I had lofty goals of printing with my new fluorescent inks yesterday. Instead, I spent the better part of the day trying to open the cans of ink. I can't tell you how frustrated I was with the whole debacle. And it seems that I'm not the only one who's had a tough experience with these crazy ink cans.
Friends on Facebook and Twitter gave me some suggestions and I tried them all but to no avail. Thick rubber bands for grip power didn't do much because these tin cans didn't have screw-tops. Putting the lids under some hot or boiling water didn't amount to much either. In fact, it made the whole operation a mess, because it melted the dried ink caught in between the skin sheet and the rim. Another printer said that she used a can opener on the bottom of the tins and was able to transfer the ink to other containers. At first, I thought this was a good idea. But then considered the thick consistency of inks and decided that it would be a long and drawn out process. But I turned my place upside down looking for a suitable can opener anyway because I was desperate. Luckily, I didn't have the type of can open that would puncture the tins. Instead I resorted to what I did find and decided on a different method with a flathead screwdriver.
I turned the can upside down and wedged the flathead in between the rim and the lid. Once it got in there, I push it down as far as I could and lifted the flathead up and underneath the rim. This of course, will dent the can inwards. But as a result, the lid had some leeway and with a little more push, the can finally lifted off from the lid. It was actually pretty easy. Too bad it took me an entire afternoon and sore wrists to figure it out.
Now that the lid was off the can, I removed the skin sheet and discarded it. The inks I ordered are oil based and are a bit looser than what I'm used to using, rubber based. I wasn't completely confident in these cans to permanently house the inks. Since they aren't screw-tops, there would be nothing to prevent the lids from coming off if they dropped. That and the fact that the flathead procedure somewhat damaged the cans. So I went to my local art supply store and picked up 500ml plastic jars with screw tops. I transferred the ink and cut wax paper to place on top of the inks in the jars for skin sheets.
Now I've got my fluorescent inks in nice, easy-to-open, clean jars. Phew.