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#1 2GreyCats

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:34

I apologize for asking a really strange question here. My protagonist is trying to booby-trap her office because she suspects that someone is getting into her files and up to no good.

She has the (admittedly goofy) idea of soaking a thin fine-textured sponge, as in a slice of a makeup sponge, in Baystate Blue and sticking it to the underside of the file drawer handle. Anyone who grasps the handle of the file drawer will get this indelible electric-blue ness all over his/her hand.

My query is regarding how long the thin strip of sponge would remain moist with ink, or how soon it would dry out.

(And, yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo).

Edited by 2GreyCats, 13 November 2012 - 04:35.

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WTB: Looking for Sheaffer NN Nib section, Fine point (not italic).

#2 tripcode

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:51

Now that is a good question.... I'd say an hour and a half, at most, though it's arguable how much dye would come off of a dry sponge.

#3 79spitfire

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:57

You would be better off finding a bit of high temperature chassis grease, it has a distinctive, not quite burnt smell, and is often dyed blue or red. It does not come off easily from hands or clothing. Trust me, if someone got that on their hands in an office, even if you didn't catch them, they would likely be discouraged from attempting to pilfer your office again.

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#4 2GreyCats

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:59

I realize the whole idea's a bit farfetched... my intent is that she's getting frustrated because she keeps trying to tell people that someone's been in her files, and no one believes her. And she says, "fine! I'll prove it myself!" and has this idea about dye-marking the person with BSB or another ink that is very bright and hard to eradicate.

Of course, doing that also lets the miscreant know that the professor's caught on to him...

Thanks for your help, everyone!
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WTB: Looking for Sheaffer NN Nib section, Fine point (not italic).

#5 geoduc

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:18

Prussian blue would do the trick for you. It's a deep blue pigment that is often mixed with grease and used for testing the fit of mating surfaces by machinists. It is also used in the manufacture of inks and paint. Who knows, it may be a component of BSB.

It won't wash off easily. When I was in the Navy way back when, we used to put it inside of gloves or on other surfaces where we knew someone was going to put their hand, as a joke. The person who contacted it stayed marked for a while.

#6 7th Wave

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:20

It might sound like a radical suggestion but maybe put a lock on the filing cabinet?

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#7 klotz.dabril

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 13:29

People in this forum usually know much more about fountain pens than me. That's why I am usually a passive reader. But I think I have something to add here. I believe that Diamine is one maker of election ink. This ink is designed so it's really hard to remove from skin (some inks even leave a permanent stain so skin should grow and replace itself in order for the stain desapear) and it's sometimes used in a sort of sponge exactly like your story. I believe it would take longer to dry than fountain pen ink that is supposed to dry as fast as possible. Don't forget about the ink used in stamps. They sit for a long time on those pads before drying.

#8 LucasT

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 14:20

Webcam might be easier....
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#9 Pen Nut

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 14:56

A product called "never Seez" which is sold by Snap-On tools is an absolute sod to get off anything ! Your skin sort of shines with micro crystals no matter how hard you scrub.

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#10 Messmer

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 14:58

Ink in a sponge wont work but you can use a two-piece, hard starch capsules(pharmacy). Your protagonist just need to un squeeze both size to take out the content and refill with bsb. The capsule can be glued in place so the nemesis will brake it when he open the file. Ink will soften the capsule so it would brake with mostly no strengh.

Edited by Messmer, 13 November 2012 - 15:00.

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#11 2GreyCats

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 15:20

It might sound like a radical suggestion but maybe put a lock on the filing cabinet?

That would seem to be obvious, but all the file cabinets in the whole office suite probably use the same 1 or 2 keys. At least that's true in my faculty office. And if the person can let himself into her office in the first place, getting into the file drawer is child's play. ONe knife blade, a few jiggles, and you're in.

But she wants to find out WHO is getting hold of her exams and leaking the questions.

Thanks to everyone for all your awesome techie-ness!
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WTB: Looking for Sheaffer NN Nib section, Fine point (not italic).

#12 2GreyCats

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 15:22

Prussian blue would do the trick for you. It's a deep blue pigment that is often mixed with grease and used for testing the fit of mating surfaces by machinists. It is also used in the manufacture of inks and paint. Who knows, it may be a component of BSB.

It won't wash off easily. When I was in the Navy way back when, we used to put it inside of gloves or on other surfaces where we knew someone was going to put their hand, as a joke. The person who contacted it stayed marked for a while.


Oh, lovely! That's awesome.
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WTB: Looking for Sheaffer NN Nib section, Fine point (not italic).

#13 Ravenlunatic

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:53


Prussian blue would do the trick for you. It's a deep blue pigment that is often mixed with grease and used for testing the fit of mating surfaces by machinists. It is also used in the manufacture of inks and paint. Who knows, it may be a component of BSB.

It won't wash off easily. When I was in the Navy way back when, we used to put it inside of gloves or on other surfaces where we knew someone was going to put their hand, as a joke. The person who contacted it stayed marked for a while.


Oh, lovely! That's awesome.


There is a commercially available material called Dykem Blue that has the stain and the grease in one go. Though a little grease and Noodler's Blue Ghost would be an interesting way to catch the perpetrator.

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