Step 4: The Cam

Constructing the cam:
In this step we will be creating the main cam. This is one of the most important parts of the gun and is very tedious to construct.

Cutting and grinding:
Find a fairly thick piece of metal (about 3-4 millimetres), be sure that the metal is easy to work with because you will be drilling tiny holes. Cut a piece about 1 ½ cm long and 6-7 mm wide. Grind the corners round to avoid it interfering with other parts of the gun.
Drill a 1mm hole in the center and then another about 4mm above it. Find yourself a fairly powerful motor to use in your gun, and take a measurement of its shaft width. Then re-drill the center hole to fit the shaft.

Welding the shaft:
This part is a bit of a bastard, on my first attempt at welding the motor to the cam I discovered that the shaft was die cast and it snapped when I welded it. But with some trial and error I got it in the end. If you want to use an alternative method to welding there are many. You could use brass and heat it to expand over your shaft, drill a side hole for a worm screw or even just hammer it on. Whatever works for you!

Sure, you spontaneously 'generate' something like 'hepatitis' when applying a tattoo on someone when using a clean set of needles. Can we spontaneously create a 'get rich' infection?? ;-)
That would be awesome to get a get rich virus!!!!
DO NOT BUY THE ULTIMATE TATTOO BIBLE. It is a waste of money, and is full of misinformation. There are much better books out there, which I will not directly recommend, as those who are not tattoo artists, or genuine about becoming a tattoo artist should not even read them. You need to place a warning on this instructable. Using this gun will lead to disease and bad tattoos. Spend the money, go to a real tattoo artist. You wouldn't perform your own dental work, would you? I thought not.
Equating tattoos to dental work is NOT the same. <br><br>
I have to disagree with you 100% on this, The Ultimate&nbsp;Tattoo&nbsp;Bible is great. The book is fantastic and is perfect for tattoo reference material. Even the book itself says that even though it gives out info, the BEST thing to do is combine it with a real apprenticeship. Nothing wrong with that. Just my two cents. I loved the book!<br />
I wouldn't perform my own dental work but I always used to yank my loose teeth out with Maryjane candy. :D
As to the dental work: Yes. However what were the names of those books. I graduate high school in two months and change, and I'm thinking about tats as a way to help pay some bills. Want to do some research on it first though.
Sanding the wire is a bad idea. That creates small grooves in the metal that become a breeding ground for bacteria. Go with your first suggestion and use professional needles.
or you could just boil the needle in rubbing alc before every use. that will prevent bacteria. =]<br/>
maybe bacteria but not hepititis, staph, or hiv.<br /> <br /> the only real way to sterilize tubes for a real tattoo MACHINE&nbsp;is in an autoclave. and needles should only be used once. <br /> <br /> <br />
actually, if you have a pressure cooker, you can put a platform above the water and leave it in there for about 30 minutes at 15 PSI, the items will me completely sterilized. thats biscally a homemade autoclave.
:) multi use tools. However you need sealed packages to put the needles in like the ones they pop stitches out of so the needles don't become contaminated.
Agreed but otherwise wonderful instructable.
very nice tutorial, and very nice machine you came to do. I do tattos, and the mechanichs you home made, are used in top grade machines. <br>If I could sugest, humble honest opinion, not trying to be smart, try adding two springs (up un down cam), the one on the bottom of the cam, should be a litle bit strongest, to mantein needdles up, when machine is off, safer. the cam could fit inside a linear bearring, that should take away friction, noise and vibration. You could make a conector to the cam, this conector may be used as an embrague, to adjust the strenght at whitch needles go in, or if to much force applied if starts turning but not pushing the needle. If I may, i might use your idea in an instructuble of my own, my machine :). <br>
I see what the first spring is for, but why the second?
<p>the fact that most of you do not even realize how dangerous tattooing can be, and are saying you want to build one of these, too, just further reinforces why you shouldn't. People could die if you dont have the proper knowledge you need and that takes time research and experience (preferably beginning with the first 2). dont be stupid and you wont go to jail for manslaughter( and possibly lawsuits on top of that). These things are permanent and can affect people positively or adversely for the rest of their lives. people aren't a child's drawing pad. so go pick up some crayons since you're still playing with childish things.</p>
Yes, and Marijuana leads to reefer madness!!!!! Beware! <br><br>More like you can give someone a blood born pathogen.
Can you make me one and ship it too me I know you made this so I could make it but I don't have the time 100$+25$ for shipping
<p>it looks pretty cool il try it out sometime</p>
