How to Work a Tattoo Machine

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Work a tattoo machine by properly assembling the needle in the tattoo machine, attaching the power chord, dipping the needle in ink and stretching the skin to apply the tattoo. Rinse off tattoo machines between different colors of ink with instructions from an experienced tattoo artist in this free video on tattoos.

Part of the Video Series: Tattoo Artists & Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Lenny Welch from Addicted 2 Tattoos in Tampa, Florida. I'm going to talk to you today about how to work a tattoo machine. Tattoo machine takes some practice to learn how to use correctly. But once you've got the hang of it, it's not that hard. I'm going to show you first, how we assemble the tattoo machine. We're going to use a sterile needle. This came out of a sterile package. This is normally opened in front of the customer to assure them that, that is a sterile needle. As the needle goes through the barrel. This is where it will make contact with the skin. We load this into the tattoo machine and attach the bar that holds the needle. To the upper front edge of the Armature bar. Once that's in place, we generally use rubber bands to hold that needle back. So that it stays flush against the back of a tube here. Once that's put together then, that is a working tattoo machine. You hook the power to it. This is done with a clip chord. The clip chord goes to a power supply. And I'm stepping on a power pedal on the floor. Once this is all assembled and ready to go. Test the machine, make sure it's working correctly. Then the machine is dipped into tattoo ink. We make sure that we don't run the machine when it's in the ink cap. Because we don't want to damage the needles. Once the machine has been dipped in ink. Then it's ready to be applied to the skin. Normally this is done by stretching the skin and running the tattoo across the skin. This leaves the ink in the skin and allows the tattoo to be warmed. Between each color, the tattoo should be, machine should be rinsed. To rinse the color out of it. We used water, straight water for that. And then wipe off the previous color, dip into another color. And then run that next color in the skin. That basically is how to operate a tattoo machine. But let me advice you, don't do this unless you've been trained. Because you could definitely scar somebody up, if you're not a professional. This is only for professional tattoo artists to be using tattoo machines. I'm Lenny at Addicted 2 Tattoos, thank you.

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