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How to buy or make ferrous sulphate for oak gall ink

Q. Hello

I am an artist who wishes to make up a couple of quarts of oak gall ink. I have the oak galls but I need to obtain some ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links]. Can you advise on how to prepare or make this chemical.

Many thanks.

Andrew M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
artist - London, UK

Oak Gall Ink

Ferrous sulphate

(affil links)

A. Hi Andrew. As for making it, I suppose you could get some fine, pure 00 steel wool [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] and dissolve it in pure sulfuric acid--but that leaves you hunting for the sulfuric acid -- which is probably harder to find and probably more heavily regulated than the ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] :-)

I think the answer to this is that you don't make commodity chemicals, you buy them. I don't know the supply sources in the U.K., but there must be houses that sell scientific chemicals, and it's possible that someone who sells water treatment chemicals would have it. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. If you are having problems finding any chemicals I suggest checking Normally laboratory supply for small quantities, I THINK they will ship overseas. I got most of the stuff to do my Rokusho patina from them.

Marc Banks
- Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Q. I was wondering how your search on finding ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] was going. I also want to make oak gall ink, and am based in London.

Melissa M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- London, UK

A. Iron sulphate is readily available in large quantities at your local garden supply retailer. I purchased a 5 lb (2.2 kg) box of ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] yesterday for about $6 US.

Thomas Bragg
- Walnut Creek, California, USA
June 1, 2008

A. ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] is a fertilizer you can get at most garden shops.

kenneth cole
percussion instruments - kennewick Washington usa
February 16, 2014

Q. Hi. Thanks for these replies about fertilizer ... but I don't know enough about gall ink to know whether it might discolor or otherwise be sensitive to impurities. Since the ink is made from pretty "casually" defined natural ingredients like oak galls, I'm pretty sure it would be fine, but has anyone made gall ink with ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] garden fertilizer? Thanks.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 2014

A. Hi, the purest grade ferrous sulphate ferrous sulphate [affil links] I've found can be purchased on amazon from at the time of posting! Hope that helps!

James Newton
- Glasgow, UK
February 18, 2015

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