soy-based ink (not again!)

I’m not wishing to open the wound again—as to “greenness” —but only curious if anyone knows a source for soy-based ink. In a perfect world—which Briar Press always is—tubes would be optimal.

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oh I’ve waded through that muck and mire but could find no-one pointing to tubes. Those threads are dark scary places so perhaps I missed it but to the best of my knowledge Van Son and Gans don’t do tubes.

As you found, Gans and other manufacturers make soy base ink, so finding sources for the ink itself shouldn’t be too difficult. Unfortunately most of these companies are putting ink up in 5-lb. cans, or 1-lb. at the smallest, not tubes.

Although N.A. Graphics (and perhaps a few others) must have a source for tubes of ink, it seems the selection is pretty limited, and does not include soy base ink.

So it seems your options for tubes of soy ink may come down to either putting the ink in tubes yourself or getting someone like me to do it. And while I have put a few colors of soy ink in tubes, so far I’ve found both supply and demand to be somewhat limited.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Dave, I wasn’t sure you were still doing it. I shot you off an e-mail a few days ago to see what you had (after seeing some of your comments in the other posts) but perhaps it was lost to the ever powerful “junk” filter. If you still have any in stock could you let me know the colors?

modernman, re-reading my post I see where my tone may have come off a bit….condescending. Please know I didn’t mean it that way.

dave and ifloaton…

i have plenty of ‘vegetable based’ ink which I assume is similar in greenness to soy.

i could send the ink to dave and he can fill it and you’ll still probably come out better than $10 per pound. :)

Here’s my list of colors.

Not in tubes, but I just noticed Holyoke is selling 4, 8 and 16oz tins of rubber and soy based ink. Might be right for you, never tried it myself.

ifloaton, I’m still putting ink into tubes (and answering e-mail) whenever I have time, but during the Spring I’m often busy helping my wife with orchid shows on weekends and after work. Best way to reach me seems to be e-mail to Ink(at)

Keith, while soy- or veg-base ink may not really be too much “greener” I figure every little bit helps, and some of the blended-oil inks (some of which may include some petro oil) seem to print and dry better than some of the older, more traditional formulas. I’d be interested in some of your ink in the 5-lb. cans if we can figure economical shipping.

One of the challenges of Ink in Tubes (as a “business”) is finding affordable ink, so that (after shipping and packaging costs) the price per tube is reasonable, as I assume most of us wouldn’t really want to pay close to 1-lb. prices for a “quarter pound” tube.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

After disposing of cans and cans of ink that is going bad.. I think im going to put my ink in tubes. I do hope that will stop or at least slow the destruction.

And I may switch to soy based inks. I am going to be trying a new brand, very low voc. If I like it I will put it in tubes and one can will make more tubes than I likely need so I will be open to selling some. If you are interested maybe we can make this work to our advantages.. Contact me off the forum if you are interested..


In a perfect world, a quarter pound tube of ink should be 1/4 of the price of a regular pound. But, hey, they don’t do this anywhere else! When I buy screen printing emulsion or ink, the “small” size price is usually 60-70% of the larger size price. For instance, a quart of emulsion for $38 or a gallon for $55.

I have a bevy of ink in house, some of which dates back to 2002, and it hasn’t gone bad on me. At the risk of sounding cynical, it’s been the case for me that if you treat it right, it’ll treat you right.

Is ink really high in VOC? Even the Van Son oil base seems to be 10-15% by weight, which is rated heavier than air. Interestingly enough, the “Oil” listed in their MSDS is linseed oil and soy oil, aka “vegetable oil” on the sheet. Ok, no answers on the following paragraph. Purely rhetorical. Not interested in a debate or rehashing. Just tired and rambling. :D


I happen to be doing some research on ink options and came across a site that sells soy (and other) ink in tubes - not sure how the price compares, but see here:

SOY BASE INKS ($7.50 per tube)
1665 Orange
Warm Red
247 Purple
Pantone Purple
322 Blue-green