Monday, December 13, 2010

Dan Dringenberg Tattoos

SHANE ENHOLM: It’s a family thing with you, huh?

DAN DRINGENBERG: I’ve been running a lathe since I was 10 years old. At my dad’s house, still to this day, there’s a 1922 South Bend lathe with leather belts. I couldn’t get leather belts to replace it, so I went and bought regular leather belts at a swap meet. I bought the lacer to lace them, and that was my grandfather’s lathe. And my dad’s a mechanic and stuff. I started making other things, just whatever, and then I started making homemade tattoo machines. This was way before I was even working at Fat George’s. But when I started at George’s, cleaning tubes, I’d look at the tubes he had—and they were all Nationals and stuff like that— I’d look down and I’d go, “Hey, man. These are good tubes. But they’d be better if they were finished.” And he’d look at me like, “What do you mean?” I’d go, “These people right here could give a fuck about how they work. They’re about money. The more times you have to handle a piece of metal, the more money it costs you to make it—the less profit there is.” He said, “Well, what do you mean? Can you make one better?” And I go, “Fuck yeah I can make one better. I can make one’s that the best. Way better than what you’ve got.” He goes, “Why?” I go, “Because there are principles behind it.”

Dan Dringenberg

So just like Scott—Scott’s family were machinists. It was innately in you as a human being.

Dan Dringenberg

Well, my grandfather defected from Germany in 1925. He was in World War I on the German side. He was an engineer, and he was working on jet-propulsion and stuff like that in the 20s.

Right, ahead of time, yeah.

Dan Dringenberg

When Hitler was coming into power, my Grandfather came to America. Anybody that was working on any kind of project like that, Hitler was snatching those people up. So he came over here and denounced Germany, and went to work for the U.S. government, for the Aerospace Industry. It wasn’t NASA—it was way before that. Then he went into designing John Deere tractors, and that’s where he retired from. So my grandfather made it through all these hard times, you know? He took out many patents—even on, like, tricycles for kids…

Right, all kinds of stuff.

That stuff always had me fascinated. I was a little kid going through his shit all the time. I’d get out there and try to learn how to not kill myself in a machine shop, you know what I mean? How to keep all my digits, you know?

 Dan Dringenberg 

So you built the belt for that lathe?

Oh, I had to make all the belts. One of the belts had a twist in it and that’s how you got reverse. It had overhead shafts and stuff like that, and then it had a wooden handle with a clutch that just had two blocks on each side, that would go into each different gear, and that would be the drive gear. So it’s like really different, you know what I mean? I started making scripts and I found on that lathe I couldn’t make a neural.

No comments:

Post a Comment