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What ingredients are currently used in the manufacture of ink for Safrus? Is there a different formulation for the paint that is used to dye tefillin straps/boxes?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This seems to be a good page to see.

For a more comprehensive source, see the Mishkenos Yaakov.

For retzuah paint, you can just use shoe polish. It doesn't require d'yo.

The above linked pages contain recipes for the ink used by most sofrim today, known as מי עפצים וקנקנתום -- oakgall juice and ferrous sulfate. This post, written by a very qualified sofer has a recipe.

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So the "hechsheirim" on those markers and little paint applicators are actually superfluous? –  Dave Jul 22 '10 at 3:35
    
Of course you have to make sure the Shoe Polish you use has no Unkosher ingredients Hence the Hechsher. –  SimchasTorah Jul 22 '10 at 6:15
    
Practically speaking, you don't need a hechsher. As to YS's concern, see Keses Hasofer 23:2 here: hebrewbooks.org/… –  YDK Jul 22 '10 at 14:44
    
There are older recipes that are slightly different than the one given on the above page, but essentially that is it. Sofer ink is an iron gall ink. –  Rabbi Michael Tzadok Aug 9 '10 at 13:05
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DO NOT use shoe polish to darken your Tefillin straps. Many shoe polishes contain animal fat. High quality ones may contain ingredients like mink oil. Shoe dye would probably be ok but shoe polish is an oil based product which always contains some sort of wax/fat/oil and should not be assumed to be kosher. –  Aaron Shaffier Oct 4 '11 at 15:46

The Sta"m Forum has a page with a well tested recipe for STA"M ink almost identical to the one in Kol Sofrim. I can't vouch for it because I buy ink, but the person who posted it is a professional who has written several Sifrei Torah.

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