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Mixing different inks.... can we?


Paul_LZ

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"Never mix different inks" is what one can read In the label of ink bottle of Herbin.

 

Can't I add a little ink of a different colour to produce something to my own personal taste? Can I mis inks from different brands?

And if not, why not? 

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2 minutes ago, Paul_LZ said:

And if not, why not? 

 

You can mix the inks you have however you like, as long as you're prepared to accept that ruining the inks - or even the pens into which you load the inks - would be a problem of your own making and no other party's responsibility.

 

Presumably you don't know the chemical composition of each ink, and cannot predict whether mixing any number of them will cause unintended chemical reactions. That's taking a punt without having any reasonable basis for expecting that nothing worse than simply not getting the exact colour you want will happen.

 

But those inks and pens are your private property, so you can do whatever you wish with or to them. :)

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, and 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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I mix inks all the time, even from different manufacturers --- I do it in sample vials and let it set for a while (overnight, or a couple days) to check for undue reactions or sediment before using. If I'm impatient, I'll try it in one the free Muft (FPR) eyedroppers I have on hand (easily cleaned).

What have you done with the cat? It looks half dead.

 ~ Schrödinger's wife

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You can mix different inks. I do so frequently…. BUT…. I would suggest you first check out other people's experiences in the "Inky Recipes" forum AND you start experimenting with small quantities.

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There are a variety of mix your own ink options on the market that are designed with that intent in mind. Outside of those, results may vary considerably.

 

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2 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

You can mix the inks you have however you like, as long as you're prepared to accept that ruining the inks - or even the pens into which you load the inks - would be a problem of your own making and no other party's responsibility.

 

Presumably you don't know the chemical composition of each ink, and cannot predict whether mixing any number of them will cause unintended chemical reactions. That's taking a punt without having any reasonable basis for expecting that nothing worse than simply not getting the exact colour you want will happen.

 

But those inks and pens are your private property, so you can do whatever you wish with or to them. :)

Thank you. I certainly do not want to ruin any of my pens. I think the core of the question would be more evident if I knew what are the basic ingredients of inks, even though they might differ from manufacturer to another. For the time being, no experiments will be scheduled. If I am after a certain colour, I will simply have to check the available ones offered by the different and many ink manufacturers

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2 hours ago, Paul_LZ said:

Can I mis inks from different brands?

Sure can. My favourite mix (decades old), was  Perle Noir + Grand Canyon + Waterman Violet. Check out Richard Binder's Burgundy as well.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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11 minutes ago, lapis said:

Sure can. My favourite mix (decades old), was  Perle Noir + Grand Canyon + Waterman Violet. Check out Richard Binder's Burgundy as well.

Sure will, thank you.

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As mentioned above, the key points are mix in small batches and let the mix sit overnight to allow any nasty chemical reactions that may happen to happen.  Some mixes (like a Noodler's Baystate ink and any non-Baystate ink) while cause a solid to precipitate out of the solution.  Those solid particles can wreak havoc with feeds and ink channels.  Lots of mixes are described in the "Inky Recipes" forum.  Binder Burgundy, mentioned above, is a lovely ink made from a 50/50 mix of Waterman's Purple and Sheaffer's Skrip Red.  One of my favorite inks is a mix of Diamine Deep Dark Purple, Sheaffer's Skrip Red, Aurora Black, and a dyeless "ink" made by De Atramentis.  My wife's favorite ink is a custom mix I prepare for her from two Noodler's inks.  Indulge yourself.  Mix away.

 

Skrip Red is discontinued and can be challenging to find.  Noodler's Fox Red has been suggested as a substitute in other threads.

 

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

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5 hours ago, kestrel said:

As mentioned above, the key points are mix in small batches and let the mix sit overnight to allow any nasty chemical reactions that may happen to happen.  Some mixes (like a Noodler's Baystate ink and any non-Baystate ink) while cause a solid to precipitate out of the solution.  Those solid particles can wreak havoc with feeds and ink channels.  Lots of mixes are described in the "Inky Recipes" forum.  Binder Burgundy, mentioned above, is a lovely ink made from a 50/50 mix of Waterman's Purple and Sheaffer's Skrip Red.  One of my favorite inks is a mix of Diamine Deep Dark Purple, Sheaffer's Skrip Red, Aurora Black, and a dyeless "ink" made by De Atramentis.  My wife's favorite ink is a custom mix I prepare for her from two Noodler's inks.  Indulge yourself.  Mix away.

 

Skrip Red is discontinued and can be challenging to find.  Noodler's Fox Red has been suggested as a substitute in other threads.

 

Great, thank you for the tips!

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6 hours ago, kestrel said:

.... Skrip Red is discontinued and can be challenging to find.  Noodler's Fox Red has been suggested as a substitute in other threads.

