Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Make your own ink?


ElaineB
 Share

Recommended Posts

...I wouldn't be surprised if some of the home based 'amateur' work ultimately rivals that of the pros.

Of course!

 

I've made my own painting colours for the last

20 years. Exactly the way *I* want them.

 

The only problem being an amateur, mixing

colours at the writing desk, is that it is very

difficult to reproduce a certain nuance next time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Titivillus

    4

  • Gerry

    14

  • ElaineB

    11

  • Ebberman

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

A quick reply because I'm off to bed.

 

The fiber-reactive dyes would need to be fixed only if absolute waterproof-ness is a necessity. If you can live with a regular ink that runs to some extent when exposed to water, then you don't need to worry about using the alkali to fix the dye molecules to the cellulose fibers.

 

Still, I'm willing to bet that Noodlers used a chemical system like this to make the waterproof inks. (Nathan's insistence that the ink only "fixes" when it touches cellulose fibers, and not plastic or skin or whatever was a clear giveaway to me.)

 

I have dye textbooks that go into the chemistry of fiber reactives in a great deal of detail. I'd be happy to loan them out to the esteemed chemists of this cabal and see what they think about the possible corrosiveness vs. permanence issue.

 

*yawn* off to bed. Isn't this exciting?!

 

E.

Thanks for the insight Elaine.

 

I expect that your thoughts about the commercial waterproof dyes are right on. Was thinking that way myself. Ink formulations appear to have a wide range of ph levels. Some is due to the acidity of the dyes used, but I suspect others are due to trying to tailor other properties of the ink.

 

It would be interesting to see if other fixing agents are aslo effective without bringing some disadvantages wrt corrosion etc. The major difference between the fabric dye appliclication and ink is that the solution gets washed out of fabric while it has to remain in the ink to be effective when it hits the paper. And that has implications regarding all the pen components that come into contact with the ink. (We do want to avoid anythig like the Superchrome Ink problem after all :) )

 

 

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, a very interesting thread  :D

 

My so called knowledge stems from umpteen years of

experiments with *pigmented* inks, Chinese and Japanese

Ink Sticks, mediaeval recipes, ferro-gallic inks and so on,

i.e. inks that would make a fountain pen feel :sick:

 

However - in the interesting discussion above, isn't

there one area which you have overlooked, viz.

rheology? An ink with short rheology is much, much

better and "manageable" [for instance in italic nibs

where extremely thin "thins" are only possible when

the ink is "short"].

Well Claes, you are right about the problem pigments bring to inks, but your experience wrt the consistency is probably one we could all learn from. And I would like to have a short course in Rheology and "shortness". Could you please expand on those and similar terms used by Calligraphers?

 

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Kurt. We'll form the Inky Cabal shortly. :)

 

Am I to interpret your first line and last line as: Distilled water is better, but DI water is adequate too? (We were using DI to indicate De Ionized water, not Distilled water).

That was a typo it should have been distilled water

 

Kurt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I would like to have a short course in Rheology and "shortness".  Could you please expand on those and similar terms used by Calligraphers?

I'd be very interested, too. Rheology modification is a big deal to cosmetic formulators. They talk not just about increasing viscosity, but how that viscosity behaves under shear pressure (jargon for "rubbing it onto your skin"). Some ingredients are "quick-breaking" (i.e. they liquify quickly when rubbed) some "slow-breaking". Either can be useful when adjusting how a product feels when applied.

 

I can imagine there are parallels to the what happens when inks are applied with nibs -- the rate at which a thickened ink will liquify and leave trails on the paper could affect performance in a calligrapher's pen.

 

ElaineB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bet it's a big subject for jel and ballpoint inks too.

 

From your comments Elaine, I think of it like the the enigma posed by Heinz Catsup / Ketchup - and some Mustards - getting them to start flowing sometimes takes a sharp rap to overcome the 'stick' the material has initially. Is that sort of like it?

 

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rheology - in practical paint/ink life - deals with

how easy it is to break the chain of molecules.

 

Imagine you have a droplet of paint/ink between your thumb

and index finger. Now, increase the distance between the

fingers.

 

Short rheology = a buttery consistency; the droplet will break rapidly.

 

Long rheology = a long, stringy, resinous consistency; the long

molecular chain refuses to break, the droplet behaves like taffy

or chewing gum.

 

In inks, to achieve the beautifully thin "thins" as well as

perfect transitions between the "thins" and the "thicks", the

ink has to be of short rheology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was jiggling all my bottles of fountain pen ink last night, seeing how much they coated the glass. It's a very rudamentary test to check viscosity. (The best I can do without having a $3K piece of lab equipment! Anyone have access to a Brookfield viscometer?)

 

It looked to me like these fountain pen inks are very slightly viscous, but are close to water-thin. Whereas, calligrapher's inks have more body to them. So I'm guessing that rheology might be less critical in a fountain pen, with a relatively small nib, than it would be in a calligrapher's pen that has to cover much larger surface areas. Just a guess, though.

