Needle Depth Verses Stroke Length

Madaxe

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14 Aug 2013
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Steve
So if u are going to a depth of 2mm with ur needle why adjust for a longer or shorter stroke or throw.. For colour packing or for lining? Are u meant to be doing solid fills deeper than 2mm by having a longer throw or is 2mm the right depth for everything an changing the length of stroke on the machine changes the way it goes in even tho u goin to the same depth? Thanks guys keen to here wat u got to say about this..
 

DJHicks

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5 Sep 2012
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Throw is how far the needle moves up and down from its highest point to the lowest... nothing to do with depth at all.

You could have a throw of 100mm but if you held the machineup 98mm away from the skin the last 2mm would be the bit that went in....
 

Sl1pperyweasel

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So if u are going to a depth of 2mm with ur needle why adjust for a longer or shorter stroke or throw.. For colour packing or for lining? Are u meant to be doing solid fills deeper than 2mm by having a longer throw or is 2mm the right depth for everything an changing the length of stroke on the machine changes the way it goes in even tho u goin to the same depth? Thanks guys keen to here wat u got to say about this..

Good question. Something iv never fully understood either.
 

Ink sponge

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For lining you should be going tattooing between 1.5 and 1.0mm into the skin. If your putting 2mn in that's too deep and prone to blow outs. For shading and packing you don't need to go that deep. Only the tip of the needle needs to go in or you will chew up the skin. Depth is also dependant on the area your working. Any where near the bone the skin is thinner so you have to be very careful with your depth.
As far as throw goes the longer the throw the harder the machine hits. I use rotaries with 3 different throws. If your using a short throw lets say your machine will run at 20 stitches per second at 8 volts. A medium stroke will hit at 20 stitches per second at 10volts and a long throw 20 stitches per second at 12 volts. So you see to keep the same speed of the machine you use a higher voltage with a longer throw.
Due to the higher voltage and longer distance the needle travels it hits the skin harder. Most artists use a short stroke for a soft hitting machine for black and grey shading. A medium stroke for general shading. A long stroke is really punchy and works best for lining and packing ink into the skin.
Finally the stroke also dictates how your machine draws up ink, blood and plasma. The longer the needle travel the more ink is drawn out of the cap or fluids drawn back from the skin. A short stroke machine needs dipping into the cap more often or for longer to draw the same amount of ink into the tip.
 

Madaxe

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14 Aug 2013
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So for packin black into softer skin on the back of the forearm wat depth would I be starting at?
 

serafeimsc

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10 Feb 2013
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I like your explanation on that scotty, because that Is kind of how I do it... I enjoy a long stroke... However from what I have read i belive you have it flipped. Not trying to be a dick, or rude or anything, you prob have a lot more experiance than me... however this was my understanding of it...

You want a short stroke for lining, because the needle will move faster and shorter distance, therefore eliminating wobbles and such.

You want a longer stroke for color packing.. Because from what I gathered you want the needles to "relax" in the skin for a second depositing ink.

I have been looking at the Storm rotary for a while and it comes with different stroke thingys. the short one for lining, long one for blk/grey color....

I however personally prefer a long stroke for everything. I like to move slow. Different strokes for different folks! lol.

It took me playing with stroke, speed, and a lot to even get a nice solid line I was happy with. I still tweek and change things often. Soooo many variables. I suggest starting with the "baseline" nickle/dime thing, and adjusting from there :D
 

scottymaturin

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20 Aug 2013
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I like your explanation on that scotty, because that Is kind of how I do it... I enjoy a long stroke... However from what I have read i belive you have it flipped. Not trying to be a dick, or rude or anything, you prob have a lot more experiance than me... however this was my understanding of it...

You want a short stroke for lining, because the needle will move faster and shorter distance, therefore eliminating wobbles and such.

You want a longer stroke for color packing.. Because from what I gathered you want the needles to "relax" in the skin for a second depositing ink.

I have been looking at the Storm rotary for a while and it comes with different stroke thingys. the short one for lining, long one for blk/grey color....

I however personally prefer a long stroke for everything. I like to move slow. Different strokes for different folks! lol.

It took me playing with stroke, speed, and a lot to even get a nice solid line I was happy with. I still tweek and change things often. Soooo many variables. I suggest starting with the "baseline" nickle/dime thing, and adjusting from there :D

What do you mean I have it flipped? You just basically said the same thing I just said..I said a nickel dept for coloring..and a dime for lining..if he had to ask that question pretty sure he's a beginner..those are beginner settings..
 

serafeimsc

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Most artists use a short stroke for a soft hitting machine for black and grey shading. A medium stroke for general shading. A long stroke is really punchy and works best for lining and packing ink into the skin.
Finally the stroke also dictates how your machine draws up ink, blood and plasma. The longer the needle travel the more ink is drawn out of the cap or fluids drawn back from the skin. A short stroke machine needs dipping into the cap more often or for longer to draw the same amount of ink into the tip.


