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 Building a Bulldog Single Coil Tattoo Machine from Scratch 

I decided to build another single coil, fabricating every part (except machine screws, springs, and coil core) from scratch. This is a behind the scenes look at how that occurred. First thing I do as always is to draw out a rough shape of the machine on our side plate blank. This is always just a rough idea, the only thing I really concentrate on is making sure it fits the geometry that I want the final machine to have. You will notice I am using some of the extra material for the rear portion of the Bulldog. ( Side plate blanks available here:

As you can see I decided to do a "baby" Bulldog. 
I have received several requests to do a Bulldog. 

So next I drill out the top binding post hole. 

I cut the pieces out. At this stage I always leave the side plate in a rough state, I smooth them out after they are welded and everything is in place.

Next I grabbed a piece of our base blank material, and marked off the vice hole and coil hole. I also use a center punch at the precise are I want to drill 

( Base blanks available here: )

Then I drill pilot holes, and then drilled them to the correct sizes.

Next the hole for the vise pinch screw

Next I cut off the excess base material and cut across the tube vise hole.

I then started on the spring deck. I am still out of spring deck material, so I cut a 1/4" of base material, which comes out to the same dimension as our spring shelves. I then did a center punch on the screw hole, and clip cord hole.

Drilled it

Tapped it

Tapped the base too while I was at it.

Then welded the back of the machine.

Drilled the rear binding post hole.

Welded the spring deck on.

Welded the side plate on and cleaned up the machine. 

Next I moved on to the armeture bar (a-bar). I cut it to the desired length & marked the screw hole. 
( armature bar raw material found here: )

Pilot hole

Drilled to size

Nipple center punch

Drilled to size

And then I brazed on a copper nipple. 

and cut it to length

Then tapped it

Next I spun off the binding posts on my lathe - front & rear.

( Binding post material sold here: )

I actually decided to do my own contact screw as well.

( but if you would rather just purchase one, you can do that here: )

I added the finish to the frame and blackened the a-bar

Next to wind the single coil. 
I grabbed a coil, kapton tape to insulate, and our coil washers.

( All available here: )

I decided to make her a 10 wrap. Now anyone that knows me might be a little taken a back. We do not sell 10 wraps. I think 10 wraps are over kill. I can make you the hardest hitting machine that drives large mags with ease out of 8 wraps. So that (along with 6 & 7-1/2 wraps) is what we sell.  BUT, on a SINGLE coil, sometimes it is nice to have just a little more power for that daily grinder - SO, a 10 wrap this little girl got. 

I decided to give her a little extra flair by making the capacitor look the same as the coil itself. 

All the parts ready to be assembled


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



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