Tattoo machines are complicated pieces of equipment that need to be set up in a certain way for them to function correctly. One piece of the machine is called the armature bar.
Armature bars can come with your machine, or they can be purchased separately. Take a look at your armature bar; if you don’t want to purchase a new one because you like the way it looks (and it’s expensive) then use some sandpaper and wear off the paint around its edges. If the bar has already been worn down, or if you have no intention of changing the one that came with your machine, then make sure you keep this in mind when setting up your tattoo machine: tighten down on that armature bar!
Armature bars come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: they connect the motor (the giant gear that powers the tattoo machine) with other parts of its anatomy. The armature bar helps regulate ink flow; without one, you will get inconsistent lines, and often, if your armature bar is too tight, your machine will jump or skip across your skin. The armature bar also controls the height of the needles and how they react when you change the angle.
To put an armature bar on a tattoo machine, you’ll need to unscrew one side from the other with your fingers or a hex wrench. You’ll then slide up one side of an armature bar, attach it to its specific screw hole on top of your machine, and slide it down until it locks into place along with its screw hole. Afterward, you’ll repeat these steps on the other side.
When you need to remove the armature bar, you’ll need to unscrew its screw hole just like how you put it on, repeating this process until the bar comes off. If a screw on your armature bar does not completely line up with its hole, you will have to send your machine in for repair. If a screw is missing or bent out of place, that machine will not be able to function properly.