by John Bradley of
Captain Jack's Tattoo
Shimming Your Coils
Does your tattoo machine seem like its getting old and tired? A little run down? Even after adjusting the armature bar and maybe replacing the rear spring. Well the problem might just be that you need to shim your coils. For those of you who don't know why or how to shim their coils then this tech tip may be just what your tired old tattoo machine needs.
First, in order to check to see if your coils need to be shimmed you should hold your tattoo machine in front of you at eye level...then press the armature bar down and check to see if the top of the front coils center core hits the bottom of the armature bar before the rear coil does... it they both hit at the same time, or if the rear coil hits first, then its time to shim the coils. What you want is for the front coil to hit the armature bar and the back coil to be just a hair short from hitting the armature bar.
Now in order to shim the coil you first must determine what coil you are going to shim... If the back coil is hitting the armature bar then unscrew the front coil from the bottom of the frame and lift the coil up enough to slide a shim under the coil and put the screw back in and tighten. Now press the armature bar down again and recheck the distance between the armature bar and the top of both of the coils center core.
Again the front coil should hit first and the rear coil should be just a hair short from hitting the armature bar. If the front coil hits first but you have a lot of space between the rear coil and the armature bar then you should shim the rear coil so that the rear coil is just a hair short of hitting the armature bar. Now you may ask yourself "what is a shim?".....well a shim is a flat washer that comes in many shim sizes from most tattoo supply companies....or do like I do and just go to your local hardware or
electronics store. After you adjust your shims make sure that you check the distance between the armature bar and the coil. Good luck ...any questions just drop me a line..... John
P.S. When I adjust my shims I usually take the whole machine apart and clean all the parts including the frame and then resolder all wires and connectors.
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by John Bradley of Captain Jack's Tattoo
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