I found some local tube ink - opinions? First time presser

I can’t find any local supplier near Washington DC that sells tubes of Van Son rubber based ink, however I did find this stuff (it’s oil based and cheap): http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/item/Dark-Brown-Letterpress-In...

Would this be as good?

This will be my first time letterpressing, and I will be using a homemade 6 ton bottlejack press. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

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Just the fact that the advertsement indicates that it is in a “bottle” would warn me that it is too fluid to do a good job. There should be some printing supply houses in your area who would carry standard printing inks (you may have to buy a 1 lb. can) or you can order from any number of mail-order suppliers. In my opinion, ink is something you do not want to skimp on, as it is vital to a good image.

Please do not call what you are about to do “letterpressing”. It is “printing”. Also people who print are called “printers” not “pressers.


Please do not call what you are about to do “letterpressing”. It is “printing”. Also people who print are called “printers” not “pressers.


thanks everyone. as I mentioned this is a first time go around for me, so if I butcher the lingo i’m sorry. I’ll look into ordering some Van Son rubber-based ink online (any suggestions where?) even if it’s in a 1lb can.

Despite the description of “use straight from the bottle” everything I’ve seen about the “L Letterpress Ink” indicates it’s actually in a tube, is reasonably thick, sticky “letterpress” ink, and probably should actually work okay.

That being said, I agree with John about getting regular printing ink from a printing supplier, in part because the L ink is actually quite expensive when you look at how little you get (about an ounce) for the money. You can find 4 to 5 oz. tubes of oil-base printing ink for only a couple bucks more from at least three suppliers (N.A. Graphics, APESC, and myself) or you can get the 1-lb. cans (16 oz.) of either rubber- or oil-base ink (from N.A. Graphics, Boxcar Press, etc.) for around three times the price of the little 1-oz. L tubes.

BTW, although I’ve put a very few colors of rubber-base ink into tubes, it’s generally not available in tubes and I don’t know of anyone else that has or has had any rubber base in tubes; but then, it doesn’t skin like the oil-base inks, so tubes aren’t really necessary, a small can or other container will work fine.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Printers Parts Store. or what was Parsons Express now Lydenmyermonrow at 6715 Electronic Dr # B
Springfield, VA 22151-4305
(703) 941-0810

I have purchased some ink in tubes (rubber, oil and metallic) through Etsy seller Trollup, she actually gets her ink from Dave the Ink in Tubes Guy. She is really quick in getting your order to you. Check out:
I have also put my own acquired in in tubes! Messy sums it up!!! NA Graphics is also very helpful and fast.
Good Luck,

I recently used the L letterpress ink you posted in my last print run (c&p) and it worked fine. I purchased from ac Moore with their 50% off coupon so in the end was a little over $3.50 a tub. Was convenient since AC Moore was in close vicinity vs ordering online in larger quantity.