A dime gap, for lining, will give a short stroke.
A nickel gap, for shading/bg, will give a longer stroke.
You kind of contradicted your self :)

A long stroke with low volts is what I use for shading, which I have read in several books. I'm actually looking for exact quotes now, just so you know i'm not talking out of my ass.

I'm not second guessing you, or trying to disrespect you, since like i said, i'm sure you have a lot more experiance than I. But from all my readings and even w/ the rotaries, Short stroke = lining... Long stroke = shading/color


From the Storm a100 website w/ description STORM a100 Rotary Machine *Brass* Limited Edition [fr-storm-a100-brass] - $179.99 : Friction Tattoo, Wholesale Tattoo Supply
A must-have as a daily versatile workhorse which enables you to line or shade with ease. With the 5mm stroke bearing, you'll have a very hard hitting color packer and the 3mm and 4mm allows you to have great shading or lining depending on your preference.


But again as everyone says, there is no correct way. Just Theories to understand and tweek to your liking :D


My apolgies scotty... That was meant for Ink :(
 

scottymaturin

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20 Aug 2013
50
louisiana
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scotty
Your confusing me here..I answered the guys question.he asked what needle dept to use for coloring.. and I said a nickel which is a long stroke..for packing in color..but ok..you can answer the questions..no biggy here



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Madaxe

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14 Aug 2013
11
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Steve
A dime gap, for lining, will give a short stroke.
A nickel gap, for shading/bg, will give a longer stroke.
You kind of contradicted your self :)

A long stroke with low volts is what I use for shading, which I have read in several books. I'm actually looking for exact quotes now, just so you know i'm not talking out of my ass.

I'm not second guessing you, or trying to disrespect you, since like i said, i'm sure you have a lot more experiance than I. But from all my readings and even w/ the rotaries, Short stroke = lining... Long stroke = shading/color


From the Storm a100 website w/ description STORM a100 Rotary Machine *Brass* Limited Edition [fr-storm-a100-brass] - $179.99 : Friction Tattoo, Wholesale Tattoo Supply
A must-have as a daily versatile workhorse which enables you to line or shade with ease. With the 5mm stroke bearing, you'll have a very hard hitting color packer and the 3mm and 4mm allows you to have great shading or lining depending on your preference.


But again as everyone says, there is no correct way. Just Theories to understand and tweek to your liking :D


My apolgies scotty... That was meant for Ink :(

Hey Andy are u talkin bout depth or stroke? Like 2mm needle depth or 2mm a bar gap? So ur sayin for colour packin u would have a 2mm needle depth with a long stroke an lining u would go 1mm depth with a short stroke? Talkin averages an starting points here..
 

roxydoo

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19 Dec 2012
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Jay
The 1.5mm to 2mm is just a starting point remember, and different parts of the body varies alot... i.e the top of a foot will be less than a stomach etc etc
We all have to find what works for us so there is no exact answer tho 1.5-2mm is a safer start
 

serafeimsc

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10 Feb 2013
335
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Andy
Honestly, I stopped worrying about all the technical aspects. I was once like you... Hell i even measured how far the tips come out. lol.... But i stopped. There is a way the needle looks, and feels when it goes deep enough. But for technicalities....

The skin is roughly 5mm thick. Its comprimised of several layers. The top layer is .5-2mm thick. It is called the epidermis. It is clear. This is the layer you shed.

The 2nd layer is called the Dermis. It is between .5 and 3mm thick. This is the layer you want the ink to be in.

The 3rd layer is the Subcutaneous Layer. Its fat. This is the layer of skin that shows the "blowouts". Basically the ink is absorbed by the fat and spreads, giving the "bruised" look.

Skin - Anatomy - Skin Layers

Stroke/Throw is how far the armature bar travels. I also stopped caring about the nickle/dime thing. Here is what I do and how i understand it... Keywords in this... I... everyone is different. But before I get to that this is how I understand adjusting throw on a coil machine.

