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Thread: Ink bottles...

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    Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Ink bottles...

    Interested in opinions on ink bottles. I have some favorites and a few pet peeves on this subject, I'm sure many of you do as well!

    First off, I like the *idea* of reservoirs that allow using more of the ink without resorting to consolidating your almost empty writing fluid of choice into a fresh bottle of the same color, or using the dregs for a mixing project. In reality though, many seemingly great solutions aren't so hot... I like the old Montblanc bottles with the small forward compartment right under the cap and Lamy bottles with their deep center well actually deliver all but the last few drops of ink, the Sailor insert also seems pretty functional (haven't lived with it long) as long as you don't have a large nib to fit in the cup. On the other hand the Pilot Iroshizuku dimple seems largely symbolic, though I have yet to drain a bottle, so I have no evidence to back that hunch up... Vintage Sheaffer bottles work fairly well, but the side reservoir is shallow and can't accommodate pens that need to be dipped deeply to fill. Conceptually my favorite (though a bit scary to use) solution is the faceted Waterman bottles, but to really get the last of the ink out, you need three hands to hold the bottle at the right angle, so functionally they come in pretty far down the list. I'm sure that there are a bunch I've missed or never seen, so let me know about them and how well they work (or don't).

    Next, what's your opinion of "premium" ink bottles? Forget function, I'm just talking about the look... Sure, a bottle should have a unique profile and/or labeling to identify its brand, but heavy/ornate glass and fancy tops don't add value in my world, in fact they kind of put me off; it seems to me that the *ink* is the reason I'm buying this product, so either give me more of it for the same price, or lower the price, either way I have no interest in a bottle so fancy that it pushes the price up by more than a dollar or two compared to a "regular" bottle. Full disclosure: I *hate* the opaque plastic Noodler's bottles and dislike the cheesy little Diamine bottles, so I'm not without my own brand of bottle snobbery

    Now on to lid seals... this used to be one of my biggest gripes, but thankfully the supply chain for screw-top packaging has joined the 21st century and I don't have to worry about paper or rubber cap seals any more! Having a cap seal that won't crack, leak, absorb ink, stick to the bottle mouth, or crumble into your ink is such a great feature, thanks ink makers!
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    I thought that Waterman bottles could easily stand on one of their edges for easier pen filling?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Hi,

    Akkerman!
    The look(!), funktion and the inks. :-)

    Best
    Jens
    .................................................. .................................................. .

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    I thought that Waterman bottles could easily stand on one of their edges for easier pen filling?

    The Waterman bottle does get you down to the last 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle depending on what you're filling, but it isn't as effective as bottles that have an actual reservoir to concentrate the last few drops. And the point at which you start wanting to tip it for better fills is *just* low enough that ink won't slosh out when you tip it, hence saying they're scary to use.
    David-

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    There are some good designs, and bottles that can accommodate many pens for filling. That said, when you get down to the last bit of any pen and you're filling a piston- or lever- fill pen, neither of which happen to have removable nibs or sections, there is only so much you can do.

    I love my Sheaffer bottles, esp with a Snorkel, and MB/Akkerman/Waterman all work well in many situations. All that said, my ink/pen experience turned around rapidly when I added a very inexpensive accesory: blunt needle syringes. I never worry about getting the last bit of ink out of a bottle and for many filling systems and pens, I can achieve a maximum fill with minimum waste or mess. Those, combined with smartly designed bottles, is a real pleasure.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by SchaumburgSwan View Post
    Hi,

    Akkerman!
    The look(!), funktion and the inks. :-)

    Best
    Jens

    Those are very cool bottles! And a nice color selection as well, I'll have to try some.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    There are some good designs, and bottles that can accommodate many pens for filling. That said, when you get down to the last bit of any pen and you're filling a piston- or lever- fill pen, neither of which happen to have removable nibs or sections, there is only so much you can do.

    I love my Sheaffer bottles, esp with a Snorkel, and MB/Akkerman/Waterman all work well in many situations. All that said, my ink/pen experience turned around rapidly when I added a very inexpensive accesory: blunt needle syringes. I never worry about getting the last bit of ink out of a bottle and for many filling systems and pens, I can achieve a maximum fill with minimum waste or mess. Those, combined with smartly designed bottles, is a real pleasure.

