Machine Heads - Prepare to Lose Your Minds - I Did

Once you have been in this business for a minute you can sometimes feel like you have "seen it all" and then someone like Larry Ross comes along and blows you away. I met Larry last year at a convention and he wanted to show me some of his custom machines. He opened his machine case up and all the sudden it was like someone opened a treasure chest. A crowd gathers instantly around him and his machines. Larry has thought of every crazy idea you have ever had about building a machine then some. He has 4 coil machines, wood machines, over the top rigs, tube through the front coil machines! Yes you read that right.
This year we ran into him and once again he did not disappoint. He had some crazy machines. The night before we ran into Larry, I was talking to Soba about machine design and he sketched an idea he had out on a napkin. The machine would have no rear spring, just a pivot point and the spring would be provided on the front coil. He wanted to use a coil spring that could be swapped out for different compressions.
The very next day as we talked with Larry, he pulled it out of his case. He had the same idea, oh and he also turned the coil sideways and created a crazy side bar loop front binder stay. He is awesome. Everything he makes is a one off, hand made by him in his workshop in Vermont. He doesn't create production machines so to speak. But he does sell some of these machines. Everything Larry builds is beautiful, he mixes materials, he mixes different finishes, he has created whole new ideas about machines. It is so exciting to see his work, you just get overwhelmed. (at least I do)
Yes this machine has 4 coils, it runs, and he wired them as two pairs not a sequence. I always wondered...
I loved this idea of a shape on the end of a spring. Look close at the amount of handwork involved. You can still see the marker lines on his hand cut spring and the jack he cut down to make his contact point out of, I also think that is a lamp switch that he is using to hold it all together. It is all about the details with these machine, Larry is a true artist!No this is not an illusion. I have had some crazy ideas in the past, in fact I have a sketchbook full of them, but not in my wildest drawings did I ever have this idea. Ever. Look close. Yes he made a machine where the tube goes right up through the coils. The a-bar is notched out like a horseshoe with a nipple in the center.
I know what your thinking....cause I was thinking it too.....
It can't possibly run...can it? IT DOES, it runs alright. I don't think you are going to shade a 13 mag for two hours with it, but you could line with it. A-mazing.
He really has some gems, the craftsmanship is only eclipsed by the creativity. This machine was coated with a hard grey coating I had never seen. Larry said it was parkerizing, some process the military uses. Crazy.
Yeah, wrap the old melon around this rig.
Great concept. Fully functional. Another pivot rig with compression spring front. Unreal. Tim Brewer was geeked, Soba was geeked. Larry will share any information he has. He answers every question you have and provide answers about the details, super gracious.
As for me, well you can see my face. I get over excited, a bit. And unfortunately for Larry I have a thousand questions.
Really the most impressive thing is that all the machines run, crazy ideas, mixed metals, weird parts, antique pieces, they all run. Larry is true craftsman and a total inspiration to me and I hope to everyone who meets him. He really cares about tattoo machines and what he builds. That is very rare in this business and he should be applauded. You won't meet a nicer a guy, with such a high level of commitment to see his ideas through to a finished product. Thank you Larry Ross, you rule. You must now go check out some of his other machines in full color. http://www.bodyblendstudio.com/

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