The bend in the rear spring will do 2 things. It will put more tension in the system, therefore causing you to push more volts in order to push the needle, causing a harder hit. It will also increase the throw of your machine. When you hear "My machine has a 3mm throw", what that means is if you took the armature bar, and held it down and put a ruler there, then let go of it and push it up, the number the nipple lands on is how far your throw is. However the front spring has an effect on it. Its very complicated and I am having a difficult time translating it into text. My mind is wierd.
To simplify it remember this.... The longer the throw the slower your hand moves. The shorter the throw the faster you need to move your hand.

I hope that helps, and if i'm wrong at all please correct me. I don't want to give bum information. There is enough of that out on the internet!
 

Ink sponge

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I like your explanation on that scotty, because that Is kind of how I do it... I enjoy a long stroke... However from what I have read i belive you have it flipped. Not trying to be a dick, or rude or anything, you prob have a lot more experiance than me... however this was my understanding of it...

You want a short stroke for lining, because the needle will move faster and shorter distance, therefore eliminating wobbles and such.

You want a longer stroke for color packing.. Because from what I gathered you want the needles to "relax" in the skin for a second depositing ink.

I have been looking at the Storm rotary for a while and it comes with different stroke thingys. the short one for lining, long one for blk/grey color....

I however personally prefer a long stroke for everything. I like to move slow. Different strokes for different folks! lol.

It took me playing with stroke, speed, and a lot to even get a nice solid line I was happy with. I still tweek and change things often. Soooo many variables. I suggest starting with the "baseline" nickle/dime thing, and adjusting from there :D

My original statement was " most artists " everybody has different preferences and what works for one artist doesn't necessarily mean it will work for the next. I also use rotaries which are different than coils. Some artists use a short stroke for lining but I find its prone to needle drag in the skin so use a longer stroke. A short stroke on a rotary isn't powerful enough for lining or packing.
Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.
 

troub1edsou1z

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A short stroke on a rotary is more than sufficient enough to line with. Unless your trying to line at 3v, you should have no issue laying down a line with a short stroke rotary......and the only way you will get needle drag is by your machine being slower then your hand
 

cymek74

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Why are all the best regarded rotary liners medium to long stroke then?, did Dan Kubin, Rotary Works, Neotat, Rapiers etc. all get it wrong? Anyone interested in lining with a rotary should check out rotary specific forums and see what the norm is, a quick peek and you'll see that 99% don't use a short stroke, except for detailing, it is definitely not regarded as the best way to line with a rotary.
 

troub1edsou1z

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Why are all the best regarded rotary liners medium to long stroke then?, did Dan Kubin, Rotary Works, Neotat, Rapiers etc. all get it wrong? Anyone interested in lining with a rotary should check out rotary specific forums and see what the norm is, a quick peek and you'll see that 99% don't use a short stroke, except for detailing, it is definitely not regarded as the best way to line with a rotary.

Read what I wrote, and then explain to me, where I stated that a short stroke rotary is the way to go for lining? I was referring to Ink Sponges comment: "Some artists use a short stroke for lining but I find its prone to needle drag in the skin so use a longer stroke. A short stroke on a rotary isn't powerful enough for lining or packing". So, going back to my comment, I said that a short stroke, IS sufficient enough to line with. C'mon people read what is there before trying to create an argument. Think before you react so you don't make yourself look foolish........
 

cymek74

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Read what I wrote, and then explain to me, where I stated that a short stroke rotary is the way to go for lining? I was referring to Ink Sponges comment: "Some artists use a short stroke for lining but I find its prone to needle drag in the skin so use a longer stroke. A short stroke on a rotary isn't powerful enough for lining or packing".
C'mon people read what is there before trying to create an argument. Think before you react so you don't make yourself look foolish........

Huh?, I never quoted you in my post, my post was a general view shared by myself and many on the topic and posts as a whole, yes it was directly after your post and was influenced by it, but even so, what's the biggie?, I am still not reacting badly buddy, it's a forum, post what you want, conflicting or not, as long as you aren't being personal or disrespectful.

Your post above has seemingly conflicting information in it,

Read what I wrote, and then explain to me, where I stated that a short stroke rotary is the way to go for lining?
So, going back to my comment, I said that a short stroke, IS sufficient enough to line with.

Now I think I know what you are getting at, just about, but can you see how this would be slightly confusing for a beginner?, or am I making myself look foolish again?, nothing personal.
 

troub1edsou1z

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Huh?, I never quoted you in my post, my post was a general view shared by myself and many on the topic and posts as a whole, yes it was directly after your post and was influenced by it, but even so, what's the biggie?, I am still not reacting badly buddy, it's a forum, post what you want, conflicting or not, as long as you aren't being personal or disrespectful.

