March 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm #38329
I am not a fan of the shopping list in the other topic, so I’m going to make my own. Now, as far as the other one goes it does have a few errors. Always use disposable. It is cheaper at first, but since you’re buying them forever it does end up being more expensive. However, it’s going to save you a lot of time, and money shelling out hundreds of dollars so you can have twenty of each tip. You will also save time autoclaving, money on autoclave tests which need to be done bi-weekly, buying special autoclave test strips to prove your stuff is sterile, autoclave bags, and tape. If not autoclaved you will cross contaminate, and spread diseases. Disposables are just cheaper.
Below you will see titles, and “spoilers.” There really aren’t “spoilers” it is just a BBCode that hide’s information. The whole point of it is so you don’t see a large wall of text, and feel intimidated. This way you can read part by part closing parts as you go along. Simply click “Show” to view the information under the titles.
[spoiler]Now then, as far as kits go I agree. Do not buy a kit. However, there are three kits I support because they have quality stuff in them:
Now, the ink in this kit is garbage. Use it only for practicing, and not on people.
These two kits are good all around. Machines, inks, power supplies, everything. You also get C.R. Jordan’s book–which is fantastic–and a training DVD. Obviously, I recommend the most expensive one as being the best for your buck.
You can also build your own kit by buying everything separate. I tend to do a lot of my shopping at Hildbrant– http://www.tattoomachineequipment.com –as their prices are [b]very[/b] fair. They also sell a [i]Refill Pack[/i] which has everything you need to restock up on for tattooing (for the most part). It is also at a fair price. You can also email them with your order number, and ask for Nitrile Gloves instead of Latex, nipple grommets instead of full ones, and even pick which needles, and grips you want. Now, their inks are a set so you can’t alter those.
I don’t recommend their rotary kits as their only rotaries I’ve heard good things about are their Assassin, and Executioner. I prefer coils anyway. Also, if building a machine they sell all the parts, and tools you’ll need.
Now that my preface is done lets move onto the list. This is really in no particular order, it’s mostly as I remember them.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]You can do as that other shopping list says, and build your own knock off, or you can buy a legit Hildbrant, and it will run right out of the box. They are $50.00 each, and run great. I have five. I would recommend starting with at least three. A liner, a shader, and a colour packer. To do this you’ll need to buy the .444 Marlin Shader, and change the back spring to a long, and wide back spring. That will slow it down, and it will pack in colour nicely. The others just experiment. I like the .357 Magnum Liner, and the .44 Winchester Shader, but they are both fast machines. I suggest sticking witht he chrome machines as they are slower, and will allow for slower hand speeds.
[spoiler]Any of the Hildbrant power supplies are good. That is the Hildbrant [b]brand[/b] not the ones they offer in general. I don’t have much knowledge of their other ones. You can also get the Hurricane HP-2 or HP-3 whichever is in your budget. The Hurricane power supplies have a ton of readouts–which will save you money on tools as you can use the readouts to tune your machine–and also a stop watch if you charge by hour. I’ve had my HP-2 for three years, and it is still going strong.
Spartan [they are the same just different colour]
[spoiler]You can use a regular bunny ear clip cord purchased from any retailer (IE: Hildbrant. As I said I love their prices), or an RCA clip cord from any retailer. Now the bunny ear clip cords sometimes have [i]dead spots[/i] where you lose power. I’m not sure if only the cheaper ones do this though. If your machine doesn’t have RCA jacks on it you can buy mounts to affix easily to your machine to rectify that issue. I prefer RCA as the power is consistent, you don’t need to worry about which leads go where, and there aren’t any [i]dead spots[/i].
RCA Clip Cord
[spoiler]Quality is key. Even your food pedal can cause you to lose power, or have inconsistent power. The stainless steel flat foot pedals do work well–I have used them in the past–but my favourite are the round ones. They are great, amazing quality, and are made to withstand a beating. Very nice construction.
[spoiler]That’s pretty much all there is as far as main equipment in the tattoo industry. However, to maintain this equipment you’ll need some tools. If you use a digital readout power supply you wont need a tension guage as that is easily figured out with one of your readouts. I recommend that. You’ll need needle nose pliers, scissors, allen wrenches (metric and imperial), flat head screw drover, torque wrench set (can get them similar to the allen wrenches where you get multiples on one handle), star screw driver, and that’s basically it. Other tools you can get are: rose shears (I use them to cut the bladed part of the razor blade off so it takes up much less room in the sharps container), armature bar alignment tool, and a spring flake jig. The latter aren’t necessary, but do make things a lot easier. Most can be found at any hardware store, others can be found online.
