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Most Effective Way To Use An Ink Sample?


PeonyMoss
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2 whole milliliters of ink. What do you do when you open that vial? Ink a couple of pens but don't fill the converter?

 

And what to do when the vial gets so low that you can't fill your pen? (I have several samples with just that little bit at the bottom...)

 

Looking for suggestions for making the most of that 2ml.

 

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Eyedropper filler pens....

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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Buy samples with larger volumes-IMO, 2ml is rather a small amount to play with. Different retailers sell different volume samples, with corresponding differences in prices. If a sample is only available from a particular retailer, and is a small sample, I buy more samples so I have at least 4ml to try. IIRC, Goulet is 2ml vials, Anderson Pens 3ml, and Vanness 4ml vials-prices vary depending on the ink as well as the volume of the sample.

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I've just used my first couple samples in the past week or so. I used a Pelikan to alliw me to try multiple nibs fairly easily. I used a pipette to put a portion of the sample in the pen and still have some to try in another pen.

Lee Hiers, AA4GA

"Have Dobro Will Travel"

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And what to do when the vial gets so low that you can't fill your pen?

 

Whip out the syringe!

Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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@ PeonyMoss -- Depending on the pen(s) I can get a couple of fills even from a 2 ml sample (mind you, this would generally be a smaller pen or a c/c pen. When the vial gets low, I *have* been known to put the converter and fill directly, then re-insert into the pen.

Another thing I do is that if I like the ink enough to buy a full bottle, I will save the sample vial and any remaining ink and use it as a travel inkwell (refilling from the bottle with an eyedropper).

If I don't like the ink, at this point I can figure that out pretty quickly (usually I go "Ugh -- why on earth did I buy this color?" or "Wow, this is really dry/wet/badly behaved -- life is too short") and try to find someone at a local pen club meeting who desperately needs that color.... :rolleyes:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Two milliliters is a large enough volume by itself to test the ink in two pens, in my experience, if the filling is done carefully. And yes, a syringe and blunt needle are the way to go for filling. Your pharmacy can supply you with a syringe and needle, and you can gentley clip the sharp point. - Also, pick pens which are easy to "innoculate" with a small volume.

 

If you are ordering from Goulet or anyone else offering two milliter samples, just order two vials of each ink, and combine them in one vial. Then you have four millilters. That should obviate the filling issues, and still not break the bank.

Brian

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Two milliliters is a large enough volume by itself to test the ink in two pens, in my experience, if the filling is done carefully. And yes, a syringe and blunt needle are the way to go for filling. Your pharmacy can supply you with a syringe and needle, and you can gentley clip the sharp point. - Also, pick pens which are easy to "innoculate" with a small volume.

 

If you are ordering from Goulet or anyone else offering two milliter samples, just order two vials of each ink, and combine them in one vial. Then you have four millilters. That should obviate the filling issues, and still not break the bank.

Agree! 2 ml sample is enough to try in a couple of pens.

 

And syringes are the way to go when the level gets low.

YNWA - JFT97

 

Instagram: inkyandy

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Use a syringe in any case (2-ml syringes are best but you can always use a 1-ml insulin-syringe instead).

Either inject a portion into 1-2-3 converters or just squeeze a few drops onto the underside of the section of many more pens. (Very roughly, 1 drop is about 1/20th of a ml).

 

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I third fill a converter, which gives me sufficient to understand the ink and become familiar enough with its characteristics.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Buy samples with larger volumes-IMO, 2ml is rather a small amount to play with.

Isn't that the whole point of acquiring ink samples only, at just a nominal cost that is nevertheless more expensive per millilitre than buying a full retail bottle? Not to satisfy any real-life application of fountain pen and/on paper, but just to satisfy one's curiosity, and perhaps determine whether one wants to buy full retail bottles of the particular ink for actual use? Not a question of, "I have a use for it in mind that would require 8ml, and I wouldn't want to pay for more than what I strictly need for that application," but, "Do I like this ink? There are N traits I want to test first-hand with my choice of nib and paper, just to be sure the ink will be fit for my purposes if I decide to spend more money on it."

 

2 ml sample is enough to try in a couple of pens.

As well as for more than several substantial paragraphs of writing, just in case the user wants to test it out on different types of paper.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Like many others, when I have a sample, I do short fills in a few pens, and am willing to use a syringe if the ink is too low to get at otherwise. Blunt needles are made for filling syringes from ampoules for injection into an intravenous port, so don't hesitate to ask the pharmacist for one.

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10 pack of 10ml blunt syringes available at your friendly neighborhood Amazon. Other sizes as well, this is just the one I have.

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Don't bother trying to clip off a standard syringe, even a large bore one. I've done this in the past with similar needles (ball fillers, to replace blower needles) and the metal is so thin you'll just be crimping it. You'd need to use a rotary cutter, then open the center back up. Far cheaper and simpler to just buy blunt tip syringes.

 

Or, use what was suggested to me on another forum, which work quite well, tiny nalgene bottles with syringes. I use them to store about 5 ml of ink at a time, and just insert them directly into a cartridge or converter.

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10 pack of 10ml blunt syringes available at your friendly neighborhood Amazon. Other sizes as well, this is just the one I have.

 

I just went to the pharmacy department at my local Sam's Club and bought standard syringes, and when necessary to use them, I'll blunt the tips on a sharpening stone my husband has in his toolbox. I think I bought the ones used for people who need insulin. I had previously bought a couple at a local pharmacy, and I still have at least one of those.

But I don't use mine for refilling converters or cartridges -- I use mine for detailed flushing when necessary.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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2 whole milliliters of ink. What do you do when you open that vial?

 

 

Maybe you should also see this thread:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/348101-lab-setup-and-workflow/

 

Just to reiterate, from my perspective the entire premise of acquiring and utilising a sample is investigation. The number (and nature) of tests and/or experiments one wants to perform with the ink will inform the way in which he/she would use the limited volume of ink in the sample "most effectively" to achieve that goal. Some of the highly respected and prolific ink reviewers on FPN use no more than a sample (or equivalent volume) to create ink splashes, swatches, scans and photos, and conduct digital colour analysis, real-life testing of water resistance, lightfastness, feathering, show-through (or 'ghosting') and bleed-through, etc.

 

Articulating your investigation goals and having a well thought-out and practised test methodology are the first steps to the most effective use of the limited volume of something you have.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Just toss the whole thing in my Moonman M2, and swap the nibs out to test all the different nib sizes. Its flow is even-tempered enough that I feel confident with using the same pen, just different nibs, to get an idea of how the ink behaves.

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I just do two full fills, in different pens. By that time, I have a good idea of what I like/don't like about the ink and whether I want more.

 

The second fill from a 2 ml sample can be difficult. My Conklin Duragraph wouldn't do a second fill from a vial of R&K Scabiosa because the nib is just too large and the filler hole couldn't contact the ink, even when tilting the vial. I could have used a syringe, but instead I just shoved the converter into the vial and filled the converter. Even that was a challenge, because there's only so far you can lower the converter and still be able to grasp the barrel in order to twist the plunger.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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Just to point out - I believe that it's been posted up that a standard international cartridge normally holds about 8 microlitres. .8 millilitres) That means that a 2ml sample is just over two cartridges. Plenty of ink to be able to get an idea of how it handles.

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