How-to: Transfer Ink from one tube to another

A nozzle-to-nozzle ink transfer adapter is an easy and painless method of transfering inks from tube to tube. Transfering ink in this manner is a much cleaner process then filling tubes through the back and helps prevent air bubbles from forming during the transfer process. 

Some ink colors are only available or more available in newer Z or E-type tubes.Transferring ink is particularly useful for getting around that limitation for older style models. It will not be useful for transferring ink from from older to newer models because the RFID system used for newer machine consumables would make it difficult to use. Below are the steps for building and using your own nozzle-to-nozzle ink transfer adapter. 

You will need:

  • 2 ink caps
  • Hot Glue
  • A Drill w/ 1/4" + drill bit
  • Pliers
  • Citrus solvent
  • Tall boy beer can or similar


Prepare tubes

Use a pair of pliers to remove the black plastic cage from the bottom of the full tube of ink. Leave the cap on, as you will not be able to turn the tube upside down after removing this cage.

If the empty tube previously held a different color from the one you are transferring in, be sure to clean it THOROUGHLY. It can help to soak the tube in citrus solvent for a couple of days. Make sure every bit of the old color is gone before transfering in the new color. If you are transferring the same color, don't worry about it. 

Glue caps together

Find two used ink tube caps and use hot glue to afix them to one another top-to-top (so that threads are exposed on each side). Use circles of hot glue to lock-in the ink and prevent the adapter from leaking. The goal here is to make impassible walls of glue. Once the two caps are attached, glue around the seam to make the connection stronger.

Drill hole through center

After the glue has dried, drill large hole down the center of the adapter

Attach tubes, transfer ink

Screw both ink tubes in to the adapter, with the full tube on top. Use a tall boy beer can, bottle, or some other large cylinder to push the ink from the full tube through the adapter to the empty tube. It is important to use something wide-similar to the diameter of the ink tube-because otherwise the internal plunger can get pushed out of place, causing a huge mess.

Enjoy your newly full transferred ink tube

And possibly the beer you used to transfer it!

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