Armature Bar Alignment
Spring Flake Jig
[spoiler]There are [i]tons[/i] of different barriers out there: saran wrap, aluminum foil, barrier film, dental bibs, drape sheets, sandwich bags, clip cord sleeves, machine bags, wash bottle bags. Some can be used for others. IE: You can saran wrap your chairs, or tables instead of using drape sheets. You can use saran on your clip cord in place of a clip cord cover, but is a lot more effort. Remember, time is money. You can use sandwich bags for your squirt bottles, and wash bottles, your machines, and your power supply if you use one similar to the Hurricane HP-2.
Whichever you choose be sure to use it well. If you use a squirt bottle simply saran wrap the base where the water is, then drape a sandwich bag over it. Pinch the corner, then gently pull it back over the nozzle. Not all the way back. This way the crack where the nozzle is is covered along with any other crack, and the trigger. If you use a wash bottle simply pull the nose through the middle of a sandwich bag, fold over the bottom, and tape to make the seal. You do the same with wash bottle bags. Change [b]all[/b] of your barriers after each tattoo. This is important to decrease cross contamination.
Clean your station, and wrap with saran wrap, or aluminum foil. Anything you touch should be wrapped with barrier film, aluminum foil, or saran wrap. Barrier film, or saran wrap work best as they are non-porous, and stick to things. This includes your station, your power supply, your machine, clip cord, all bottles, the thing on your stool to make it go up, and down, the on-and off of your lamp if you have one, etc. Anything you think you might touch with a contaminated glove.
Note: As soon as you start tattooing your gloves are contaminated.
You can get saran wrap, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, and garbage bags from the dollar store.
Wash Bottle Bags
Clip Cord Sleeves
[spoiler]You’ll need quite a few bottles. This really depends on what you’re doing. If you’re making your only solution for stencils you’ll need one more. I recommend four bottles. Two for your tattooing liquids, one for stencil solution, and one for your disinfectant solution. You can use either spray bottles for your tattooing liquids, or squirt bottles. The rest its easiest with squirt bottles. You can also purchase germicidal wash bottles at Hildbrant’s website. You can get squirt bottles from the dollar store.
If you plan on making your own grey washes you’ll also need to buy sterile ink bottles, but don’t worry about that now.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]The best thing you can use is CaviCide, or CaviWipes. Personally, CaviCide is my favourite product by far. There is also MadaCide, and Defend Disinfecting wipes. The only use for green soap in your studio is to clean your floors. It was originally made for such, and since tattoo artists were using it to tattoo with they slightly made a change for the tattoo world. However, it is originally a floor cleaner so I do not recommend it for tattooing with. It is also a skin irritant. Use for tattooing at own risk.
[spoiler]First, and foremost you’ll need a sharps container. This is where you [b]must[/b] put needles, and razors. Do not recap razors as you can cut yourself, and spread blood borne pathogens. I cut the bladed parts off over the hole for my sharps container, and they fall in. This way they take up less room in my sharps container.
You’ll also need razors for shaving, tongue depressors to remove ointment that is in tubs, Dettol (for stencil solution), Isopropyl Alcohol 99% (for stencil solution), gloves (Nitrile only), Bactine (optional for wash bottle), Witch Hazel (optional for wash bottle, and for diluting inks), distilled water (either in personal bottles or large jug), Hand Sanitizer (70% alcohol or better), antibacterial hand soap (for washing hands, and option for wash bottle), and dry lock bandages. These are the best in my opinion for dressing for tattoos. They pull all moisture–blood, plasma, swear, ink–into it, and keep the skin clean. Dettol, and Isopropyl Alcohol can be purchased at any drug store, and the same goes for sharps containers. When I go to Shopper’s Drug Mart I get them for free. However, I’m in Canada. It may be different in other countries. Razors can be purchased at the dollar store. Paper Towels can also be purchased at the dollar store, but quality is always better. I prefer select a size as you don’t have to rip it in half. I find a full sheet is too much.
Your hand sanitizer is to clean the area prier to applying the stencil. You can also use alcohol prep pads, spray on isopropyl alcohol, or use Prep Stuff™ from the makers of Stencil Stuff®. Any of these are fine. If you use isopropyl alcohol spray it onto a paper towel and rub into the skin. Do not spray on the skin. You’ll also need tape for your bandages. I recommend trainers tape as it has zinc oxide in the glue so it wont react to skin. It also sticks really well. You can also use Sensi-Wrap tape, cellulose tape (the clear tape), masking tape, or medical tape.
