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Need Help Selecting My First Japanese Pen(S)


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You are always my source of knowledge Sandy :thumbup:


By the way, I have read in many of your ink reviews, when you dilute.. say a PR American Blue with 50% water. How do you start about doing it? Just pour half ink and half cold tab water into a cup?


Not Sandy but for dilution, I prefer to use distilled water (either the type you get at a chemist's or the bottled version which is available at grocery/convenience stores.)


I'm also from the SE Asian region and depending on water treatment facilities in your city, the stuff from the tap can either be chlorinated or hard.


Thanks for the great issue raised Karlo T, I totally forgot about the quality of our local tap water. :thumbup:


So I just pour cold distilled water into the cup at my desire ratio and let them mix with the ink of my choice? Is there any other pocedure I need to be mindful about in ink dilution? :hmm1:


Thanks in advance guys..


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Welcome to the "nut house"! We all have to be nuts(crazy) to go on about fountain pens like this.


Your English composition is far better as a second language, than those of us using English as a first and in most cases the only language.


Thank you for your kind words and warm welcome Jeff, I am still learning new things everyday(both Language and Fountain Pen wise) :blush:



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You are always my source of knowledge Sandy :thumbup:


By the way, I have read in many of your ink reviews, when you dilute.. say a PR American Blue with 50% water. How do you start about doing it? Just pour half ink and half cold tab water into a cup?




Many thanks for your kind words!


Dilution has a lot in common with mixing, other than the risk of creating an 'unsafe' result.


As mentioned above, use of distilled water is preferred. I start with small volumes to determine the rough dilution, by using clean [glass] eye droppers, and using clean small glass vessel, such as a dappen dish. I also have a few clean small glass bottles to store the diluted ink.


Use of swabs can get you close, and establish 'range', but as dilution is often undertaken to fine tune a given pen+paper+ink combo, the actual mixing should be done using those pen+paper combo/s to generate your written samples. (Lots of pen flushing and drying involved!) Also include smear / dry times, wet tests, etc. I often include other papers as well, doing as much as seems of value with the ink that's in the pen before it is discarded.

(As the volumes are so small, the margin of measuring error is great, so I do not try to 'save' ink by mixing two dilutions; I make a new sample batch for each dilution.)

Let the samples rest for a day before deciding which one gives the best results. More than once, I didn't like the early results, so changed paper/s and/or pen/s, then started over. Yet also be realistic: variations in our own manner of writing, paper stock, etc. can vary, as well as things not measured or controllable, such as temperature and humidity can play a role.


Working with small volumes and crude means of measurement is prone to error, so if one gets a good result from 10 drops of ink mixed into 7 drops of water, when mixing a larger volume, I very often make the mix at a slightly lower dilution. So that could be 11 parts of ink + 7 of water; test, then adjust.


Keep good records, and mention the specific measuring tool/s used. I often set-up a template before I start, which helps with placement of samples in relationship to others, and ensures all intended samples are done.


Measuring the larger volumes can be done with graduated syringes or cylinders whose capacity is proportionate to the final volume. I use a 5ml capacity syringe to mix about 20ml of final product into a 25ml bottle.


Dilutions should be quite stable, and have good shelf life. But dilution reduces the amount of biocide and stabilising agent if present in the original ink. So I would avoid mixing a volume greater than I would use in six months or so. Always inspect ink prior to charging a pen.


I've posted a few results in the ICS&T SubForum, so one can use the word 'dilution' to search for those posts.




Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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  • 10 months later...

Sandy - If I haven't said it recently, I find your reviews to be stunning and your advice to practical and helpful. Thank you!

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

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar

Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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