If any of you have dabbled in fountain pen inks (which most of you probably have), you may have acquired quite a handful of ink samples. Those small, round vials are great for sending little amounts of ink round, but they can really be a pain to store once you have a bunch of them! Also, they tend to tip over leaving a terribly inky mess all over your table, or worse, your carpet!
I’ve tried a lot of solutions in the past, from an ink drawer (vials kept tipping over), small ziplock bags (a hassle for lots of samples), and even tiny boxes (wasn’t very neat). After a while, I finally found something AWESOME — test tube racks! The holes are the perfect size for almost every sample vial and can hold a bunch of samples neatly and cleanly. The one I have accommodates 50 sample vials and is amazing!
Test tube racks are generally available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but for ink sample vials, you want the racks with the holes, not the things that stick up. As well, they are available in many different materials such as metal, acrylic, or wood. The material is mostly up to preference, but an acrylic rack is easier to clean and does not risk any rouge ink stains.
As for the fit of the sample vials, the 5mL vials on my sample rack (link on the bottom) are lifted about 1cm from the table and the caps sit almost flush with the top-most layer of the rack. Each vial sits comfortably in the hole with only about 1mm or 2mm of wiggle room.
How do all of you guys store your ink samples? Do you use a test tube rack or something similar? Share with me all your cool sample storage devices in the comments below!