Isopropyl Alcohol (70% is enough, but I prefer 99%)
Alcohol Prep Pads
Gloves (Black Jack are my favourite on this site. Adenna Night Shadow being my all-time favourite)
[spoiler]While tattooing you’re going to need to use an ointment to lubricate the skin. My favourite is PurTect™ by SOLabs™. It is an anti-microbial, and you also use half of what you would normally use with any other product. It spreads easily, and is absorbed into the skin to hydrate it. You can also use A&D ointment, After Inked™, or really any tattoo aftercare. [b]Stay away from petroleum based products.[/b] Petroleum will go into the wounds, sit under the ink, and push it up. It can also clog pores, and cause pimples. These pimples can damage a tattoo. The only use for Petrleum based products is to use as glue to hold your ink caps down. Never use an ink cup holder as if you use a proper disposable set up you won’t have an autoclave to sterilize it, and it is essentially unnecessary. Petroleum works fine: Vaseline, etc.
Redemption™ by Tattoo Stuff™ can be used to tattoo with, but I find it a little thick, and hard to spread. However, I’ve had many clients test it for me, and they love the product for after care. Other ointments I like for aftercare are: PurTect™, After Inked™, Hustle Butter™, and A&D Ointment.
Vitamins A&D (The 144 foil pack is great for aftercare. Sell for $0.50ea, three for $1.00, and you can make a good profit.)
[spoiler]Now you should have two wash bottles. One with distilled water, and one with distilled water, and soap. Now, essentially any anti-bacterial soap will do. [b]Do not use green soap.[/b] My favourite is PurKlenz™ by SOLabs™. For my 8oz wash bottle I use a Germicidal Wash Bottle from Hildbrant with four pumps–24cc–of PurKlenz, 4 cap full of Bactine, 4 cap full of Witch Hazel, and the rest is distilled water. The Bactine, and Witch Hazel really help with swelling, and redness, and the Bactine will also help with healing and pain. I’ve noticed a large difference between this, and just soap, and water. You can use the same methods with a small squirt bottles. Be sure you cover it properly.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]The easiest way to start off is with hectograph paper. This paper transfers the carbon onto the stencil sheet using pressure. This makes you a really great stencil by pencil, or pen. You can also use Spirit Thermal Fax Paper, but it doesn’t make as good a stencil with pressure. It’s easiest with some sort of thermal carrier: thermal fax machine, or a run of the mill office fax machine. I’ll go into more detail of this in another thread, and will add a video.
Now for a solution there are two easy ways. One is to buy Stencil Stuff® by Tattoo Stuff™. This stuff is great, and you really don’t need a lot of it. The other is a mixture I made using Dettol, and Isopropyl Alcohol 99%. Mix one part Isopropyl Alcohol 99% with seven parts Dettol. Close your bottle, shake, and you’re good. Shake before using for each tattoo as well. Mixes up all the ingredients before use. Spray a little onto your glove, and rub it into the skin. It is more important to rub it into the skin rather than onto it. You don’t want the skin wet as it will ruin your stencil. You don’t want it too dry or your stencil wont apply. Add the solution until you get a tacky feeling. Simply touch the area and see if your glove sticks slightly.
Simply apply the stencil now, press for eight to ten seconds, gently peel off starting at a corner, and allow the stencil to dry for eight to ten minutes. If it needs to be replace you can use your hand sanitizer, an alcohol prep pad, or Prep Stuff™. The alcohol content will help get rid of the stencil so you can replace it.
There are also special scribe pens for doing freehand stencils. You can also use sharpie markers, or ballpoint pens. A lightbox will also help you with getting tracings, or having things line up (useful when doing stencils with an office fax machine).
[b]Ink, and Ink Cups[/b]
[spoiler]Your ink cups you buy almost anywhere aren’t sterile. It is best to run them through an ultrasonic cleaner for fifteen to thirty minutes, and placed into a sterile container until they are needed. I normally get the three sizes available on Hildbrant’s website. I only ever need the small, or medium. The large ones I use for water to dip in when doing black, and grey pieces.
When choosing an ink you want to go for quality inks. My favourite brands are: Alla Prima, Eternal, Kuro Sumi, Intenze Zuper Black, Star Brite, MOM’s Millenium, and Radiant Colours. Some of these are available on Hildbrant’s website, others you can find online with an easy google search. I prefer the Intenze for my outlines, and solid blacks. I use Kuro Sumi outlining ink for making grey washes, and the others I use a mix of for my colours. The Radiants, and MOMs are fairly priced, and make nice solid, and bright colours. Good for beginners. If you don’t have any of these then your ink is only good for practising on non-human canvases.
Do not use ink cup holders unless you have an autoclave. You can’t sterilize them so they cannot be used. I use Vaseline to stick my ink cups, and rinse cups to my work station. It’s cheap–can be purchased at the dollar store–and does the job. You can also use Vaseline on practice mediums as your ointment so you don’t waste your expensive stuff.
[spoiler]The best thing I can suggest is Honeydew Melons. They are the closest thing to human skin in the fruit world. Also, they are curved which simulates a human better as no human is flat. There are also various styles of practice skin you can buy, but I don’t really like it. You can also get pig ears, and pig skin to practice on. No matter what you use be sure to use a lot of ointment to prevent your ink from blotching, and staining your canvas. For this you can use Vaseline. You don’t want to waste your expensive ointments for practice.