thats complicated. WAY too much work for the average person. and half of us people dont want to spend more than 10 minutes making something like this. ive got a way easier way.
you should add a tutorial video plus it working pleaze
haha that stoner is a dumbass for using bic ink. and thanks cool plans
DO&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;bother with making a DIY&nbsp;tattoo machine, even in the most professional hands, they don't work worth a damn, and that isn't even getting into the myriad of health issues that could come with homebrew tattooing. FYI people, IT&nbsp;ISN'T JUST&nbsp;THE&nbsp;NEEDLE&nbsp;THAT&nbsp;NEEDS&nbsp;TO&nbsp;BE&nbsp;STERILE... everything used in the tattoo needs to be sterile and boiling or soaking in alcohol DO&nbsp;NOT&nbsp;STERILIZE. Cross-contamination is the major concern, yes, but there are plenty of other microbes out there that can cause you problems that don't require you to be &quot;sharing needles&quot;. If you are interested in learning to tattoo, by all means, do so, but be intelligent about it. &quot;Real&quot; tattoo machines (though poor quality) can be purchased for $100 or less on ebay. While I wouldn't use one of them professionally, it is good enough to play with on a bannana, orange, or spaghetti squash to get in some experience.
This is un-safe...
Neat!, very resourceful. Can you provide more detail how you welded the cam to the shaft, materials/tools etc?
dude just get a tap and a dye that are of a fitting size to the motor shaft. then dye the shaft and tap the hole, and screw it on. then secure it with a nut. it will be both more reliable and easily serviceable when it/if it breaks.
As a professional tattooer, I will tell you this is a horrible idea. First off, you will not get a good tattoo. Even pros are hard pressed to use one of these contraptions to put in a decent line, let alone shade. Second of all, you will risk a Staph infection (or even MRSA- if you need to google that, you shouldn't be tattooing anyway), or Hepatitis C. Hep C can live for 2 weeks outside of the body, ready to infect the next sap your stoner "friend" decides to scratch up. Third, I hate having to cover up these kinds of tattoos- it's such a pain to plan a design around a blue blob- it limits options for your artist, and I for one charge for the frustration and the headaches associated with scratcher work. So yeah- it's unsafe and you won't get a good tattoo. Also, you can't buy a good machine unless you're a pro. The crap you get from suppliers that sell to anyone need a complete overhaul before they function well. Tattooing is not easy- that's why it's expensive... check my work on myspace, ronnyvtattoo- so you know I'm not blowing smoke up your bums. Be smart, and uh- don't do drugs...
Thank you both <strong>saint.hate</strong> and <strong>vampyredh</strong> for your cautionary comments. This can't be emphasized enough.<br/>
I agree... Except for the "don't do drugs" part. ;)
I agree.
I would think that the needle and pencil method would be better, more time consuming but harder to screw up. Great Instructable regardless of potential danger, very well thought out. Thank you,
My first tattoo i did was on my brothers and some of my friends
did you have any tattooing experice if you didnt then why did your bro let you 9or did you do it wile he sleot?
eer last word is slept
when you use it for own tattoos then you don't get anything aids or something
only if its a dirty needle (i think)
I was watching history channell and these prisoners jack the freaking parts from machines and give each other tattoos.!! XD
this is a nice one! upload photos of yer finished work to grimycharms.com when you got somthing cool?
nice job. i want to make one.
First off great ible, as said well documented. But to those of you who question the safety of "jail tattoos", as long as YOU are not retarded about what you are doing there is nothing to really worry about. I myself have 2 different tattoos done in this manner and have not received any disease. Like chaosrob said, if it is a clean needle you won't get anything. In my case I had a friend do the tattoos, but I setup the rig. All the needles were brand new from the store, were boiled for 30 minutes (not under pressure, but would have preferd to), and then let soak in rubbing alcohol.
Well I finally finished mine but I don't know what to tattoo...
Practice on fruit such as a grapefruit
I have little knowledge of tattooing so I will not pass judgement on the 'ethical' (for want of a better word) aspects of this device. But what I will say is that the writeup is very good and I like the mechanism. Did you consider using an inductor fed with square wave DC and a magnet fixed to a springy piece of metal to generate the linear motion? The advantages of this are that it will be much easier to replace needles etc. and it would probably be a little quieter :-) Great 'ible. AlexHalford
those things hurt....
hey! who else knows that the first tattoo machine was made to poke holes in paper to make punch out type cards? I do!
lol u need to paten it before i do
it was already patented.....

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