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Long Term Ink Storage



mobinh

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Well, I have been on an ink acquisition spree of late having bought about 16 bottles of various brands in the last month with an imminent purchase of another 4 bottles.

 

Most of the new inks, I really just buy to see how they will reflect my writing and I really just keep going back towards my favorite daily drivers. I'm hoping, some day, my son and daughter will find them and will, hopefully, be curious as to what their old man was up-to and why he was so fascinated with colored water :)

 

Which brings me to my question... How do you store your inks? How would you recommend I store my stash so that it would remain stable for 20-30 years?

 

I have bought very old ink bottles where the contents were pristine and I have bought NOS bottles, only 9-16 years old, which suffered from significant evaporation. I am thinking of using those airtight plastic containers... I actually have bought a few 2.5L (I think) ones... They fit my desk drawer perfectly and are just the right height to accommodate the bottles sitting upright and each box should hold about 20 to 26 bottles.

 

Any thoughts/recommendations?

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The best way if not the only way (practically) is to keep your inks in a cool place and out of the light. Direct sunlight in any case but also any artificial light which has been discussed here over the years can be detrimental due to excess UV exposure. Keep all of the inks in the boxes supplied where relevant. If an ink says "Best Before" like on Montblanc boxes, then that is nice but not at all crucial. Many (other) good inks like Sheaffer can be 30-50 years old and still survive well until the present day. All of that is still no guarantee that nothing will happen because that also is dependent on the types and/or amounts of anti-contaminants such as phenol and sodium azide added by the manufacturer. That also includes some surfactants and when any and/or enough of those are missing, it can end up with SITB which you can't manage and couldn't have eliminated in the first place (unless of course you had already added your own concoctions). But I wouldn't do that unless I knew more about the chemistry and history involved. Adding a drop of surfactants (e.g. dishwater soap) simply for more wetness and lubrication is another matter. Also, however banal this may sound, always make sure that the caps are on tight and out of the reach of small children!

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Thank you, lapis.I have read that advice in a number of discussions. I do exercise recommended diligence when handling the inks.

 

I guess it won't be that difficult to maintain their quality and characteristics after all unless, of-course, under circumstances involving variables beyond my control or comprehension.

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If you are buying just to try and ink out to see if you will like it, save yourself storage space and money and buy samples instead.

Most are about 3 ml which for most c/c pens and a number of others is 2-3 fills. Don't buy the biggest bottle available "just because".

 

Normally I am as big as enabler as the next guy, but you might want to slow down a bit. Or at least try before you buy.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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fpn_1514717594__img_3513.jpg

"We are one."

 

– G'Kar, The Declaration of Principles

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Are you looking for a custom bound book? Check out my Etsy page.

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While we have been fortunate that bottles of classic inks from the era when fountain pens were everyday essentials have survived to the present day fully usable, none of the manufacturers made their inks with that in mind. It was a happy accident for us.

 

The same is true today — manufacturers create products to be used, not ones to sit on a shelf or in a drawer for years or decades.

 

The industrial strength biocides used in the past are no longer used or not manufactured due to changes in health, workplace safety, or environmental laws and regulations created with a better understanding of the impact of those products especially due to long-term exposure, whether that's the environment, the workers, or you and me.

 

The suggestions above are all excellent and probably all the end user can do to maximize the life of their ink so it will give us much pleasure for many years to come. But it's no guarantee that the chemicals and dyes used will remain shelf stable for that length of time.

 

All this from someone who has accumulated a substantial collection of inks.

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Jerome Tarshis

Agree with whitelotus. That inks made in decades long past can be used today is irrelevant to the question asked. Today's inks are not the same.

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Same as cars, computers, TVs?... They all have to be replaced every few years because today, that's the way they are designed and made?....

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Ink is a consumable. It always was. It was meant to be used. The manufacturers in the past had very few ink colors.

 

Long ago there was less understanding of pollution and impact on workers and the environment than there is today. I doubt there is an intent on the part of ink makers, especially those in the EU where the regulations are most strict, to "cheapen" their inks in the way you suggest. The previously legally allowed biocides are simply not allowed any longer, and thus, not manufactured for any purpose, so others must be used, which may be less effective over the long term. How long that time frame may be is unlikely to be known, perhaps even by the makers.