    I buy veterinary syringes and needles at a local farm supply and grind the point off the needles myself. A 3 cc syringe really is a tool that everyone who likes using colors farther off the beaten path than brown or blue-black should own, not to mention that it gives you the ability to do partial fills for color testing.
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    I always have blunt tip syringes on hand for getting the last bits of ink out of a bottle, mixing colors so I know the ratios and can re-create them, and now I always pop the cartridge off and fill it up then pop it back on it always seems cleaner. I've had 1ml, 3ml, 5ml, and 10ml and probably some bigger that I can't remember off hand from when I vaped and made my own juice. They are cheap and great to have lying around for a number of tasks. The 1ml ones are easiest for getting into bottles even with small so those are the ones I find myself using most for refilling but the 3ml work well too for most bottles and if you have big 4.5 oz noodlers bottles it's best to order blunt tip syringes with longer neeedles.

    Thanks
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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by awa54 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    I thought that Waterman bottles could easily stand on one of their edges for easier pen filling?

    The Waterman bottle does get you down to the last 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle depending on what you're filling, but it isn't as effective as bottles that have an actual reservoir to concentrate the last few drops. And the point at which you start wanting to tip it for better fills is *just* low enough that ink won't slosh out when you tip it, hence saying they're scary to use.
    I see what you mean. Syringes are the way to go to get every little bit of ink out of the bottle. Much better than tipping the old ink into a new bottle.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    ...Syringes are the way to go to get every little bit of ink out of the bottle....
    Or a Sheaffer Snorkel.

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    I also love the PW Akkerman bottles - Practical , Fun and Unusual

    For practicality I like the Pilot Blue Blue/Black and Black ink bottles with the plastic reservoir but if we are going on for looks alone Pilot Iroshizuku wins the day , that thick glass bottom and the thin oval shape and the clear view of the ink inside is a joy. Its a beautiful object on its own .

    ETA: And the weight of the Isoshizku bottle adds something to the experience as well as the visual delights
    Last edited by ChrisJ; August 20th, 2019 at 11:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    I travel with a fountain pen and, therefore, travel with ink. I bought these glass bottles (six total) off of Amazon. They came with a funnel, and are the perfect size to fill my pens and to carry in a pocket. (I bought the labels separately.)
    I love them and it does not matter what shape the original ink bottle is, I can easily travel and refill my pens.

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by NDAzone View Post
    I travel with a fountain pen and, therefore, travel with ink. I bought these glass bottles (six total) off of Amazon. They came with a funnel, and are the perfect size to fill my pens and to carry in a pocket. (I bought the labels separately.)
    I love them and it does not matter what shape the original ink bottle is, I can easily travel and refill my pens.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    Are they all the same ink? J.Herbin Poussiėre de Lune? If so you have a lot of that ink.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    ...if we are going on for looks alone Pilot Iroshizuku wins the day....
    For looks alone? I vote for the Carters Ink gothic blue bottles.




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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NDAzone View Post
    I travel with a fountain pen and, therefore, travel with ink. I bought these glass bottles (six total) off of Amazon. They came with a funnel, and are the perfect size to fill my pens and to carry in a pocket. (I bought the labels separately.)
    I love them and it does not matter what shape the original ink bottle is, I can easily travel and refill my pens.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    Are they all the same ink? J.Herbin Poussiėre de Lune? If so you have a lot of that ink.
    Lol, you got me.
    Yeah, besides the one Parker bottle. I do lots of writing, and for me, I love the moon dust. When I add more options, I have the wares for it.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    IMHO, good ink bottle design includes simple access to the bottom of the bottle. I selected three bottles where the manufacturer included a facet enabling improved access to remaining ink. From the left are a 60ml Pelikan, a 50ml Waterman, and a 60ml Omas. When full and placed in this fashion, the ink level is at the edge of the neck.

    For stability, the Waterman and Pelikan have greater surface area against the table top and lower center of gravity than the Omas, so they're less likely to spill when bumped. And I always bump my ink bottles during a fill.

    The Waterman's and Pelikan's necks have a larger inside diameter than the Omas (don't let the photo fool you) offering a lower angle for inserting the pen, a definite advantage when accessing the lowest level of ink in a tipped bottle. When it comes to very lowest a feed could be immersed, the Waterman has the advantage over the Pelikan, though slight.

