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Grey Vs Diluted Black?

grey ink black ink dilution

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11 replies to this topic

#1 JaunShuan


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:29

Hello, I hope I'm posting in the correct category.

I'm not very experienced with ink and I'd like to try grey. I flushed one of my new Pilot pens and didn't wait for it to dry before putting in the black cartridge that came with it and I liked the resulting grey ink.

My main purpose of this grey ink would be for school notes. I don't use black ink for school because it is hard to distinguish between printed text and annotations. Ideally it should be waterproof because I still haven't figured out how to drink water properly.

Will a diluted Noodler's Black/HOD/X-Feather/Borealis/Polar/etc. still be waterproof enough that I can read my notes if my incompetent self spills water all over them?

What are the benefits of buying a bottle of grey ink instead of diluting black, aside from reduced bulletproofness?

Are there any "recipes" you can recommend? If there is a good reason to avoid dilution that I have overlooked, which waterproof greys can you recommend, aside from Lexington Grey?

Thank you!

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#2 migo984


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:41

You might find some useful info in this thread....


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#3 JaunShuan


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:49

Thank you migo984!

#4 Arkanabar


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 14:00

You will have to dilute quite a lot to make a Noodler's black look grey, perhaps enough to reduce the concentrations of biocides (which prevent SITB) and surfactants (which helps the ink to flow) to the point that it's no longer good ink.  I don't know.  I use a 1:1 dilution of Bad Black Moccasin in a cheap Noodler's eyedropper as my Lenten penitential ink, and it works fine, but it still looks about as black as my old plastic cone-shaped bottle of MontBlanc-Simplo Black from the 80s or possibly the 70s or so.  It meets my minimum standard for black ink, which is blacker than a Bic ballpoint.


However, dilution should not significantly affect the cellulose-reactive properties of the ink's dyes.

#5 dompred



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Posted 14 August 2016 - 14:15

You can dilute Noodler's B.Black to a grey ink, that's what I do.


I use 4 parts of water (distilled) for every 1 part of ink.

For this recipe, I have found that the ink dried much faster than the Black, it is just as waterproof (if not more) but it is drier, maybe on the edge of what you could accept. It stands proud to even the very worse kind of paper without feathering, just today I used it in an EF nib on a newspaper.


As mentioned, diluting an ink also lowers the concentration of biocides in the ink. You can overcome this issue by mixing the ink in a 5ml sample vial and repeating the procedure.

#6 ac12


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 17:22

I would just get a grey ink, and save the hassle of diluting the black ink.

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#7 katerchen


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 19:58

By diluting you would negate the anti-feathering compounds in your ink.


I don't even have the words to recommend MB ink highly enough, such as:


https://www.amazon.c...ink oyster gray


It's only $15, free shipping with Prime. You get a cool *and* practical bottle (the little ink reservoir is priceless to extract every last drop from the bottle) that will last a long time.



#8 zwack



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Posted 15 August 2016 - 03:43

I realise you have already been pointed to the other thread but I really like Noodler's Lexington Grey and it is waterproof.

I would strongly recommend looking at it.

#9 amberleadavis


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Posted 15 August 2016 - 19:07

Somewhere around here are Sandy1s dilutions, she can show you some wonderful inks.  

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).


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#10 Freedom



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Posted 27 August 2016 - 20:35

Also love Noodler's Lexington Grey. There are a few very interesting grey's out there. So much more unique and visually apealing then simply diluting black ink IMO.

Mike L.

#11 PS104


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Posted 28 August 2016 - 04:41

Diluted black ink vs gray ink ?

Two different animals

Fuhgedabodit !

Spring for the gray ink

Edited by PS104, 28 August 2016 - 04:42.

#12 JaunShuan


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Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:55

Thank you all for your replies! After reading more posts about grey inks and trying a bit of dilution on my own, I think I will purchase Lexington Grey instead of diluting black. On the cheap paper I use for school, the diluted inks I have tried feather and bleed just as much as, if not more than their respective undiluted inks.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: grey ink, black ink, dilution

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