PRISON-STYLE TATTOO MACHINE
I wanna start with – I’m always excited about creating things, building things and finding inexpensive creative solutions. Also I love tattoos. I have around 14 now, I believe.
For me, they are capturing the moment, the feeling, raw and honest, something like extension of your journal.
Also, tattooing something means that you have clear mind and 100% no doubts into that feeling or moment. Since there’s no going back after the machine starts working.
Last year in Germany I wanted to get a tattoo. They were so expensive. I couldn’t afford one. I decided – so why not make one.
I did my research, the easiest way is called – Stick ‘n’ Poke. Which is also the most primitive way. You are basically poking your skin with a needle pushing the ink inside.
I did 2 of those on my foot, and one on my hand.
And I made a Video:
The only problem is that it takes big amount of time and it is hardly accurate. I wrote in my TO DO List – Make a tattoo machine.
There is something about those home-made tattoo machines.
They look primitive, but also romantic. Like criminal romantic.
Guitar strings, toothbrush, duct tape, wires hanging on, it makes a cool sound. It’s like building Frankenstein. And you need to make it yourself, you can’t buy this. Which means it’s going to be unique!
I started drawing sketches in my notebook planning how to build it.
It’s a simple construction:
– Motor that runs the needle
– Power source for the Motor
+ some kind of skeleton body that holds everything together.
I got my materials and started building.
Also I made this movie showing step by step everything:
For Needle I used a guitar B string that I sharpened at the tip.
For Motor I got a small DC Motor from the electric store. The same one you have in your DVD player, or in the kids toy cars, or radio controlled airplanes. It has 2 connections(positive and negative) and a tip on the other side that will start turning when you give power to the unit. So all you need to do is connect a small circle thing at the axis turning point. And you connect the needle there – and you have a moving needle.
For Power I got a single 9W battery which I changed with a single AA right after testing. It was too strong. My DC motor was too powerful for the simple needle-to-axis joint that I made. The needle was jumping off the machine. But it worked perfectly with less power.
Off course I sterilized the needle boiling it in water for 5 minutes also treating it with rubbing alcohol after.
For Ink I used India Black Ink. Which is a bit different than a regular Tattoo Ink.
Firstly, I would say Tattoo Ink is better. It was hard for me to find it at the moment. And I did a few tattoos with India Black Ink and they turned alright.
What India Ink is , is a powerful pigment that is often used by Artist for Typography and other applications, so you can find it in the good craft stores for around $5 for a small bottle. It is non-toxic or as toxic as a normal tattoo ink but it is easily accessible. Down size is that it is not made for tattoos and it can have some unwanted effects. Some tattoo artists say: “it might turn blue after years”. But for me this is not a problem. I see that people often used it for home-made tattoos.
But it’s important to get India Black Ink, not just India Ink. Because the other pigments are not that strong and they won’t work. So take the Black one.
Also, it is really important to treat your tattoo respectfully. If you decide to make one.
It is an open wound, that you are creating in your skin. You need to be really careful not getting it dirty. Use every possible way to keep it clean. I used rubbing alcohol to treat the place before tattooing. I sterilized all my materials, tools and the place I was working. I used water mixed with rubbing alcohol during the session, also Tattoo Cream after the tattoo was done. And I’ll keep adding Tattoo Cream every 3 hours for the next 10 days, keeping the place from getting dry.
Also throw away the needle after using it, throw away the Ink also. And don’t use them again or on another person. If you want to safe Ink, pour it in a small different container that you will use for the tattoo session. Then throw it away. You can safe the Ink that is left in the original bottle. Don’t reuse those things! They are cheap and you don’t need to risk your health!
I want to say that I’m not a trained professional, I’m just passionate about it. So don’t follow my example right away, giving yourself a tattoo.
What I want you to take from this is – define what you are passionate about, and read every book about it. Get crazy for it, do your research.
And finally – achieve your goal. Do it.
I did it also. I made my machine.
I Dedicated a day building it, and giving myself a tattoo after.
And it works.
It is not the most accurate machine, but it made the job done.
And I learned a lot from this project, getting more motivated & inspired.
I hope this short story gave you an extra kick to get some action to your project.
The one that you were thinking about, writing diagrams how to do.
Go and do it.
It’s waiting for you, and it’s going to be amazing!
Also write me in the Comments Section – What are you passionate to build.
What is the project you were working on recentely>>
I’m excited on DIY projects. And soon I’m gonna make more of them.
That’s all from this episode.
Stay brave, creative and honest!
See you in the next one!