 

Still, it gave me some idea about selecting a glycol for a basic ink formula. I'm going to go through the data sheets for my glycols and find out which are the least viscous, and then of those, check which have the best humectant qualities (to prevent the ink from drying and crusting in the tines of the pen.)

 

It may turn out that we'll need a blend of glycols: one to act as a humectant, and a thicker one to adjust viscosity. But that's down the road. For now, I just want to start with one and see where it takes us.

 

ElaineB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Here's some interesting considerations re lubricating inks from Chuck Swisher, who got it from Nathan Tardiff, the manufacturer... Quoted with permission...

 

*******************

 

The following information about the Noodler's "American Eel" Lubricating Inks was provided by the manufacturer of these inks (Nathan Tardif): In the 1930s, pen manufacturers increasingly began to turn towards fountain pens with seal based mechanisms. The rationing of rubber during the war accelerated this trend for a time as well. Eversharp, Sheaffer, Onoto, Gold Bond and many others all had plunger fillers....Pelikan, Conklin, Mont Blanc, and many others all had piston fill pen models...Dunn, Pilot, Sager and Ford had sliding pump mechanisms. Parker and a few other manufacturers had no need to maintain lubricants on a mechanism's seals as their pens had no sliding or moving seals....and thus they began to add detergents to inks (such as "Solv-X" tm). In theory this increased flow in a greater variety of conditions and upon being rinsed out a pen would theoretically rinse out cleaner. There were drawbacks to this trend: as you increase detergent content in an ink, it will rinse off cellulose paper faster (put such an ink on paper...dry...then rinse the paper under tap water and you'll witness it wash away faster than any other) AND the detergents will rob piston and plunger seals of their lubricants over time - resulting in recent (during the past 10 years especially) threads on the pens newsgroup and other online pen forums complaining of "stiff pistons" and "stiff seals" which invariably have been cured through the manual disassembly of part or all of the pen and the application of silicone grease lubricants to the seals in question (many such pens wind up broken due to such procedures!).

 

Starting in the 1930s, certain ink companies such as Carter's Ink of Boston, Massachusetts - experimented with lubricant components in their inks. However, the concept never truly took off because of a fundamental flaw: dye could not be impregnated in rubber/ebonite safe water based lubricant additives. Obviously this resulted in a faded line, reduced color contrast, and other flaws in the appearance of such inks.

 

Due to the prevalence of piston and plunger filled fountain pens in the modern pen market, Noodler's began to research this question of ink robbing seal lubricants through the use of detergents last year. A discovery was made whereby a water based non-detergent ink could be made with high concentration dye impregnated water based lubricant additives...and not only avoid the 1930s era problems with faded colors...but to ENHANCE the color and contrast of the ink! The second problem from the 1930s involved adding shelf life to the ink by protecting it from contagions which may be introduced to a bottle of ink through the repeated exposures to contaminated nib dust during fillings. A preservative as strong as that used in the 1930s inks, yet that is also safe and legal (the 1930s preservative was banned long ago, and unlike certain European based inks - Noodler's refuses to use Phenol due to its being a suspected carcinogen - Google the words "phenol" and "cancer") - this preservative has permitted the ink to be not only viable but to have a much longer expected shelf life (one rivaling the vintage 1920s and 1930s inks).

 

This new formulation has gone through extensive testing and is being introduced as the first truly lubricating ink in decades: the Noodler's American Eel series. Any Noodler's label with the smiling eel contains lubricants for use in moving seal mechanisms. Added benefits are the slightly higher dye contrasts, a slick/super smooth writing effect, and the reduction of wear for BOTH synthetic rubber, natural rubber - as well as nylon seals (previous inks did very little for rubber seals).

 

End of quote.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Best wishes,

 

Chuck Swisher - chuck@swisherpens.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was jiggling all my bottles of fountain pen ink last night, seeing how much they coated the glass. It's a very rudamentary test to check viscosity. (The best I can do without having a $3K piece of lab equipment! Anyone have access to a Brookfield viscometer?)

 

It looked to me like these fountain pen inks are very slightly viscous, but are close to water-thin. Whereas, calligrapher's inks have more body to them. So I'm guessing that rheology might be less critical in a fountain pen, with a relatively small nib, than it would be in a calligrapher's pen that has to cover much larger surface areas. Just a guess, though.

 

Still, it gave me some idea about selecting a glycol for a basic ink formula. I'm going to go through the data sheets for my glycols and find out which are the least viscous, and then of those, check which have the best humectant qualities (to prevent the ink from drying and crusting in the tines of the pen.)

 

It may turn out that we'll need a blend of glycols: one to act as a humectant, and a thicker one to adjust viscosity. But that's down the road. For now, I just want to start with one and see where it takes us.

 

ElaineB

If I look to the left at work there's a Brookfield sitting right there. But if you want a cheap viscosity measure there's alway the capillary method and those aren't nearly as expensive but you do need a stopwatch!

 

The difference between deionized and distilled water that I have concern is less of a water quality and more of a corrosion issue.

 

 

Kurt H

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Kurt,

Tell me more about the capillary method! What kind of equipment would I need? How accurate a stopwatch?

