How To Set Up A Tattoo Workstation

When it comes to the question “How To Set Up A Tattoo Workstation?”
Every Tattooist will tell you the same thing.

There’s something ritualistic about how to set up a tattoo workstation. Everything you do should be the same every time you tattoo. This way you always know where everything is and where everything is not. If something is missing you will feel ‘wrong’ and this is the best indicator that something is wrong. A tattoo workstation should be a clean area.

Tattoo Station Best Practice

It is not an office, not a drawing room, and most definitely not a cafeteria. Drawing, paperwork, discussions with clients before and after the tattoo, Internet research, and other business functions of the studio should be performed outside the station as much as possible. While this may not always be practical, it is the best possible practice.

Tattoo Station Setup Step-by-Step

The first step of the tattoo process is to decontaminate your work area. This means that you want to spray down all of your workstation surface and the chair your client will be sitting in with an anti bacterial and viral spray. Wash your hands and put gloves on now!
  • Spray your workstation, bed, arm rests and chair. Then let them sit and soak for at least 30 seconds before you start to set up.
  • After you wipe down work station top lightly spray water on it. The put a layer of cling film over the entire surface. The water you sprayed will hold down the clingfilm and keep it from moving as you tattoo.
  • Now you can add your consumable supplies. Needles, Razor, inkcaps, rinse cups wash bottle (barriered with clingfilm), paper towels, tongue depressor (for vaseline/process butter) etc.
  • Once this step is complete barrier your clipboard, machine and power supply.

Remove your gloves and dispose of them. You’re now all set up, time to tattoo.

ergonomic tattooing

What is Ergonomics?

Over the years I have constantly adapted my setup to best suit my constantly evolving creative needs. Here’s a short breakdown of what i think is the most important thing i’ve learnt over the last 10 years. Ergonomics. By definition, ergonomics is “the study of work.” That is a pretty broad statement, so understanding it scientifically may make a little bit more sense.

Consider the benefits of ergonomics when you decide how to set up a Tattoo Workstation

What is seemingly comfortable and simple for one person may be set up in a way that is extremely difficult for another. That’s why focusing on ergonomics is beneficial in the workplace.

My number one tip when setting up your work area ergonomically

Check your posture. Your posture has to be correct before you start building a workstation around it. The look and feel should be similar to that when you sit in your car. Your feet need to be flat on the floor, put your hands in your lap, relax your shoulders, and stick your buttocks behind you. This is the perfect position for comfort and ergonomics and your “natural position.

Preventing injury with proper ergonomics

There are several conditions that can arise as a result of poor ergonomics. Some of them may require medical attention or other treatment if they are left alone without correction for too long. You can be susceptible to the following ailments:
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Back injury, pain, and aches
  • Stiff neck
  • Sharp pain in your fingers “trigger finger”
  • Musculoskeletal disorders – carpal tunnel, tendinitis, rotator cuff injury
Each of these health conditions can cause you mild to severe discomforts not only while you are working, but after you leave the job site. Each can lead to poor production as well as days missed from work or a complete inability to perform your work tasks any longer period.


Tattoo Setup Procedure