This review is for: Hildbrant’s Spring Flake Adjustment Jig
This here is another tool that is super handy. If you change your machines springs, build machines, or are simply a tinkerer you need to have one of these. This tool is super awesome when adjusting your springs. Before I acquired this I would put my springs on the a bar, and tighten them up. Doing so would force the springs into my thumb as I held them in place. A little painful, haha. Then once on the machine, I’d have to hold everything else in place and get the A-Bar centered.
This jig is super awesome, and super easy to use. You just put your A-Bar together like normal, but only snug up the screw. Place the A-Bar into the jig so that the spring and front of the A-Bar are locked into the front of the jig. There is an upside down “T” shaped opening that will hold everything in place. You then slide the back piece into position and it will hold all your springs in place. Tighten up your screw, and away you go! Your A-Bar is ready to be placed onto your machine.
This tool is really great, but there are two things I don’t like about it. There aren’t any intructions that come with it—they are on the website—and it is made of plastic. If you look at the pictures it kind of looks like it is made of a more solid construction. Maybe some sort of metal. However, when you get it in it’s made of plastic. Don’t get me wrong it still works fine, but I was expecting more. It fits all standard size springs and A-Bars. My A-Bars I’ve had here I guess aren’t standard. I practically had to force them into the jig, then force it into position to use the tool. I haven’t tried using the A-Bars from their machines as they run so well I don’t want to take them apart.
Don’t get me wrong their jig is still a fantastic buy. I just don’t think it’s worth the 8.99USD plus shipping that they charge. Even having to force some of my A-Bars in it still saves a lot of time, and the alignment is flawless. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, haha.
This is a must have if you’re a tinkerer, and works fantastic. It gets a 4 out of 5 because of the price, and it just isn’t quite what you think you’re getting when you look on the website. I do recommend it to everyone, and I show it off when I can.
In the world of tattoo machine customization, all coils are not created equal. I have found eikon coils to be solid and consistent. I prefer the 8 wrap 1″ coils. Eikon does not ship their coils with a capacitor and recommends that the coil system should remain separate from the cap due to the fact that a quick customization of the machine can occur by changing out the coils and caps independently via pre-soldered lugs on each respective part of the machine. The coils are very symmetrically rounded and the wire is typical gauge. The coils come with a plastic piece of tape or sticker on the outside that acts as the coil’s cover. These covers are easily removed for customization of the coil cover (ie 3M shrink wrap). The coils are a good width and the cores are consistently tapped and threaded. On top of the coil is a small sticker that greatly improves sound of the running machine when the armature bar strikes the front coil. It appears that the coils are the same height in matched pairs, where some coil fabricators will actually use a shorter height core for the rear to compensate for the suggested gap on the rear coil and stressed armature bar (ie the arm bar is held down by its nipple so that it lays flush on the front coil).
Quality coils at a very good price. Eikon produces a lot of good gear and the coils are right up there. I recommend these coils.
For those who are ambitious enough to build their own tattoo machines from the frame up but do no have the ability to cast the metals, the Eikon brass frame is something definitely worth checking out. I have been told that a few other companies have blanks, but I have to research this a bit more.
I was pretty excited when mine arrived from eikon, and I immediately noticed that the weight of the thing was crazy. You don’t realize it but you will probably cut 40% of this thing away when you are customizing. I have a drill press, belt sander, and grinder wheel in my workshop, but you could easily modify this thing with a dremel or other hand tool if you are experienced enough with one. The tricky part (as to any machine is lining up the geometry for the coils and springs, but that is where the skill of the builder comes in. Eikon ships the thing with a few holes already tapped for you, as well as a pre-split vise. This limits the builder a bit, but not to much. For under $50.00 this product is well worth it. Quality metal and pre-tapped holes allow for a totally customized tattoo machine to be built in not so much time. I highly recommend this product for the advanced tattoo artist who wishes to try his hand at building and tuning a custom one off tattoo machine.
PROS: Heavy, solid, quality brass. Great for those who don’t own a mini foundry, or can’t afford to send a CAD drawing off to have CNC milled. The brass is solid, but easy to carve compared to a lot of other metals out there. Pre split vise is great if you don’t have a band saw. No pre-tapped coil holes gives builder ultimate control over the machine’s geometry.
CONS: Pre-split vise might limit builder. No pre tapped holes for coils might be a problem if the builder does not have a miller’s vise and drill press.