[b]Tubes, and Grips[/b]
[spoiler]The best, and safest way is a pure disposable tattoo studio. That is what I use, and what I recommend. If it can’t be sterilized it is disposable. That includes grips. You can buy steel grip, tube, and tips, but you will shell out a lot of money to buy, operate, and maintain an expensive autoclave. This saves a lot of time, and therefore money.
There are many types of disposable grips. Some even come with steel tips! Many different styles, and brands as well. The ones that will work for a beginner’s budget are the ones on Hildbrant’s site. They have three types to choose from varying in price, and quality. I recommend the Scorpions, but the Freeflows will do as a nice runner up. The black ones will work, but they aren’t as high quality.
There are also three different types of grips: round (RT), diamond (VT or DT), and flat (FT). Your DT are used for lining. The V shape that they have keeps the needle from being able to move around. It also gives a slightly better ink flow. The end also points outwards which makes it easier to see where your needle, and ink are going. RT are used for your round shader needles. Finally your FT are used for your flats, and various styles of magnums. All types of needles will be covered shortly.
Always use a fully disposable set up. It is the surest way to reduce chances of cross contamination
[spoiler]Like the grips there are various types of needles, and various ways to get them configured. The best, and most cost effective way is to get a disposable, prepackaged, presterilized, and premade needles. Time is money. You can make your own needles, but you’re going to be charging a lot more since people need to pay for the time it takes to make the needles. However, when needles cost merely $0.20 a needle there is no point is making, and sterilizing them. You can also buy a combo pack which includes a sterile disposable needle, and grip. You can’t go wrong.
There are a few different types of needles: round liner (RL), Round Shader (RS), Weaved Magnum (M1), Stacked Magnum (M2), Round Magnum (RM), and Flat(F). These like grips come in varying sizes. The easiest sizes to get are: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 14, 15. This also depends on the type of needle. You want to try and match your needle size with your grip size: 7RL with 7DT, etc.
RL are used for your outlines. The needles at the end of the needle bar are soldered together in a tight grouping, and to a point. This causes a nice, smooth line. RS are used for smaller colour, and shading jobs. I very rarely use them. They are needles soldered in a loose grouping, and pointed outwards. M1 are needles soldered in two rows, and waved: _-_-_ 5M1. A 5M1 would be one row of three, and one row of two weaved together. This weave effect is optimum for shading. M2 are soldered much the same as M1 but they are stacked on top of each other instead of weaved. These work well for colour works. RM are the same as an M1 except the end isn’t flat; it’s curved, or rounded. RM also are the best to use for shading, and colouring as the rounded edge greatly reduces trauma to the skin. F are one line of needled soldered in a flat configuration: ……. 7F. These needles are used for solid colour, or solid black. Personally, I don’t use them as they are very prone to damage the skin if used improperly.
There are tons of needle suppliers out there. I usually use Hildbrant as they have yet to do me wrong in three years. TatSoul has their own Envy Needles which I hear are fantastic. They can also be purchased from Trinity Body Jewelery.
[spoiler]Well one thing you’ve already done is join this forum, and read this lengthy post. I hope you got a lot of good insight, and my links were helpful. Buy C.R. Jordan’s Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo. He also has a DVD about building, and taking apart tattoo machines. Hildbrant also has their own training DVDs. Find as many resources as you can via google. There are also tons of youtube channels out there. I will be working on getting some more tutorials up on my channel as well.
[spoiler]Grommets (I prefer nipple grommets), elastics, o-rings, massage bed, tattoo chair, regular chairs, stool (for you), a table to work on (made of non porous material), somewhere to put all your stuff (A plastic shelf unit from Wal-Mart), sterile ball bearings to put in ink bottles to help with mixing, lightbox, trace paper, printer, scanner, office fax machine (Must be thermal), eye loupe.
There I think that’s everything. I hope I was help to you, and if you have any questions feel free to post them here, or PM me.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]North America (Canada, and United States)
March 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm #38330
Proper Bagging of Spray Bottles
[spoiler]The best way to do it is to cover the part with the liquid with saran wrap, then place a fold-lock sandwich bag over it. You then simply pinch a small but of the corner by the nozzle, and pull off a small piece, then pull the bag back over the nozzle. Remember to label your bottles if required by your local health department. My city requires labels, or some sort of sticky to identify the different liquids in each bottle so you do not grab one by mistake.
View of my two spray bottles I no longer use
Close up. Pay close attention to how the bag covers the nozzle. Do not pull too far back. You want the bag to cover the opening at the back of the nozzle to prevent cross contamination, and to make it easier to clean.
March 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm #38331
Proper Bagging of Spray/Wash Bottles
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