Skrip red was, yes, one "standard", "pure" red. I used it all the time for corrections etc. I now use as a stunning substitute Diamine's Poppy and/or Wild Strawberry. Both to equal extents, because I still don't know which one I like better....

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I haven't created any physical problems when mixing inks yet. Remember mixing inks is subtractive. Add inks together and the result will get darker, towards black. Not like adding colour values on a computer screen where the result gets brighter. This means many bright ideas for mixing inks do not work very well. If you try to thin the inks to compensate then they will not behave the same.

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On 10/9/2022 at 10:16 AM, vtgt said:

I haven't created any physical problems when mixing inks yet. Remember mixing inks is subtractive. Add inks together and the result will get darker, towards black. Not like adding colour values on a computer screen where the result gets brighter. This means many bright ideas for mixing inks do not work very well. If you try to thin the inks to compensate then they will not behave the same.

Thank you, good to take into consideration, 🙂

 

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On 10/9/2022 at 4:16 AM, vtgt said:

I haven't created any physical problems when mixing inks yet. Remember mixing inks is subtractive. Add inks together and the result will get darker, towards black. Not like adding colour values on a computer screen where the result gets brighter. This means many bright ideas for mixing inks do not work very well. If you try to thin the inks to compensate then they will not behave the same.

If you use a dilutant (diluent) instead of water you can minimize the behavior changes.  A dilutant is basically ink without the dyes.  It contains surfactants, antimicrobial stuff, and so forth.  De Atramentis sells it and I have been happy with it.  Birmingham Pen Company sells one also but I have no experience with it.

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

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12 hours ago, kestrel said:

If you use a dilutant (diluent) instead of water you can minimize the behavior changes.  A dilutant is basically ink without the dyes.  It contains surfactants, antimicrobial stuff, and so forth.  De Atramentis sells it and I have been happy with it.  Birmingham Pen Company sells one also but I have no experience with it.

Thanks for the info!

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I've mixed inks for the first time a little while ago. Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine, and J. Herbin Perle Noire. I really didn't like using Aventurine much, and wished I had gotten Olivine instead, so I decided to try making it a bit darker. I mixed about 2/3 of Aventurine with 1/3 of Perle Noire in a sample vial and results were pretty good, I have it in a Jinhao 992 and it's been writing great.

 

The comparison:

Spoiler

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/619688445035413514/1028498822223122522/IMG_20221008_0001.jpg

 

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I’ve never had any problems with mixing non-permanent inks, not even when they are from a different manufacturer. I also always follow the solid advice given above: use small quantities, let the mix sit overnight (or longer) and observe for nastiness.

Permanent inks (water-proof, bullet-proof, …) use more chemicals, and might be more prone to chemical nastiness when mixed together. I have no experience with such mixes, but have limited myself to dye-based inks that are at most water-resistant. And I would encourage everyone to try some mixing experiments with non-permanent inks. They are an excellent way to save inks that are not totally to your liking.

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12 hours ago, namrehsnoom said:

I’ve never had any problems with mixing non-permanent inks, not even when they are from a different manufacturer. I also always follow the solid advice given above: use small quantities, let the mix sit overnight (or longer) and observe for nastiness.

Permanent inks (water-proof, bullet-proof, …) use more chemicals, and might be more prone to chemical nastiness when mixed together. I have no experience with such mixes, but have limited myself to dye-based inks that are at most water-resistant. And I would encourage everyone to try some mixing experiments with non-permanent inks. They are an excellent way to save inks that are not totally to your liking.

How can you tell if the commercially available ink one is interested in is a permanent ink or not? I have some inks from different manufacturers - LAMY Crystal, Quink, Herbine, Pelikan - and no indication about that on the packaging or the bottle itself.

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2 minutes ago, Paul_LZ said:

How can you tell if the commercially available ink one is interested in is a permanent ink or not?

 

I guess the answer is, it's not up to the prospective customer to decide whether the ink manufacturer makes that claim or publish information about its product(s), on account of having interest as a user alone. Some brands will make a selling point of certain inks being permanent — whether they actually use the word ‘permanent’, or alternatively claims conformance or compliance to ISO standards (11798, 12757, 14145, etc.), or use the company's own terminology such as ‘bulletproof’ — to attract interest; but you cannot expect there would be some industry-wide testing or certification framework for such, or even make it a recognised information requirement in product specifications. You're as likely, if not more so, to see mention of ‘washable’ or ‘erasable’.

 

So, to be more constructive for a change, I'd say: you tell by testing that ink yourself, to your satisfaction of whatever definition you choose to use for ‘permanent’. It's commercially available, so you can at least buy some of it to test, to use on its own or before mixing it with something else. (If you already have the ink on hand, so much the better.)

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, and 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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