Tails on Daggers



Ok guys, I'm not so much a "newb" but having trouble with a newb issue. My daggers are tailing.

Gear: Anthem 155, Spectra Tex mostly, but the examples are Wicked Jet Black and Wicked Violet.

I'll post some pics. If I do it just PERFECTLY, I can get a decent dagger from a medium point, but from a large point it severely tails. What it is, I THINK is my needle has a drastic slope in it, unlike my old Iwatas and paasche's that I used. I'm not sure, I'd have to find the needles to them all and see just for sure.

The last time I had this issue I was doing Palm trees and grass with both ST and Wicked colors on shirts about 55psi. I switched to Iwata BCS and it stopped.

What do you guys think? Is it I need to slow down? I can't really afford to do that since some shows require me working extremely fast to keep up with orders. Sometimes it sprays fine. I've tried different pressures and such but I just can't get it consistent enough for me. Is it me or gear?

I am far from an expert but to me it looks as if you are getting closer to abruptly. It appears like you start off and slowly taper then boom your in too close thus getting the fine tails. Just my opinion.
you know what that 3rd picture is a great example as to why i should practice my dagger strokes, i never thought about it for lettering, but it looks good
I ran into the same problem and found if you slow the speed of how quickly you "snap off" the paint, you will get the nicely tapered end from a wide point.

Thanks guys.

I don't move in closer on my daggers. Never have, and when I try, I speed up and stop. I always write close, to keep my lettering crisp. I watched a buddy of mine airbrush my daughter a shirt and he angled his brush, and moved in as well. Perhaps the angle is for needle safety? He's left handed too so it was odd watching him work.

I'll continue to work on it. My mother just had a heart attack & triple bypass so I've been taking care of her 24/7 and not able to spray. But I am going to start again in a day or so.
To me a dagger stroke is a short stroke that is no more than 1cm or 2 long.Its a quick stabbing action, thus the name "Dagger Stroke"..Your seemingly wanting more long lines that taper to a point (I just call this a line that tapers to a point LOL, not so much a dagger as its a different action)..I do this also generally through an increase in speed in the stroke but I also close up the gap at the same time or even do it in reverse by starting close and gradually increasing my distance and decreasing speed to thicken the line..

It could be a little paint build up or even a slight crack or issue in your tip assembly..It could be your snapping of the ink and air to close sometimes, maybe not everytime you truely cut that paint flow right of and the action is not repeating everytime as sometimes your maybe doing something slightly different in each attempt..Its hard to say without actually seeing you make the stroke..

It is a little prob to also do with the Anthems 3-1 needle setup, the 3-1 is much harder to go from really thick to really thin as ultimatley the area of movement for each effect is a lot less in comparison say if you had a Badger with just a 0.3 setup in it...You have full range movement to go from thick to thin with such a setup, the anthem can do it fine but takes exact control..Which is hard to do everytime..

So dare I say it but its prob a mixture of a few things which may change on every stroke attempt..Sometimes maybe more you and sometimes maybe more the gear...GL and hope ya get it sorted..
One other thing you might want to try is to add some spring pressure to the trigger so the paint shuts off as soon as you push the trigger forward,you might be getting a little paint leaking pass the tip
What I'm about to say might be total rubbish and for others it might be dificult to imagine but here goes:-
I'm a seaman and I think in vector diagrams (forces diagrams)
If you have your speed of movement on one axis and the amount of paint on the other (forget hight for a moment) if you move you brush and apply the same amount of paint you will achieve a uniform line.
Now if you either speed up the movement or slow it down the amount of paint hitting the surface will be less or more in any given point.
If we then move at the same speed and constant paint flow but this time raise or lower the hight, the line will get wider as we lift the brush and narrower as we get closer. With this example as we get closer we may deliver too much paint. So to overcome that we can either speed up the movement as we get closer or reduce the amount of paint.
It was said on here a while ago it's like patting your head and rubbing your belly lol ... it's a co-ordination thing.
I don't hold with daggers being a set size personally but for the sake of argument lets call this a tappered line. We all need to have control while doing tappered lines but I believe that it's best to start BIG, start with a line 6 inches (15 cm odd) and try to get a uniform tapper by altering the speed and hight. (theres nothing to sop you making lines from thick to thin and back to thisk again) Then try as you move closer close the paint off and see what happens.
I'm not a dagger guru but I do know that your speed, hight and amount of paint adjustments need to be controled and smooth.
Sorry for making this so long
It is really easy to do a tapered line Oddball, start it from the thin end :)

Really though I see the dagger stroke as an attempt to create a short tapered line, this can also be done with a swinging/sweep action and trigger control instead, distance isn't actually that critical, you do no doubt increase or decrease the distance a frag but when doing this for long say grass strokes, the problem when peeps try to do dagger strokes is the action they use, they forget a simple rule on, keep the air on and the airbrushing moving..EG Ya want to do a notmal thickness line..We start the stroke not at the starting point of where ya want ink but prior to it so when we hit that point we trigger pull, and of course this is done at the other end..When peeps swap or try to practice a true dagger stroke, they stop at the end of the stroke (Ya need to especially with an exposed needle), this causes a tail or blob of ink to form as your no longer moving and the ink may not be exactly timed..Do it the other way around, start with the fine end, move a frag then intoduce ink, pull away from the canvas and walla, a dagger with no tail, or as I like to call it..A lifting line LOL..Can see what ya saying, it is a co-ordination thing but one left for further down the track as it is a rare need stroke but yer its like rubbing ya belly and patting ya head but if you like to keep ya needles undamaged, throw the dagger stroke in the bin LOL..Ya don't really need it besides for eyelashes and grass LOL, maybe feather work as well but a sweep does them better anyway LOL..GL Igor..
Yep, yer right igor, I was talking from the "Mechanics" side of the stroke rather than the aplication but what you say about avoiding the Blob sounds about right :)
I (as well as others i suspect) tend to get stuck in a rut and fail to see the obvious!
Thats why these Forums are so good.
Thanks for sharing that.