alcohol and india ink recipe

edited September 2015 in Tools and Supplies
I'm gearing upto my SierraWest kits and I'm doing a new mix of Higgins Non waterproof india ink and 99% alcohol. The alcohol bottle is a 500ml and I added about 40 drops of the india ink. I tried dunking a piece of strip wood into the mix to check results and to my surprise no color on the stripwood.I even tried using a wire brush on the wood to open up the wood outer layer. I've never seen this before using the waterproof india ink mixed with alcohol. Am I not mixing it strong enough perhaps?


  • OK seems my India ink may have gone bad , the mix is all spotty on the wood.
  • Waterproof ink wont mix with alcohol, resulting in a spotty appearance.

  • OK please excuse my ignorance , I thought I was suppose to use non waterproof ink and alcohol for staining strip wood , am I suppose to make a mix of waterproof India ink and alcohol? I'm really confused now where NON wateroof ink comes into play? I could be wrong but Im sure non waterproof was the recommended India ink. Please set me straight here as I'd really like to stain and color my strip wood the same way you fine modellers do it using rembrant chalks.
  • Rereading the Advanced Preparations for The Tool Shed 2. Says "Now add about ten drop s of permanent water soluble ink ( I use Higgins brand ) to the pint of rubbing alcohol from step 1..."
    I had ordered Higgins non waterproof black ink 46030, is this not the proper water soluble ink?
  • That's the right ink Lynn, I, and many others have been using that exact brand and item number for years... Not sure why you would be experiencing problems. If you have personal success with the other type of ink by all means use it instead. Simply dunking and removing the wood without soaking is not exposing the wood to the ink pigments long enough for it to stain it. The staining is by design subtle so as not to overwhelm.
  • Thanks Brett, I was simply trying to follow your instructions to a T. I wonder if perhaps both my bottles of ink 46030 have gone bad? I do have the other type of ink that I have been using for many years without issue.
  • Thanks Brett the conversation on phone helped.
  • edited November 2015
    Speaking personally it would be helpful if there were some information about recommended inks (including colors?) in a separate section in the Supplemental Updated Supply and Suppliers Listing found under Craftsman University. I find that a handy place to go when I'm online and looking for materials I may not have but should.
  • edited December 2015
    Here is a short video (Quick Tip #10 - Washes) on the subject that might interest you.

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