    I know there are other bottles that have this simple feature that deserve comparison, but I don't own them. My Akkerman bottle is not "simple," and my other 35 bottles (including 50ml & 60ml Montblanc bottles) lack any design feature for a stable "tip."

    Finally, this was just for fun. The Waterman and Pelikan bottles were designed at a time when ink wasn't a collectable, and was basic stuff. Ironically, the fancy high-priced inks these days have the worse bottle designs! Anyway, I don't move ink into different bottles as much as I used to. When ink is low in a bottle, I tend to decant into a 5ml vial or two.

    IMG_2392.jpgIMG_2393.jpgIMG_2394.jpg

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    IMHO, good ink bottle design includes simple access to the bottom of the bottle. I selected three bottles where the manufacturer included a facet enabling improved access to remaining ink. From the left are a 60ml Pelikan, a 50ml Waterman, and a 60ml Omas. When full and placed in this fashion, the ink level is at the edge of the neck.

    For stability, the Waterman and Pelikan have greater surface area against the table top and lower center of gravity than the Omas, so they're less likely to spill when bumped. And I always bump my ink bottles during a fill.

    The Waterman's and Pelikan's necks have a larger inside diameter than the Omas (don't let the photo fool you) offering a lower angle for inserting the pen, a definite advantage when accessing the lowest level of ink in a tipped bottle. When it comes to very lowest a feed could be immersed, the Waterman has the advantage over the Pelikan, though slight.

    I know there are other bottles that have this simple feature that deserve comparison, but I don't own them. My Akkerman bottle is not "simple," and my other 35 bottles (including 50ml & 60ml Montblanc bottles) lack any design feature for a stable "tip."

    Finally, this was just for fun. The Waterman and Pelikan bottles were designed at a time when ink wasn't a collectable, and was basic stuff. Ironically, the fancy high-priced inks these days have the worse bottle designs! Anyway, I don't move ink into different bottles as much as I used to. When ink is low in a bottle, I tend to decant into a 5ml vial or two.
    This is what I always believed about these faceted bottles, and the reason why I mentioned it in post #2, but awa54 suggested he needed three hands to get the last of the ink out: "Conceptually my favorite (though a bit scary to use) solution is the faceted Waterman bottles, but to really get the last of the ink out, you need three hands to hold the bottle at the right angle, so functionally they come in pretty far down the list"
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    I take the point about needing a third hand for the Waterman bottle. My third hand is a lump of Blu Tack.
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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    As soon as I get to the bottom of my first ink bottle I'm sure I will form an opinion. My fallback is a blunt syringe, but I'm truly not that worried about the last couple ml anyway.

    As to pure form, the 50ml Iroshizuku bottles are my favorite. Those are the ones I display on my desk, always.

    I'm also a big fan of the Birmingham Pen Co. labels which really dress up the bottles. I also like the 30ml Diamine (gold) labels which do a lot for plastic bottles.

    While I don't have any J. H. 1670 inks, I find the bottles really nice; even the plain J. H. bottles appeal to me.

    So fancy bottles don't put me off but add to my experience. But that's me. (I also like plain bottles, like Quink)

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    Senior Member SchaumburgSwan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    ...
    As to pure form, the 50ml Iroshizuku bottles are my favorite. Those are the ones I display on my desk, always.

    I'm also a big fan of the Birmingham Pen Co. labels which really dress up the bottles. I also like the 30ml Diamine (gold) labels which do a lot for plastic bottles.

    So fancy bottles don't put me off but add to my experience. But that's me. (I also like plain bottles, like Quink)

    +1

    Plain and nice is the 30mL Diamine Registrar's bottle, too.
    Diamine's newer labels are very nice, the only labels I have to remove at once when unboxing are the Akkerman Dutch Masters ones (here is still a nice back label with the color's name on it).

    Best
    Jens
    .................................................. .................................................. .

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Default Re: Ink bottles...

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    ...From the left are a 60ml Pelikan, a 50ml Waterman, and a 60ml Omas...
    Fred, thanks for the comparison. I had a nagging thought to buy a bottle of Omas ink, because of an interesting shape and them being discontinued. Now I see it's actually the least ergonomic of the three, and definitely won't pay the current price for one. (I understand the ink itself is nice enough but not remarkable.)

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