I did switch to water-based pens a couple of years ago, once I started doing more work for paying 
clients. Any clients of mine on this list, rest assured no Sharpies were used on your disc media 
I've done for you. However, I do believe this is a phantom menace, at least in my experience. But 
since water-based pens work just fine, why be the lab rat to test a would-be myth?

-- Tom Fine

PS -- Sharpie ink does pentrate, for instance, masking tape down to the glue layer and this blurs 
over time as the glue oozes and tightens with temperature and humidity. I prefer a good dark 
ballpoint pen to write on masking tape. Sharpies seem to work fine on printable label stock but blur 
as the glue dries out, at least with circa 1980's label stock, which the youngest such stuff I've 
had dry out. Perhaps glues have improved over the past quarter-century.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 7:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The ways CD's and DVD's can fail.

> Tom Fine wrote:
>> I must be lucky because I just haven't had more than less than a handful of discs fail over time, 
>> so far. And we're talking generic green-dye cheapos written on with a Sharpie. I just last week 
>> had to recover some WAV files from one of those. I had a very careful listen to them in the 
>> workstation because I was curious, especially about the effect of the Sharpie ink 5 years later. 
>> They were fine, except I didn't have as good a DAW or analog playback gear back then! Hopefully, 
>> I can report back in 15 more years. I store my data CDR's and DVDR's in paper envelopes in 
>> shoebox-type cardboard boxes, so they don't get direct sunlight or dust.
>> -- Tom Fine
> The Sharpie solvent is not the worst around, but even Sanford recommends their pens with 
> water-based ink for writing on CD and DVD. A second factor is the nature of the disc's 
> overcoating; some cheapies use a thin acrylic lacquer which is quite permeable. Media which are 
> printed or otherwise have a heavier overcoating *may* be more resistant, even impervious. On the 
> other hand, it is wise to use water-based inks as in pens made for the purpose or those available 
> at an art-supply store. My favorite is Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen with the Brush tip.
> On media made for ink-jet printing, I too have been using Sharpies for many years without 
> problems.
> Mike
> -- 
> [log in to unmask]