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How to Cut Springs for a Tattoo Machine by Hand

Updated on January 12, 2011

 Tuning a tattoo machine just the way you want can be made easier by learning to cut your own springs. Here is a quick video and article I put together on how to cut your own springs for a tattoo machine, or gun for some of you.


Handmade Iron Tattoo Machine by Chuck Kail at
Handmade Iron Tattoo Machine by Chuck Kail at

Select spring stock. This is usually a tempered spring of varying widths and thicknesses. Different combinations will yield different results.

You will need a spring punch, spring stock, tin snips, masking tape, pencil or marker, ruler and a metal file.

First cut the spring length for each spring. You can measure lengths of other springs for starters and later experiment with different combinations.

Covering one side of the spring with masking tape can make it easier for you to mark off where you want to punch holes and make cuts. A ruler or calipers can be used to mark off the center so your hole will be aligned properly.

Using the sheet metal punch make holes in the desired spots. Once all of your holes are made you can use a file or Dremel tool smooth out any rough spots or sharp edges. Also clip off any sharp points with the snips.

The front spring will have to be cut to the desired taper. Do this from the front to the back. Both springs can be cut to different lengths and widths. Just try to keep the holes centered and lined up.

Once you have the springs cut and punched and the edges are all smoothed out you are ready to start bending them. I recommend bending the front spring into a gradual curve shape rather than having a creased area. These areas tend to develop stress over time leading to cracks. How you bend your rear spring is completely dependant on your machine and how you want it to run. Just remember you can't unbend it, this will create weak points that will break over time.


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      Crazy diamond 7 years ago

      Hi,where can I buy the metal stock to make my springs?