Van Son Inks

There was a report here on Briar Press that Van Son Ink was outa business. Not true. They are alive and well. I use Van Son all the time. Also Spinks Ink is also available. As I recall it was Spinks that introduced the “Soy” based inks years ago. They still have ‘em. My preference for letterpress ink is any ink that dries quickly on your paper and not on your ink rollers.

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Van Son is not and has not been out of business, but the company was taken over by a Japanese company, T&K Toka at the end of 2017.

Assuming I can work with takeover of Van Son by a Japanese
firm, there is an issue with local availability of Van Son in 1 Lb. cans here in central Florida. I ended up buying a 1 lb. plastic “can” of what the manufacturer calls “numbering ink” from JK&M. $11.00 I called them to confirm that this means rubber base ink and they said this was the case.
Haven’t used it yet since I still have a little Van Son left in can.
We shall see; last time I bought Van Son here it was purchased from Mac Paper. There were drips down side of can. Had apparently been turned upside down and left that way. Was a disaster to clean up and open and close can for use from then on.

Van Son stoppen selling 1 lbs cans quite some time ago. They are now only sold in 1 Kilo cans (2 lbs).

You can buy one pound cans of Van Son inks 10850. But you are right, a can of my favorite - Intense Black is only available in 2.2 pound cans. However, Spinks sells one pound cans of their Jet Black for $ 12.90. The Van Son color inks are all available in one pound cans. A typical color runs from $35 to $40 a pound. Yikes! I often print “brown” ink. I mix my own using Van Son Chocolate and Cocoa in a 50/50 mix for best results. I also add a “dab” of Cocoa to Gold inks.

To Mike H. -contact Valley Litho Supply and request their new catalog. Lotsa inks and stuff. They are heavy with the digital printing equipment but still have many items letterpress printers can use. With this “new age” of digital letterpress printing it’s no time to bury our heads in the sand and give up a great art…