As a tattoo artist, you are more than likely to have found that the costs of tattooing can be great. However, some costs can be cut back considerably if you have the time, and knowledge to do so.
Making your own tattoo needles can save you money, but is it worth the time? That is something that you will need to ask yourself. Every artist will develop their own technique in needle making. Although, it is more common to purchase pre-made, and pre-sterilized tattoo needles.
Tattoo needles are formed by soldering a grouping of needles onto a needle bar, or back stem. The needle bars length will range from 4.5-5 inches in length. All needle bars made for tattooing have a loop, or eyelet at one end.
The groupings of needles can be made in several different sizes and shapes, however the more common groupings are rounds, flats, and mags (magnums). Rounds are more commonly used for lining, or portrait work. Flats for shading, and mags for fill work.
Rounds are made by soldering the needles in a circular pattern, tighter rounds are more common for line work while looser rounds are more suited to shading. Flats are soldered side by side in a row, and can as well be either "loose" or "tight" configuration, although most artists prefer a looser grouping of needles. Mags can be single, or double stack much like flats that are soldered side by side, however they are separated into upper, and lower rows, or they are double stacked.
Making your own needles is a meticulous process, and you will need to have the proper set up to do so. Remember, just because you are making your own needles there are still sterilization steps that need to be taken. Whether pre-made needles bought in bulk, or self-made needles they will need to be packaged individually and autoclaved before use.