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Alright, the results are long overdue. I did this test of different black inks to see how the viscosity of each ink affected spitting or spraying. I set up a Steeldriver and purposely set it up in a way to get the highest possibility of spitting. For example I used my oldest most worn out push rod, loosest cartridge, no rubber band, hung the needles way out and ran the machine higher than I would typically run it. The results were surprising. The differences in all the these blacks was huge. Dynamic basic lining black was by far the spittiest, and from what I could tell in pouring them out seemed to be possibly the thinnest as well. There was some spitting with the Solid lining black and the Horitomo black as well but not bad, especially for how it was set up. The Black Stallion is one of my favorite blacks, the spitting I got from it was right in the beginning after a hefty dip. The Eternal Pitch black was the best performer, I’m not sure if they market Pitch Black for lining but I use it, and I really like it. It seems thicker and goes in easy. I haven’t had any issues with the ink hazing out from the outline in softer areas either which is common if you line with a more concentrated black.

The other part to this little expiriment was to do the same setup, but compare the unshaken inks to the well shaken inks. I poured out a cap without shaking the ink, shook it once and poured a cap and shook it well and poured a cap. I wanted to include a photo of this but it didn’t work out. The idea behind this was that if the viscosity was being tested, the viscosity is affected by how much the ink is shaken. If the pigment settles then the thinner stuff is gonna be on top and the thicker stuff doesn’t get in to the cap. Make sense? The same idea goes for color too, and is also the reason I always dip to the bottom of my ink caps. Huge differences were seen doing this as well. The less shaken inks spit and sprayed way more and the well shaken ink spit way less.

I also adjusted needle hang. Most of this was done with maximum needle hang, with a cartridge setup. I also ran through the inks with a normal needle hand and a very short needle hang. To no surprise the normal needle hang cut down the spitting in all inks drastically, but what I didn’t expect was the real short needle hang spit and sprayed like crazy. In all the inks. The included photo shows how little needle I was hanging out, which is just too short to tattoo properly especially with a machine with give in the mechanism, and the subsequent spitting. The patterning is different on the short needle hang as well, it’s more airbrushy, where the other is larger sprays. I believe this is due to the needles acting as a pump spraying ink out of the tip without giving it a surface to stick or cling to. With the longer needle hangs the needles protruded but the capillary action of the ink would create a pool at the tip of the tube that would contain and hold the ink, made possible by the surface of the needles coming in and out.
I hope this information helps some of you. I find it interesting regardless. Let me know what you think, or any other questions ya’ll have.

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