Your post above has seemingly conflicting information in it,

Read what I wrote, and then explain to me, where I stated that a short stroke rotary is the way to go for lining?
So, going back to my comment, I said that a short stroke, IS sufficient enough to line with.

Now I think I know what you are getting at, just about, but can you see how this would be slightly confusing for a beginner?, or am I making myself look foolish again?, nothing personal.

Then I must apologize, as I thought it was directed at me! So I admit that I am the foolish one here. To clarify, I was stating that I did not say a short stroke rotary was the holy grail for lining. My post was influenced by Ink Sponge's post, to which he said,

A short stroke on a rotary isn't powerful enough for lining or packing.

I was clearing that up by saying,

A short stroke on a rotary is more than sufficient enough to line with'


Anyway no hard feelings and again I apologize
 

johnnyshears

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12 Jun 2013
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I think that what was missed when you read sponges response was that for each time he upped the stroke he also upper the volts to keep the machine speed the same. So he can line just as smooth with the same amount of stiches either way. If im reading correct shorter stroke can be softer with less volts while a longer stoke requires more volts and a harder hit to run the same machine speed.
 

cymek74

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Then I must apologize, as I thought it was directed at me! So I admit that I am the foolish one here. To clarify, I was stating that I did not say a short stroke rotary was the holy grail for lining. My post was influenced by Ink Sponge's post, to which he said,

A short stroke on a rotary isn't powerful enough for lining or packing.

I was clearing that up by saying,

A short stroke on a rotary is more than sufficient enough to line with'


Anyway no hard feelings and again I apologize

It's all good, no apology required, different strokes for different folks, I hate lining with a short stroke rotary, I like the punch of a longer stroke, but it is just personal preference.
 

Ink sponge

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Currently I've posted two comments on this thread. It has 200 views and a total of 24 comments. I posted to try and explain an answer to another community member. Its a shame that when I post a practice piece that's taken 8hrs to complete there's hardly a response.

Due to the nature of this forum id like to clarify that the above comment is my personal opinion and not directed at any particular community member.

Does any body else not see a problem here?
 

troub1edsou1z

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Ink,
I wasn't trying to come at you disrespectfully! It's just when you post a general statement it can be taken the wrong way with how it's worded, (hence my reply).
With this forum as well as any other, you have to remember there are alot of lurkers. Some may just want to browse, and some comment. You have to take it with a grain of salt. If I open up a post of someones work, I'll check it out, but if there's already alot of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, I don't feel a need to repeat what has already been stated. I will comment if I feel it has been mis-informed, or I want to add to it based off of my knowledge. Which brings me to another subject that I will elaborate on in a different thread.....
 

Ink sponge

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i have no idea what your talking about pal. All I've said is that I spend 8 hrs on a practice piece and hardly anybody responds. Some times 4 comments and I feel lucky.
I haven't named or quoted you so I don't even know why you have included my name in your last comment.
I admire the fact that you were prepared you apologise to Steve even though it wasn't required. Most people aren't man enough to do that.
 

troub1edsou1z

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Ok let me clarify..... this first sentence was a follow up from the mis-understanding in an earlier post.

"I wasn't trying to come at you disrespectfully! It's just when you post a general statement it can be taken the wrong way with how it's worded, (hence my reply)."
this is referring to you statement about short stroke not having enough power.....

The rest of my post was a follow up explination in my POV as to why we see a post with 200 views and only 5 comments, then explaining the way I go about a post.....
 

Torb

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This is the recommendations for stroke and volts on the new vlad blad avenger pro with adjustable stroke. I know it's an old thread but it's an interesting one.
 

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Torb

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I like your explanation on that scotty, because that Is kind of how I do it... I enjoy a long stroke... However from what I have read i belive you have it flipped. Not trying to be a dick, or rude or anything, you prob have a lot more experiance than me... however this was my understanding of it...

You want a short stroke for lining, because the needle will move faster and shorter distance, therefore eliminating wobbles and such.

You want a longer stroke for color packing.. Because from what I gathered you want the needles to "relax" in the skin for a second depositing ink.

I have been looking at the Storm rotary for a while and it comes with different stroke thingys. the short one for lining, long one for blk/grey color....

I however personally prefer a long stroke for everything. I like to move slow. Different strokes for different folks! lol.

It took me playing with stroke, speed, and a lot to even get a nice solid line I was happy with. I still tweek and change things often. Soooo many variables. I suggest starting with the "baseline" nickle/dime thing, and adjusting from there :D
For coils it is flipped. Short stroke = fast for lining but when it comes to rotary machines the speed is adjusted with the volts and a long stroke works much better for lining and packing. Gives it more punch.
 

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