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How a Tattoo Gun Functions

The Electromagnet The main power supply of a tattoo gun is from a simple doorbell circuit. The artist presses on the peddle with their foot turning on power to the electromagnet. The electromagnet draws the armature bar down towards the coils. When contact between the coils and the armature bar is made the power is shut off

causing the armature bar to rise. Once the bar is drawn away from the coils, the electromagnet is turned on again causing the armature to be attracted to the coils once more. This process is done in rapid succession, this movement also causes the ink to travel up the sanitary tube and load the needles with ink.

The electromagnet consists of a set of coils which are connected by a wire, the wire is secured to the rear binding post at the bottom left portion of the frame. On the top of the coils is a contact, this contact attracts the

armature bar and spring suspended above it when the electromagnet is turned on. A rubber band is wrapped around the frame, coils and the needle arm holding them all in place.

The Needles A tattoo gun uses a cluster of needles that range from two needles up to eight needles, depending on the type of lines being drawn. The fewer the needles in the cluster the finer the line, the more needles in the cluster the thicker the line. Fewer needles in the cluster can also be used for shading. The tattoo artist will use these needles with short swift motions for light application of shading. Needles can be handmade by the tattoo artist or bought from a supplier. The needles

resemble an ultra slim fountain pen, where the ink comes out of a whole and runs down the end of the needles onto the skin and is then pressed into the skin with the punctures of the needles. Needles are inserted onto the needle arm, one end of the needle arm has a loop on it while the other end fits into the end of the needle cluster. When it is attached, the needle arm is then fed through the middle of the sanitary tube and attached with the loop onto the top hat grommet that sticks out from the armature bar. When the power is turned on, the needle arm moves up and down in the sanitary tube.

The Frame of the Tattoo Gun A tattoo gun is a simple machine that has a U shaped frame. At the top part of the frame an armature bar is attached to a set of springs by at the bottom portion of the U. In front of these coils is a clamp where the sanitary tube is attached with a thick rubber grip wrapped around the middle of the tube. The needles fit inside the sanitary tube and move up and down due to the electromagnetic force created by the coils. The movement of the needles is controlled by the armature bar and the front spring at the right top part of the frame. The armature bar and spring can be

an O-ring. The back spring is fixed onto the left part of the frame, while the front spring hangs out of the open U shape with a top hat grommet. Underneath the armature bar is a set of coils. These coils are attached to a yoke tightened with a contact screw to control how much the needles move. The screw is inserted through the binding post on the left front portion of the frame. Screwing the contact screw closer to the spring restricts the movement of the armature bar and that of the needles. Unscrewing the contact screw frees the movement of the armature bar and that of the needles.