would.Wouldnt it?

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OK - im getting confused lol - ridingthe tip is using the tip as your guide - ie setting the needle to come out how much you need then having the tip against the skin whilst tattooing

riding the needle is having more of an overhang and using your eye to see how deep your going -

that been the case - i ride the needle and confused you in the post you quoted ( i should really read back my replies before posting them lol ) sorry to confuse

ill give riding the needle a bit of practice - i remember last time i did it it was much cleaner - as in the ink didnt splatter everywhere - but i was more nervouse i was gonna go too deep so had a shakey hand - so my trainer said to try it off the tip cos i cant really go wrong - it just makes it harder to follow the lines closely

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The hardest part of lining without a doubt is consistency. You're trying to line at a consistent depth on a rounded uneven surface. And even then the thickness of the skin changes on the same body part. Single pass lining that heals well is hard! It took me years and a perfectly running machine and finding the right ink for my style to finally get to a point where i am almost satisfied with it. A lot of the "perfect" line work we see in the mags every month is fresh work. I wonder how a lot of that work looks in 6 months to a year? Some of it still probably looks perfect but i bet some of it doesn't too.

Practice is the only way. And i don't mean on pig skin either! It doesn't heal so you can't tell wether it's a good lining job or not. Even tattooists that have been tattooing for years are always practicing on people. That's what we're doing every day: practicing because nobody ever reaches perfection. Nobody in theory is actually good enough to start tattooing when they start tattooing but the only way to improve is to do it more often so we're left with no other option.

Don't beat yourself up about it, just keep persisting, keep an eye on your angles, your stretch, the tuning of your machine and make sure you loup your needles. Nobody can achieve good lines with bad needles. There's more to this craft than people think. Good luck.

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Practice is the only way. And i don't mean on pig skin either! It doesn't heal so you can't tell wether it's a good lining job or not.

i think thats what has thrown me the most - on pigskin it looked like i had it down to a T and thought id be good with a bit of real skin - then as the 1st healed i thought damn i musta gone waaay too deep - and obviously the ink has spread wich it doesnt on pig skin - im just greatful its all on my own skin im finding this out and i havent jumped in and offered free tattoos to everyone -

thanks for all the help people ;) much apreciated

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its easier to see where your lines are going and control depth with the needle hanging retardely far out. but you gotta dip for ink more often. and if you dont have a steady hand that depth control idea goes out the window...practice you must young padwan

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Don't know if this will help you, but I softened up my liner quite a bit after I dug into one piece on my calf pretty bad, and am getting better results. I'm still going a little deep for my liking, but am getting more consistent results because the machine isn't driving the tips down so hard. With a softer hitter, you've got to really pay attention to your stretch, or it'll start bouncing around. It improved my overall lining considerably. I'm using a cutback pitbull with a medium-to-long stroke.

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In regards to consistency, being a beginner myself, I found switching to diamond tips allows me to ride the tube to get depth consistency while still being able to see where I'm going with my needle. I think for me, it's far too hard to get good results when riding the needle. A little test I did, get a really fine paintbrush and see if you can paint a line that is the same thickness from start to finish, if you can't (which I couldn't) it's a pretty good indicator to not ride the needle with a tattoo machine.

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