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“Tubes of Coloured Liquids…”

Posted by Dirck on 18 January, 2010

“…that must mean SCIENCE!” according to various of the B-Masters. It does indeed, as I devoted a little of the time available between other tasks this weekend to seeing whether there’s any remediation available for the modern Quink.

The news is good. I won’t bore you… any more than I usually do… by going into the details, beyond mentioning that from a 1ml insulin syringe gives fourteen drops from a 0.1ml volume of fluid, and this is important if one is trying to scale up from drops of one ink into a 0.1ml sample of another.

The results were interesting, and I need to thank one of the constant commenters here for reminding me that red was worth looking at as a prophylaxis for the problem in hand.

I attacked the problem with insertions of Quink Black initially, because I’m stubborn, and found that as one passed a 1:1 mixture with the blue-black, one essentially got a black with a strange greenish tinge to it. Interesting, but not quite what I’m after. This is not the same effect as one gets from a green-black ink, of which the Mont Blanc Racing Green is a fine example, but more like you’d expect from dissolving a penny in the black ink– cupric oxide gone awry.

I then turned to true mad science, mixing not just colours but also brands of ink, an act frowned upon by The Creator… or, in this case, creators, being Parker and Sheaffer. I did this not just because I wanted to wring my hands and laugh unwholesomely (which I try to get in at least once a week regardless of what I’m up to), but simply because the only straight red I have is Skrip. Results here were more positive, at least in a short-term examination. With much smaller infusions of red, the Quink produced much less teal on the page, leaning away from the green end of things, and appears to be sticking with it.

I will now lose great piles of mad scientist points by sharing my formula with the world:

  • 1 full bottle of Quink blue-black (more or less; the 57ml is down by at least 0.2ml from the test phase, plus a little from the previous checking to see if it had the same problems as the bottle it replaced– context available here);
  • 1ml of Skrip red;
  • 0.1ml of Quink black, for extra body.

This seems to result in a colour not far from that which unamended Quink previously managed. I shouldn’t rush out and try it for yourself, though. One day is hardly long enough a test period to declare success (I note that Victor Frankenstein concluded his experiment before he even got the initial notes written up, and look where that landed him!). A week from now, I’ll give a more conclusive declaration.

Today’s pen: Parker “51”
Today’s ink: Quink washable blue (1950s vintage)

4 Responses to ““Tubes of Coloured Liquids…””

  1. wordsworthwhile said

    Thank you very much for the nice recipe. How lovely to have some vintage Quink blue.

    Will test the recipe and report.

    The 51 in Cordovan brown sounds pretty!

  2. It might do with as much as 3ml of the red before it starts wandering into the realm of purple-y. I’m not sure that the black actually has that much effect beyond salving my own stubborn streak.

  3. A note from the future– no pens have yet caught fire, and the colour seems to be staying blue. Feel free to emulate.

  4. […] will recall my big snit about Quink blue-black’s reformulation, and the eventual discovery of a more or less viable remedy for the problem.  The remedied bottle has been my desk-pen since the doctoring; let’s say […]

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