 

ElaineB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Kurt,

Tell me more about the capillary method! What kind of equipment would I need? How accurate a stopwatch?

 

ElaineB

Fenske Viscometer

 

 

The above is a link to one type. YOu need to first estimate a viscosity range then buy one of the glass viscometers. A regular stopwatch should be fine. You pour the solution iinto the top and measure the time it takes the liquid to run through the cpillary.

 

 

There are many out there just do a google search on glass viscometers: Fisher, Cole Palmer probably have them also.

 

Kurt H

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great. Before you can get a viscometer to measure the viscosity of the ink, you gotta know the viscosity to buy the right viscometer. :P

 

Anyone know the approximate range of viscosities for today's inks?

 

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Water at 68.4°F (20,2°C) has an absolute viscosity of one centipoise (cps). I've got a bottle of 1000 cps dimethicone here, and it looks like maple syrup when I jiggle it. Typical shampoos are between 1000 and 2000 cps, if that's a help.

 

I'm guessing fountain pen inks are only slightly more viscous than water so perhaps a range between 0-100 cps, something like that?

 

ElaineB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...

Sorry to dig up such an old thread but ... did someone manage to make his own ink?

 

I found some links on the internet (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Ink-from-Tea and http://www.ehow.com/how_4794552_fountain-pen-ink.html) but I don't think I'm gonna try this in a fountain pen. The references list on the wikipedia fountain pen ink page was also quite informative but I haven't found something like an "ingredients" list with the correct dosages.

 

On what has been said above in this thread, I might help a bit: I'm studying Pharamcy so I may help on some chemical matters. Desionised water is overkill IMO, destilled water should be just fine. Also if we are serious about making ink, we should start quite simple. Biocides and defoamers shouldn't be a concern in an early testing phase. Basically, we only need a pigment, a thickener and probably a pH balancer and some polymers to change the rheological properties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look under the forum Ink Recipes.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

The open source ink project seems to be offline (http://www.kyder.com/phpBB2/). Does anyone have an archive of the Finalized designs and notes from this site? I'd like to read up and see if I can pick up on this project.

WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Right when I needed it! I was also wondering if I can make my own ink some day. But for now, I'll just look around :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please pardon the intrusion of an old man. During the Great Depression in the United States, rural school children could not afford "store bought" ink. I remember as a youngster gathering the ripe berries of the pokeweed plant or poke salad plant (Phytolacca americanna) for older kin to make their ink. The berries were crushed, water was mixed in, and it was strained through cheesecloth material into a jar. This was allowed to sit a couple of days and was then taken to school for use as ink. The teacher would collect all the contributions in a jug and dole out the "ink" as needed.

 

Curious note: other common names for the plant are "inkplant" and "red-ink plant",

 

For what it is worth.

 

-David (Estie).

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery. -Anon.

A backward poet writes inverse. -Anon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37978
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      31110
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25602
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • A Smug Dill
      @Texas42 Thank you. I myself have recently had the experience of cleaning out a Wing Sung 699, in which the iron-gall ink has been sitting for six months. No damage to the metal piston rod (whereas, in a Wing Sung 3013 vacuum-filler, it would have been corroded, turned green, and contaminated the ink in mere weeks), but there was a ring of colour at the far end of the barrel that wouldn't budge, and I found it impossible to unscrew the filling mechanism to clean the interior wall of the ink rese
    • Texas42
      Dang. You are a great friend!   One comment as a relative newcomer would be within the cleaning section: issues/differences in cleaning vacuum filler, piston filler in addition to cartridge/converter. I just cleaned out my Pilot 823 and while it wasn't particularly difficult I was a little paranoid about the drops of water that I could not get out. Perhaps this is something you are already including.   Anyway, great project and very thoughtful of you. I know it's a project fo
    • Splat
      Ah Ruaidhri ya wee heid banger, you do indeed have an Irishman’s way wid dose words now. I’ll be from outer Aberdeenshire up in the blizzard riven braes of the Grampians.  Amateur medicine and surgery is it? Well what noble aspirations you do possess, we need to encourage such noble experimentations.  I pondered on leaving my own battered shell to science, but, until I read your pearls of wisdom and lament, I had comedown on the side of leaving my body to Findus frozen foods.  However, your rema
    • austollie
      Hi Smug Dill,   Nice project.  If it were me, I'd cover stuff like: - nib types available, i.e. styles, materials (SS vs gold), flex vs nails; - filling systems (I love the "thingie" comment) and how once can use them in practice (e.g. fill cartridges with a syringe); - pen body materials and their consequences (pen not balanced of too heavy and big for the hand); - and, whilst you've made it clear that you do not like vintage pens, a discussion of these beyond "I d
    • A Smug Dill
      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Agricola2301
      Agricola2301
      (61 years old)
    2. bentnib
      bentnib
      (61 years old)
    3. Berused
      Berused
      (29 years old)
    4. carlosviet
      carlosviet
      (48 years old)
    5. chrishope
      chrishope
      (53 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...