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Using Dye To Make Ink


DiveDr
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Sorry if I misunderstood. I was under the impression that "The dye is listed as non-toxic, all the colors, so probably a neutral aniline salt".

 

Of course, otherwise, there may be no reason to worry.

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The photo flo is the surfactant in this ink (approx 60% water, 30% propylene glycol, 10% Triton X-100).

I'm interested in this equivalence. Would it be plausible to use Triton X-100 directly, rather than the Photo-Flo 200 combination? Would the above proportions give the correct amount to try as an equivalent?

 

It's interesting that propylene glycol is (among other properties) a humectant, that in larger quantities would prevent complete drying. That's probably not of concern in the tiny amounts used in ink, though.

 

Thanks!

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OK, so here's my first attempt at homebrew ink to suit my particular pen/paper combination, inspired by Drive Dr.'s original post.

 

Trying for a dry permanent purple ink.

2020 01 18 10pm :

15ml glass bottle with plastic cone lid seal (I misremembered it as 20ml size)

glass eyedropper for glycerin

50ml plastic syringe to measure water

Mixed

18 ml Distilled water, grocery store grade

5 drops Glycerin, drugstore generic

1/2 tsp Blue Purple 810 MX dye powder from PRO Chemical

0 Photo-Flo (I didn't have any on hand)

Shook 20 seconds 3x

Left to sit overnight in ~50 F garage.

I don't have a pH meter.

- - - - - - -

2020 01 19 3pm :

Filter once through Starbucks sBCAB129 "Interactive Cup" filter paper from roll, in funnel, into clean 15ml glass bottle.

Call this "Composition 810 A".

Trial writing with Wanwou glass nib: super wet at first, but settles down to normal looking line.

Color is very dark and somewhat muddy, not the bright blue-purple I hoped for. Maybe too much dye. Swab looks rather pale on ColORite card.

Trial writing in Jinhao 992 (previously had BSB) writes slightly narrower line than BSB.

Trial writing in target pen Lamy 2000 with Mike Masuyama 0.7mm CI gusher -- looks decent, gives better linewidth variation than BSB 2:1 water on printer paper.

Trial writing on Tomoe River gives desomecent line variation, takes a very long time to dry, so probably still too wet / too much flow. Maybe too much glycerin.

Water restistance tests pending.

- - - - - - -

2020 01 20. 9pm :

Wrote with Composition 810 A on Tomoe River paper, using both Jinhao 992 and the target pen Lamy 2000, Mike Masuyama CI gusher.

Dry time: 5 minutes.

Tap water, 100 F.

Dipped up to line for 15 seconds, pulled straight up, placed on paper towel.

IMG_4489 shows setup; IMG_4490 shows just after removal (still wet).

Turned writing over and wiped against paper towel.

IMG4491 shows after wiping while still moist.

What I think I see:

Some ink washed away immediately. There was pale ink color in the water.

Some ink stayed in place. It was paler than before dunking but remained crisp.

Some ink redeposited, making pale halos.

For my purpose, this is not quite satisfactory. Although the writing remains, accidental smearing would be likely.

- - - - - - -

Observations? Suggestions? Thoughts?

post-83541-0-85811000-1579586262_thumb.jpg

post-83541-0-78598500-1579586270_thumb.jpg

post-83541-0-85620000-1579586292_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for sharing the experiment with us.

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

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see 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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I found the Composition shown above still too wet-writing, so I tried diluting it.

 

Usage report:

 

I have been using "Composition 810A" diluted 1:1 with distilled water for nearly two months now at work in a Lamy 2000 (medium) cursive italic on a PfFP Tomoe River notebook.

 

Likes:

It's about as dry-writing as any nice-color ink I've tried in that pen, and better than most;

It remains legible after smearing;

The color is near what I wanted;

 

Dislikes:

It smears, especially with moisture;

It is not dry enough for the paper/pen combination;

It shades (while many find this desirable, in my work notes I do not);

The color is still just slightly grayish, especially in the pale-shaded parts;

 

Next try will be without glycerine.

 

Has anyone else tried the DiveDr simple basic recipe yet?

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Another thing I'll probably try is adding some pH buffer to the mix. This risks precipitation, but if that doesn't happen it could help the color bond to the paper better and reduce smearing.

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  • 1 year later...

So haven't posted here and quite a while but have been diligently working on ink formulas. Also doing some chemical analysis on commercial inks. Dyes are most definitely the way to go. Commercial inks are definitely aqueous dye based with the exception of some pigment based samples that appear to be emulsified suspensions for the most part.

 

Have settled on pH balanced Proscion dye solutions with varying amounts of Photoflow and glycerine which produces excellent results. Really vibrant colors and yes, shading on good paper! Sample photos to follow and will give specific formulas if requested.

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  • 5 months later...

@DiveDr Thanks for sharing.

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

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see 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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On 8/23/2021 at 10:27 AM, DiveDr said:

Have settled on pH balanced Proscion dye solutions with varying amounts of Photoflow and glycerine which produces excellent results. Really vibrant colors and yes, shading on good paper! Sample photos to follow and will give specific formulas if requested.

Would you please say what you add to achieve pH balance?  Some sort of pH buffer combination? 

 

Thanks!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys!

 

New to the community, new to chemistry concepts, studied physics so I figure close enough ;). These posts have been incredibly helpful. I've just finished a black mix according to your 810A, @BrassRatt, as I also lack Photo-Flo (for now). I'll be messing around with this a bit and doing some testing. I'll plan to come back to post more. @DiveDr thank you so much for kicking off this thread. Wishing you the best in your experimentation and research!

 

An edit as I should mention I'm using Jacquard Products' 150 Jet Black Procion MX Dye

Edited by dezkant
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So I have made a permanent/waterproof ink that is black in color. I’m working on the actual formula to figure out the exact mixture, but the ingredients are:

 

Kamei sumi ink

Tide pod/water - surfactant

vegetable glycerin - humectant

distilled water

 

I will say that the ink is not a deep black once it’s mixed, but it’s about 30% sumi ink, 30% distilled water, 20% tide pod surfactant (to prepare this mixture/put all the liquid from the pod/all colors in a jar and then mix in 3.5 oz of water) and 20% glycerin

 

The ink is as permanent as Noodler’s Heart of Darkness black, and just a shade lighter.

The ink flows well, dries in about 3-5 seconds on most papers, doesn’t seem to dry out on the nib, and doesn’t clog.

 

If you find that it’s not flowing well enough, add more surfactant and humectant. Use a pen that you can wash out easily. You can wash this out easily with just water and it washes off your hands with just water. The scent of the tide pod covers the scent of the sumi ink so it has a pleasant smell. The ink flows well from every pen I’ve tried it with but I admit I haven’t put it in an expensive pen as of yet. I’ve been using it in a couple of Wing Sung 629’s, but it does seem to be working well. I have a PH meter coming in from Amazon along with some better surfactant (Triton X-100, active ingredient in Kodak photo-Flo), and some Mixol pigments. I’m going to try to mix an ink with the Mixol to see how that works.

 

I’ll report back later to let you know how it goes. I’d be interested in someone trying my Sumi Black Ink mix and let me know how it works for ya’ll.

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