Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Inkredible Erasers

My wafflings on erasers have started a few discussions with various people, including “Joy of Erasers”. [Broken link removed] As someone in the book conservation-restoration industry, J uses many an eraser to remove old margin notes, scribbles, dirty marks and other detritus that accumulates on old books, so I always take her eraser opinions seriously. A while ago she sent me a couple of her special Inkredible erasers. I haven’t actually discussed these erasers much with her, but I get the impression that when you’ve got some serious extra-heavy duty erasing to do, when its time to get out the “Big Guns”, then these Inkredibles are it. The name Inkredibles would imply they are aimed at the scribbles of the Ink-Lords rather than us graphite-folk, so I wasn’t sure of their place on a blog like mine, but J replied that as well as ink they “they will do a good job on pencil, crayon or bug poop and what have you.” So, how could I resist?
I’ve got to say I certainly got a surprise when I opened up the parcel containing them. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that. They are oversize compared to most normal erasers - the white one is “coarse” and the gray one “fine”. They are a gum eraser with grit. The gum is soybean oil based and there’s lots of grit in that white one, think “beach”, after you’ve done a bit of erasing and got some residue. Quite frankly, these erasers are way outside my experience and just plain strange to me. I really like the way they look, but they leave a little sandy trail wherever they go.Photo: Just look at the texture on that white one above. Almost like some sort of sugar-delight.
Well, time for a little test drive. Whoa, those things will just chew through your paper and out the other side if you don’t watch it. Clearly practice makes perfect, and these erasers are obviously best on quality heavier-weight papers. I didn’t really know what to do with these erasers, so here’s a little test comparison I did between Staedtler Mars Plastic and Inkredible Gray (fine), just on ordinary photocopy paper.Mars is a clear winner on woodcase and mechanical pencil HB graphite. Mars is a complete and utter loser on ballpoint ink. Black and red coloured pencil is fairly even but probably a win to Inkredible. Remember that Mars is basically removing (or not) the marking substance and leaving the paper alone, whilst Inkredible is basically abrading away the marking substance and the surface layer of the paper. I’m sure an experienced Inkredible user would make a much better job of it than me.

For another demonstration, here’s a page of photocopy that I had a go at. So, its pretty obvious that Mars is better at things we normally regard as erasable, but Inkredible will remove all those other things normally thought of as non-erasable. But use with care!

I’m not getting any kick-backs or other inducements to try and get you to buy some of these, but seriously, they are just so crazy I’d suggest you get one of each just for the sheer heck of it. Use with caution. Do not use whilst under the influence of alcohol. Children, please ask your parents first.


jgodsey said...

thanks for taking the trouble to test drive my Inkredibles. Yes, they do abrade but they abrade less than a rubber ink eraser. as a matter of fact the key is to use the lightest touch and take your time. On general book paper, they work swell. On all computer paper it is impractical, the finish is too smooth, there isn't much to work against. They work best taking ink and rubber stamping off old books. Again thank you for trying them.


Kiwi-d said...

An oversight. The photo of the test of Inkredible erasing BP ink. It worked well, but I got carried away so the dark smear in the middle of the ink is the paper wearing through and showing the dark table beneath. Practice makes perfect. I'm less likely to chew through the paper now I've had a few more goes at it.

Anonymous said...

mmm, the close up of the white one looks like angel food cake! I love useful things that are not food that look like food =D

Kiwi-d said...

Yep, the when I saw that white one for the first time i had an instant vision of Homer Simpson, "Yhoomp!" and that was the end of that Inkredible. Even the name sounds edible :-)

Time Waster said...

Adam Hughes refers to the Staedtler Mars as teh Thermal Nuclear eraser :)

Germ said...

why use erasers. just cross the mistake out!!! :)

have to be the antagonist here.