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Make your own ink?


ElaineB
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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.

Not sure whether it is the same content but https://sites.google.com/a/open-ink.com/open-ink/home responds to open ink project keywords.

Ik ontken het grote belang van de computer niet, maar vind het van een stuitende domheid om iets wat al millennia zijn belang heeft bewezen daarom overboord te willen gooien (Ann De Craemer)

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Hey all. I was curious about making my own ink and came across this wonderful forum. I think collodial silver would be a great preservative for FP ink. If collodial silver can keep milk from spoiling, I'm sure it would be great for FP ink.

 

Neighborhood Alchemist

My two cents.

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Hey all. I was curious about making my own ink and came across this wonderful forum. I think collodial silver would be a great preservative for FP ink. If collodial silver can keep milk from spoiling, I'm sure it would be great for FP ink.

 

Neighborhood Alchemist

My two cents.

 

That is an interesting question. There is no doubt that it kills bacteria, but the main bio-contaminant of inks is fungus, rather than bacteria. Does the silver do as good a job of keeping fungus down as other inky biocides?

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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That is an interesting question. There is no doubt that it kills bacteria, but the main bio-contaminant of inks is fungus, rather than bacteria. Does the silver do as good a job of keeping fungus down as other inky biocides?

this new Alternative Health product already promises to cure every common ailment in your body, why not SiTB too? ;)

 

Is there enough silver content in any little hipflask I can use to store my ink in?

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

That is an interesting question. There is no doubt that it kills bacteria, but the main bio-contaminant of inks is fungus, rather than bacteria. Does the silver do as good a job of keeping fungus down as other inky biocides?

 

Colloidal silver kills any one-celled organism, so it might work on a fungus, too. But it may be cost-prohibitive as an ink preserver. I definitely would not use it in iron gall ink, which is chemically reactive anyway.

 

Oh, and silver is light-sensitive, too (which is why it was used in black and white photography), so exposure to light might cause the ink to change color on the page. It's why some people who consume too much colloidal silver (or create home brews using tap water) turn a bluish/gray color. Over time, the silver particles just build in the skin and then become reactive in light. A small amount in an ink bottle might not be too bad, but the light exposure thing is something to be aware of.

 

I also wonder if the tiny silver particles might clog a pen?

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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  • 6 months later...

I'm surprised that "making ink" here seems to mean mixing pre made inks to get a color or derivatives of ancient pigment recipes.

 

I've got a whole shelf of dyes in a chemistry lab to go through.

 

Is there any advice beyond one of the early posts on this thread 1%w/v in DI or RO water? I'm originally a chemist, so I'm not afraid of the technical challenges or unpronounceable names of ingredients. We probably have most of them in this set of labs anyway.

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Generally, to make an ink from home ingredients for dip pens is easy. There are lots of recipes out there using oak galls, logwood, pokeberries, even laundry bluing. But dip pens are simple things, and easy to clean.

 

Fountain pen ink is a lot more subtle. You need dyes, and not textile dyes, as they contain salts that will corrode your pen. Start with the aniline dyes, or with good food dyes (these contain only dye and biocide).

You will then need a biocide to keep down the growth of nasties.

You will need a flow enhancing agent (think detergent) to help the ink wet the inner surfaces of the pen and then flow through.

You will need a flow control agent (think glycerine) to balance the flow enhancing agent.

 

There is a lot of experimental work needed to get the mix of all the ingredients working properly, and still produce an ink that is attractive to users.

Once this is done, then any company worth its salt protects the recipes and formulae by Patents and other Intellectual Property law. This is why it is harder to find the recipe for Parker Penman Sapphire than it is to get a list of the "Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices".

 

I did make ink, once, using standard kitchen substances (tea, steel wool, vinegar). It worked, for dip pens, but I wouldn't have put it into any fountain pen.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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I think people are making this way more complex than it needs to be. I found a shelf of dyes/histology stains where I work and made 0.2-2% w/v solutions in DI water of 15 of the 60 or so. They work well with dip pens. I weeded out a few that dont fully dissolve. And to simplify further work, I picked 5 maybe 6 to try other concentrations and additives. Gentian Violet aka Crystal Violet and Methylene Blue are inherently preservatives. So I wont need to worry about that for them. I need to increase the concentrations but what Ive seen so far is that dye plus water only works well in my Parker 75 with screw plunger converter.

 

Photo kind of summarizing todays experiments post-140864-0-76111300-1515557017_thumb.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never really thought of making my own FP inks until I stumbled across this thread, it sounds like a most interesting challenge. Especially trying to obtain one's desired qualities whatever they may be, e.g., shading, fast drying, feather resistance, etc.

 

My interest in chemistry stems from my earlier days in black-and-white film photography.

 

On another note- I've long gotten a kick out of some of the dye names they come up with, though I have yet to see Super Fast Brilliant Kick Azo Red...

Edited by Crashbox
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I never really thought of making my own FP inks until I stumbled across this thread, it sounds like a most interesting challenge. Especially trying to obtain one's desired qualities whatever they may be, e.g., shading, fast drying, feather resistance, etc.

 

My interest in chemistry stems from my earlier days in black-and-white film photography.

 

On another note- I've long gotten a kick out of some of the dye names they come up with, though I have yet to see Super Fast Brilliant Kick Azo Red...

 

I think you have named your own challenge there.

Don't forget it should also be feather, spread and bleed resistant, waterproof on paper while being washable on small people and cats.*

 

 

 

 

 

*Beware, there may be some dry Aussie humour embedded in this post.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm new here, but I was drawn to this thread. Tell me, people, do you want to make ink for the sheer pleasure or does the idea of making a gallon for pennies attract you? It attracts me. I'm always looking for the price break on anything even though I'll never consume what I buy.

