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Tattoo machines


#1

Hello to all. I’m a new subscriber to this list, and feel a bit out
of my element here.

I’m not a jeweler by trade, nor as a hobbyist, and consequently have
very little knowledge of the craft. My interest here is solely in
learning how to tool up to perform lost wax casting on small scale
for the purpose of making one thing: tattoo machine frames.

I am by trade a visual artist in a variety of media, a tattoo artist
and a builder of professional tattoo machines. I’ve heretofore had
all my frames manufactured by an outside source, or cut/machined
them out of solid stock. I’d now like to tool up to cast them
myself.

For those unfamiliar with tattoo machines (also commonly called
"guns"), the frames are small: about 3" x 3" x 1" maximum
dimensions, and are most commonly made of brass, copper, steel,
iron, or aluminum. Ideally I’d like to cast in brass, but just about
any relatively strong, rigid metal will do.

I know the basic steps in the process of lost wax casting, but
that’s about as far as it goes. However, I remember a jeweler
friend several years ago casting his own stuff all the time, and it
seemed to involve relatively little equipment. That’s what made me
turn to this type of list in hopes of finding out a little more
about the process.

I guess I mostly need a laundry list of all equipment required to
cast items of such dimensions, the estimated minimum cost involved
in both startup and per casting, and so forth.

Can anyone help me out or at least put me on the right track? Thanks
in advance.

Matt Crunk
mayhemr32@aol.com