Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Rebuilding My Mickey Sharpz Micro-Dial
A challenge!! I love them!! Learning the art of tooning your tattoo machine is definitely something not all tattoo artists perfect in their career! For me I finally feel very confident to say I can take my machine fully apart, guts and all, and rebuild that bad girl back to life and running smoother clearer and stronger than ever!! So I'll share with you my experience because it was pretty bad ass and I learned some new things I loved!!
My Mickey Sharpz is a special machine to me considering it is a legendary piece of equipment that 99.9% of the greats own!! The day some guy walked into the tattoo shop selling a grip of tattoo gear trying to raise up enough money for his new wheels to get him down to San Diego...I SCORED!! My teacher, Franco said "If you dont buy that machine, I will! Here's $75! Ill pay for half of it!" So I did and luckily now own my first Mickey Sharpz Micro Dial, one of the best liner machines you can buy, and I scooped on it for the bargain price of $150 bucks!! YEA!!
Ok Ok!! So I started lining with this machine, I loved its strength and solid lines! Eventually it started running hot, really hot!! So I decided it was time to rebuild my Mickey! I ordered from Mickey Sharpz U.S.A. all the parts I would need!! I bought myself new coils 8 wrap, a bits bag, and a spring replacement armature bar tool kit! Once my gear arrived in the mail I took my machine apart completely! Washed the frame with soap and water, then stripped it with Tar-Nex! After it was fully stripped I took it to the polishing wheel and finished it off by polishing down all surfaces leaving my frame raw metal and looking brand new.
The fun starts now! I arrive into the shop with the help and guidance of my knuckle heads Robby Dobb and Murdock! They said "Girl go to Home Depot and buy yourself a torch and 3 in 1 oil." ( ok lil joke....the night before I couldn't buy a book of matches from the liquor store without my ID...but that day I bought a torch from Home Depot....NOO probolem!!) So Robby Dob shows me how to torch my frame then drop it in the 3 in 1 oil! This process puts a protective hardened layer over the frame. This process helps keep the electric current stronger and solid within the frame, it also helps to keep the frame clean and easier to sterilize. Changing the raw metal finish to a burnt rainbow. I repeated this process then allowed the frame to cool for 45 minutes.
Now the rebuild can begin! Starting with my new coils! Lining everything up to the perfect distance is the most important part of rebuilding a machine. Correct distance and gaps are your differences between a shader and a liner, the differences between a machine that stops dead and a machine that's heart beats strong and solid! I have been gifted to take the teachings from well experienced tattoo artists that I work with at the Orange County InkHouse. Every artist has a preference to how they toon or build their machines. It is up to you as an individual to learn from a qualified tattooer. Point is....WARNING!! Don't try this at home!! It's a craft to be respected and handed down from one skilled artists to another!!