 

Cars are much better made than in the past. There are many metrics by which this is so (fuel economy, safety). People often continue to upgrade the software on an old computer, and want the latest software (games, etc) which may not have been designed for the older equipment. Then complain that their 5 year old computer "runs slow". The computer wasn't designed to be obsolete but became so though improvements in other areas.

 

While I do believe that industrial production of certain products is leading to a reduction in quality, I don't think that is true in these examples. Especially not with ink. Though some brands clearly have less dye where you have "blacks" that are really a gray, "reds" that are closer to pink. And some simply have that as their "house style" if you will.

 

In ink, the primary ingredient is water, which still is mostly plentiful and inexpensive. So one can wonder at how it is possible for 50 ml of colored water can be sold for $43 (eg Montblanc Saint-Exupery, Sailor Bungbox), even with a fancy bottle.

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Some folks buy/save/collect some inks -- Iroshis come to my mind first -- just because of their bottles.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Thanks for all the good advice. I apologize for replying so late. I had forgotten to follow the topic.

 

If you are buying just to try and ink out to see if you will like it, save yourself storage space and money and buy samples instead.
Most are about 3 ml which for most c/c pens and a number of others is 2-3 fills. Don't buy the biggest bottle available "just because".

Normally I am as big as enabler as the next guy, but you might want to slow down a bit. Or at least try before you buy.

 

Brad, That would be the sensible thing to do but it doesn't make financial sense to me. I have to order from England because the better colors are not readily available to me locally and there are not a lot of free shipping buffets available for Pakistan although it's mostly a flat charge. The shipping prices and times are very reasonable though but I still tend to revert to my baser instincts :) and overdo it... ending up ordering $90 worth of inks to justify/balance the $14 shipping.

 

I do tend to perform rigorous research about the brand and color so I'm fairly positive what to expect. The inks really are offered at such a great price at cultpens, nichepens and overjoyed that there really isn't that much of a price difference between the bottle sizes ml for ml.

 

"pic"

 

Noihvo, my latest order from overjoyed includes two 100ml Herbin inks in plastic bottles so I'll have to look up some pretty glass to decant them into.

 

The suggestions above are all excellent and probably all the end user can do to maximize the life of their ink so it will give us much pleasure for many years to come. But it's no guarantee that the chemicals and dyes used will remain shelf stable for that length of time.

 

 

white_lotus, the only bad ink bottle (I believe) I believe in my collection is a Diamine Bilberry ordered from nichepens. It's behavior is extremely strange and deserves a topic of its own. For starters, when you shake the bottle, it doesn't stick to the glass... I mean, at all... and in all pens I've tried it, the flow is very uneven ranging from gusher to a fire-hose. I will try to illustrate with photos later.

 

Some folks buy/save/collect some inks -- Iroshis come to my mind first -- just because of their bottles.

 

Well, I have about 14 bottles of Parker Sapphire coming in very, very soon :) I got interested when I accidentally flushed out 2 sapphire cartridges I discovered with a Parker Sonnet thinking they were empty when they really just needed some distilled water. It was extremely hard, that flushing, and the alluring stains on my hands prompted me to research and pursue this beautiful ink.

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amberleadavis

This was my ink cabinet in 2012.

 

http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/album/Potions_Cabinet/slides/2012-09-27_cabinet.jpg

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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amberleadavis

This was my ink cabinet nine months later (6/5/13).

 

http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/album/Potions_Cabinet/slides/2013-06-05-Cabinet2.JPG

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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amberleadavis

And another nine months later 3/26/14.

 

http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/album/Potions_Cabinet/slides/20140326_122405.jpg

 

And another six months 9/7/14, I expanded to two cabinets.

 

http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/album/Potions_Cabinet/slides/20140907_131710.jpg http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/album/Potions_Cabinet/slides/20140907_131741.jpg

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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amberleadavis

I am now at three cabinets. I use a lot of ink - and I must admit that a whole lot of those bottles are actually empty or maybe have a fill or two left. I have inks from the 1950s and inks made today. I display them openly. I have tested inks inks in direct sun and heat.

 

My advise - USE THE STUFF.

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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