I’ve been looking for new ideas on how to store the fountain pen ink samples I order from Goulet Pens or Isellpens.com, as mine were currently all jumbled in a Really Useful Box plastic bin from Office Depot. Goulet started offering a Ink Sample Vial Holder for $15, and I was mighty tempted – here’s a pic from their website:
But I saw mention on fountain pen forums that there was a similar product offered via Amazon for much cheaper. So off I went, and soon found the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Plastic Test Tube Rack. There were several reviews from customers stating they used these racks exactly for fountain pen ink samples, and that they worked great. And they hold 50 vials vs the 40 Goulet’s holds. Best of all, they were CHEAP at $5.99. Reviews also indicated that it might be a cheaper quality and falls apart easily, but for the price I decided to risk it and see for myself. So I ordered two! (Thank you Amazon Prime!!)
Here’s how the rack looked unassembled:
There were no installation instructions included, but it wasn’t hard to figure out. Except one of the rows has smaller openings (for tapered test tubes) and I didn’t put them in the right order the first go around:
Here it is in the correct order:
So, one of the things I’d read somewhere said that the rack also functioned as a pen stand of sorts. So of course, I had to test it out.
The fattest pens I have are the Lamy Safaris, and it actually worked well as a holder as long as the test tube rack wasn’t moved around – once it was jostled, the Lamys tended to move around and change position (but they never fell out). So as long as it was on a desk or stable surface it would work fine actually.
<<TEMPORARY DETOUR OVER>>
OK, back to the ink sample vials. I took a pack of regular standard-size office mailing labels, and cut out a grid to make color labels for each vial – dabbing a splotch of color on each vial and taping the sticker to the top.
This turned out to be a time-consuming process!
OF COURSE I would have one extra vial more than the first rack holds. That’s why I bought two! More room for more ink samples, BWAHAHAHA.
A top-down view, just because!
Then I figured, well since I have it all out, why not add ink splotch labels to my full bottles of ink too? So ended up with my entire collection having labels on them now.
All the regular ink bottles just get stored in you’ve got it, another plastic bin.
And that concludes this week’s ink sample adventures.