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 Building a single coil tattoo machine
from scratch

decided it had been a very long time since I had built a proper single coil machine. I thought it would be a nice addition to our inventory to have a true single coil machine up. The problem was all of my current machined parts are not compatible with a true single coil. So I decided to fabricate all the parts from scratch and take pictures of the important steps along the way to share with anyone who was interested. Below is the progress. 

First thing I needed to do past coming up with the geometry I wanted to use (Sorry you are on your own for that one!) was to make the base. I started by using our 1018 steel base blank - cut to size. 
(base blank available for purchase -

Then I marked off where I wanted the tube vise, front coil, and rear binding post to be, and used a very small t-square & center punch to make sure they were all perfectly aligned. 

I drilled very small shallow pilot holes for the next step. 

Following that I drilled the holes out to their correct sizes. 

Next I drilled the vise screw hole 

I then used several tools (more of my secrets - but I will share that a hacksaw and files were involved.) to remove the excess material from the bottom of the base. 

The next step was to cut the slot that allows the vise to pinch the tube. 

And tap the vise screw hole. 

I then drilled out the other side allowing the vise to pinch *but forgot to take a picture!!!?!*

With the base then finished I turned my attention to the armature bar  *or A-bar if you prefer*. Since single coil machines have just one coil you have 2 choices.  #1 you can use a standard armature bar and scoot the spring deck WAY back (I personally think these look bad and are not as efficient, but that is just me), or #2 you can custom build one to fit your machine. The second route is way more tricky as you have to truly understand the role the armature bar plays in the machines functionality. Since I have been doing this for almost 2 decades at this point - I went with option #2. 

So I grabbed some of our A-bar stock and measured out what I needed.
(a-bar stock available for purchase -

I cut it , and used my center punch to mark the hole. 

Next I cut out the screw hole, and nipple hole for it. 

Then I decided to make the little girl have a bit of flare. Since I knew I wanted her to have copper accents, I decided to give her a copper nipple on the A-bar. So I brazed that in place. 

and cut it off   

With the parts ready at this point it was time to draw out the side plate. 
(side plate blank available for purchase -

So I had an image in my head of what I wanted her to look like, but I changed my mind (hence the 2 sets of lines). I at first was going to go with a "C" shape, but decided I liked the "Y" shape better.

So then I cut it out (same as the base, my secret - but a hacksaw and files are involved),  welded it, and cleaned her up. 

Wound a single coil for her.
(coil parts available for purchase -

Finally assembled her.  Hard hitting super fast liner! Perfect for the fast handed artist looking for a lighter machine for everyday work. 

This machine has already been sold.

If you like this and would like to see more - or to place a custom order email me at:



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