 

I was recently drawn to trying printer ink in my pens - well, two of them. It's no big loss if they were ruined, but they weren't. I reasoned that a printer cartridge and the print head (and the tubes that link them) are at least as delicate as a fountain pen. I have oodles of replacement ink for Epson printers. The ink has to be uniform so as not to clog the printhead. The perfect printer ink (according to Epson) should be non-airdrying but instantly dry on paper. This prevents the ink from drying on the printhead during inactivity and prevents ink smudging when a sheet is printed in seconds and lands on the previous sheet.

I had two Chinese pens, costing about £1 each, which wrote nicely but dried with inactivity. I had to start them each time by momentarily dipping the nib in water. The printer ink cured this. The pens are always ready, and I have noticed no side-effects yet (two months).

Of great joy to me is that I buy the ink from eBay for £1 per 100 ml as opposed to Quink costing more than 10 times that price. With the 4 colours costing total £4 I can mix them and make my own brown or any colour I fancy.

I would welcome any views on this. As I mentioned earlier, if the pens are ruined I shan't cry. They are instantly replaceable for next to nothing. However, I can't see how the ink would ruin a pen if it didn't ruin a printer.

Am I a genius or a complete idiot?

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I'm new here, but I was drawn to this thread. Tell me, people, do you want to make ink for the sheer pleasure or does the idea of making a gallon for pennies attract you? It attracts me. I'm always looking for the price break on anything even though I'll never consume what I buy.

Really, the only reason I'm here is because a fit of late-night reading brought me to "Prussian Blue" on Wikipedia. I had the necessary chemicals to make it, did, and became fascinated with it. Is it good for anything? Why yes it is, it's a pigment of the 19th-century masters. How did they use it? etc, etc. One thing led to another and I found a thread on it here, and it all exploded into an interest in art and pens.

 

If the material wasn't basically free, I'd certainly have thought twice, but that's not why I'm here :)

 

The perfect printer ink (according to Epson) should be non-airdrying but instantly dry on paper. This prevents the ink from drying on the printhead during inactivity and prevents ink smudging when a sheet is printed in seconds and lands on the previous sheet.

That's useful to know.

 

I had two Chinese pens, costing about £1 each, which wrote nicely but dried with inactivity. I had to start them each time by momentarily dipping the nib in water. The printer ink cured this.

 

I would welcome any views on this. As I mentioned earlier, if the pens are ruined I shan't cry. They are instantly replaceable for next to nothing. However, I can't see how the ink would ruin a pen if it didn't ruin a printer.

 

Am I a genius or a complete idiot?

Well, you're the first person I've heard call printer ink "cheap". I'd worry about refills that cheap hurting your printer, but I'm positive they won't hurt your pens.

 

This property of inkjet inks is something I hadn't heard of. That's a clever use for it. Do you know what they add which makes it behave like that? How far can you thin it and still write properly with it? etc.

 

Do the colors bleed at all? Inkjet colors are supposedly prone to that.

Edited by Corona688
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I've been running Epson printers, a few of them, on cheap replacement ink for over 25 years. I fill my refillable cartridges and have never had a problem. I often used to print 100 CDs for local bands and no problem there either. Same with photos.

What needs to be understood is that the cheap ink is not a copy, it's the real thing. Stupid Epson makes the printers in Japan but can't be bothered to make the ink. They out-source the ink cartridges to China. The factory makes the ink for Epson by day and for themselves by night. They have the formula and the technology thanks to Epson.

 

 

Edit: I don't water down the printer ink for my pens. If I did then I imagine the flow would increase due to the ink being thinner.

As far as colours bleeding into one another is concerned, that is due to wrong settings on the printer dialogue regarding paper type - well, that's my understanding anyway. With the right setting my photographs are fine.

Edited by Ebberman
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Nice, the price of printer ink really is as inflated as everyone thinks then.

 

That is very useful to know actually, we deal with a company that spends a fortune on printer ink. They've got a canon. If they replaced it with an Epson, they'd be able to refill it cheaply and reliably.

 

The cartridges must be chipped, of course. How do you deal with that?

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You go to eBay and search for re-fillable cartridges for your printer. They have chips which are reset every time they are taken out and put back in. Also, you can find CISS - Continuous Ink Supply Systems which have dummy cartridges and tubing to connect to an external ink bank.

You may find some of these things for other printer manufacturers, but Epson is far and away the most represented in the "cheat" market. It's generally agreed that Epson gives the best prints and it's only the running costs which make people consider alternatives.

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Thanks. Lastly, where exactly do you get your ink? If you've used it for 10 years I'll trust it, but random ebay ink might be different!

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I am currently running an Epson P50. I search on eBay for Epson p50 refill ink, or CISS Epson P50, or Epson P50 refillable cartridge. If I want the ink for fountain pen only then I would search for Epson refill ink. Typical prices are £4 for four colours, £6 for six colours, £4.50 for four black, all P & P included. It's not one of those instances where you get better quality if you pay more. Usually the more expensive is sold by a greedy middleman.

One brand I have bought and liked is Coralgraph. They claim to make their own ink and don't be fooled by cheaper products ours is better et cetera. I have not seen any noticeable difference in any of them. I bought the Coralgraph because they sold 6 x 500ml bottles for thirtysomething pounds. Their price goes up and down like a Yoyo. If you are often on eBay you'll save quite a bit. Anything you fancy, save as Watched and watch the price vary.

 

Don't go for Sublimation ink as it's for Printing on to cups and other stuff.

Don't go for Pigment ink as it's very expensive and unnecessary.

For pens and normal printing use Dye ink. It's cheap. I've bought all sorts and never had a problem. I think it's the same ink under different brand names.

In Britain we have 15 brands of washing powder all made by the same manufacturer. I have a feeling that the Chinese act similarly.

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