Test Tube Racks = Ink Sample Storage

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:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – 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:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – Upside Down

Here it is in the correct order:


Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack – Correctly Assembled This Time!


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.


Fountain Pens in the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

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.


Fountain Pens in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack


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.


Ink Samples in the Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

This turned out to be a time-consuming process!


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

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.


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

A top-down view, just because!


Ink Samples in Karter Scientific 15/17mm Test Tube Rack

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.


Ah, the inky goodness.

All the regular ink bottles just get stored in you’ve got it, another plastic bin.


They really ARE ‘Really Useful Boxes’.

And that concludes this week’s ink sample adventures.

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2 thoughts on “Test Tube Racks = Ink Sample Storage

  1. redharparts December 4, 2014 at 8:03 am Reply

    You have SO much ink! Good job, getting it all organized.

  2. […] When I last posted about these awesome test tube racks I found on Amazon …. […]

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