How often and how much you use your Copic Markers will determine how often you need to refill them. Some people even get a second of a marker to avoid filling between the scheduled refills. I tend to fill my markers before every convention so I have all my colors available to my customers. This means that I sometimes fill them once a month, sometimes twice a month, & sometimes every other month. I have been contemplating getting a second YG11 because I use that a lot.
How long it takes you to refill will depend on how much you’ve used and how many markers you have. It takes me a minimum of 2 hrs to refill them.
There are a few ways to refill. Some people wait until the marker is squeaky and giving spotty results. Refilling them only as they run dry. Some people fill with a needle that copic used to put out but they determined that it caused damage to the felt tip over time. I like to refill them by weight.
If you get a jewelers scale that weighs the 0.0 then you will have a scale good enough for marker refill.
Sketch copic markers should weight approximately 14.6 with both caps on. I generally don’t bother to refill them unless they weigh under 14. I find that original square markers should weight 19.9 with caps on and (since they hold a lot more ink) I don’t refill them until they are below 18.5.
To refill them you should take both caps off and the felt chisel tip off. Use tweezers (copic makes a good one) to take off the felt chisel tip. It will keep damage of the tip to a minimum and keep your fingers cleaner (you may want to wear latex or plastic gloves to keep your hands clean). Sketch copic markers should weigh 9.3 with caps and chisel tip removed. Square copic markers should weigh about 13.6 with caps and tip off. This is a good time to inspect your tips and replace bad ones (I only replace 1 or 2 tips a year and I’m hard on my stuff).
Make sure you are on a non pourous surface so any spills can be cleaned up with rubbing alcohol. Every few fillings you’ll want to clean the caps and outside of the markers which I do with rubbing alcohol. I fill on my light box.
To fill the markers set the caps with the numbers up next to the cap to the refill. It’s very important that they match. Refilling with the wrong color is a very hard mistake to overcome (in my experience it’s easier to toss it and buy new than fix it).
Then drip the refill into the open end of the marker. It’s easier than it looks. The refills are designed to not let to much out. Watch the brush or bullet tip end for glistening. If it starts to shine it will start dripping out. It’s a good idea to weigh the marker as you are going to make sure you don’t over fill it. Marker ink costs about the same as a good 21 year old scotch.
I like to label my markers with my last name so if someone is borrowing any I get them back. I frequently forget to label them when I buy them so I check them when I refill them.
When I’m weighing markers If I notice that one of my markers is down to 14.1 or 14 I make sure I have the refill since it’ll need to be filled the next time and if I don’t have it I order it. Refills can be hard to get at stores and frequently need to be bought online.
I hope this had been helpful. I hope to put out a video tutorial soon. I will link it here and on www.patreon.com/Quackquackhonk