Inkwells wanted
September 8, 2005 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Motivated by this question, do any of our fountain pen wielding brethren (and sistren?) know where to get empty inkwells?

I'm looking to "mix my own", and don't want decorative/expensive/collectable but plain/cheap/functional. Most pen places like Fountain Pen Hospital have nothing, and google has not helped. I was thinking that just a standard small glass bottle with screw-on cap would suffice, but... where?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Shopping (11 answers total)
I use a standard small glass bottle with screw-on cap that used to hold makeup. It's broader than it is tall, so it's pretty tip-proof and works nicely. If you know someone in a lab, they might be able to get glass scintillation vials, but those are kind of tall.
posted by exogenous at 10:16 AM on September 8, 2005

posted by Miko at 10:16 AM on September 8, 2005

I know it's sad to waste it, but I think you'll find it will cost about the same to get an empty inkwell as a full inkwell from your local Office Supply. I believe last time I bought one (5 years ago?) I paid about $5 CDN. You could then just dump out the ink, wash it out with isopropyl alcohol, and you're all set.

If it's glass and the ink won't come out, acetone will clean it handily. Avoid getting it on painted surfaces or plastics.
posted by shepd at 11:24 AM on September 8, 2005

Best answer: You can get small bottles and jars for less than $1 a piece at places like Specialty Bottle or SKS Bottle. Technically, I think you'll want a jar, not a bottle.
posted by RichardP at 11:29 AM on September 8, 2005

You can buy nice inkwells in antique shops for not overly much money -- I imagine it could really enhance the whole experience to have a solid little antique embossed glass thingie.
posted by Rumple at 11:39 AM on September 8, 2005

If functional is what you are after, anyone with a new baby should have plenty of baby food bottles around; the smallest size should be just what you need (2 oz., I think)
posted by TedW at 11:52 AM on September 8, 2005

Response by poster: RichardP - I think you nailed it.
Rumple - I've thought of that, but my experience is that they're few and far between. But I'll keep my eyes open.

Also, maybe a medical/scientific supply store is something to consider. Maybe Edmund Scientific, or something similar. Thanks, all!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2005

Best answer: Maybe something from American Science & Surplus?
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2005

Response by poster: mbd1mbd1 - Yes! That was the one!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 4:55 PM on September 8, 2005

Check out The web site itself needs some pretty serious work, but Norm is quite accessible by email and knows his stuff.
posted by phrits at 8:37 PM on September 8, 2005

Levenger sells all sorts of products for pen and ink needs.
posted by JJ86 at 3:02 AM on September 9, 2005

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