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Best article on black ink & ink in general.

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Blackhorse

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If you’ve ever made the sad mistake of thinking that ink was pretty much just ink, read through this. It’s really about Noodler’s black inks but much of what’s there is universal. There are both subtle and not subtle at all differences between the chemistry of inks that makes gigantic differences in how they behave.

Read on:

http://www.memoryhole.net/kyle/2016/08/noodler_black_inks.html
 

Carlos

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I was surprised to see El Lawrence listed, as it is not a black in my book. It's motor oil. Not Mobile 1. Or even Pennzoil 10w30. It is the dark green color of motor oil from the gasoline stations of my youth. When the Star Station, Sinclair, and others, had racks of glass bottles with the metal funnel tops of motor oil sitting there ready to pour in. A very dark sort of green with a bit of golden brown. They would fill those bottles from drums with a pump handle. In the sunshine, that oil was sort of translucent. Old cars certainly used more oil than newer ones.

It is a dry writing ink. But in a wet nib, can be quite interesting. But it's really a dark green. A more well-behaved darkish green would be Sequoia.
 

Blackhorse

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Yeah. The few reviews of El Lawrence that I recall typically compare it to motor oil...and with some of the city girl reviewers I frequent I sincerely doubt they’ve ever actually seen motor oil first hand. So they’re just doing heresay from another review. Weird.
 

Carlos

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I cannot put my hand on the bottle at the moment. As I recall, it has an image of T.E. Lawrence and his motorcycle. Many of us know that old motorcycles leaked oil. In the case of my BSA 650 twin, it was purposely leaking to oil the drive chain. Of course oil quickly turns black in those older vehicles with the amount of blow-by of the rings. My bottle sure isn't black.

Speaking of blacks. The only one mentioned in that article I do have experience with is, Borealis Black. I am not really a black ink person. I love blue-black's. Borealis Black is a black black. With a shimmering sort of quality. I should use it more.

Old Manhattan always confuses me. Because it's a limited edition, and I have it in blue. But it's called Manhattan Blue, or Blue Manhattan. Depending upon the vintage. A nice shading blue that almost is a blue-black. I keep forgetting that Old Manhattan is a black. I think the story behind them was something like recreating popular 1940's ink colors. I could be confusing that with another series.
 

Blackhorse

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The Borealis Black is just supposed to be really dark I think. Most Noodlers inks are meant to fulfill some special niche function, but I don’t know just what this one’s is.

The Old Manhattan Black is LE in that it is exclusive to one New York City vendor...the Fountain Pen Hospital. They also do a blue just for FPH. So there’s blue and there’s black...both are currently available. The black is bullet proof.

I bought the black just to use in the shading teal ink recipe. It’s supposed to have something that makes the whole thing work the way it’s supposed to.
 

Blackhorse

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Found out the skinny on Borealis Black.

A different brand, but much touted and apparently beloved is Aurora Black.  It is often arguably regarded as the blackest ink out there...and is also known for being super wet.  Wet meaning it flows like crazy, even in stubborn dry pens.

Back to the Borealis.  It is reportedly Nathan Tardiff’s (he is like MR. Noodlers) version of Aurora Black.  Get it?  Aurora?  Borealis?  OK.  It is also known as being VERY wet.  It is pretty bulletproof...at least recoverable after it drys and bonds with the cellulose in the paper.  Bonding can actually take about 3 days.  Don’t expect to sign your name, let it dry, then be immediately waterproof.  The Aurora Black isn’t nearly as bulletproof as this. It I also takes a LONG time to dry...especially on non absorbent papers like Tomoe River.

It has also been shown to feather like crazy.  Even on very good papers...like Clairfontaine and Fabriano.  Less on Tomoe River.

There you have it.  I don’t need this ink.  I have the Aurora and like it.  I have a number of other black inks...don’t need this or its related issues.
 
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