Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I posted something similar yesterday and it vanished. Hope this 'sticks'.

I recently got a new batch of Magma wax and redid a 32 ozer. It works OK, but after an hr or so the blobs become the size of greek olives and then start migrating to the top.... clumping at the top.

Any idea what caused this? (Too much suds?)

I'd hate to dump it... I got the colour just perfect.



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Sounds like it is overheating.  Try lowering the heat.    What wattage bulb are you using?  If your using a 40 watt'er I would try a dimmer on it, or if you already have a dimmer on another lamp, disconnect it and just try it on this new lamp.  This way you will know whether or not to run out and buy a whole new dimmer.  I don't find that the surf that MT supplies does very much to effect the flow as much as heat does.


Are you using the surf that MT supplies?

I am using their surf.

I'm using a 40w GE appliance bulb. I don't have a dimmer. I guess I can try another bulb and see if that makes a difference.

Where does one get dimmers?

These are what I use.  This is also a decent price, although you do have to factor in shipping also.  I get mine at Ace Hardware but I do pay around 13-15.00 for one.  I've never had any problems with this brand overheating though.  I've had 3 lamps on one dimmer at one point.  This kind of defeats the purpose though because every lamp requires the dimmer to be dialed in at a different temp.



Well, I tried a 25W bulb and that does -nothing-. Clearly not enough heat to attain lift-off.

So I guess I gotta get a dimmer. Which is fine for 1 lamp. But I got a -lot- of lamps.

At the risk of sounding like a grouser, this is the annoying thing about Magma wax... I've done a number of these now. I try to be careful in my measuring, but either it's not -forgiving- (ie. -any- even -slight- variations in mix cause problems) or it's just not all that reliable. I think it's great that you can use it with lower wattage lamps, but it -should- work plug n play with standard 40w bulbs and frankly the flow comes out dfferently for most every one I've done so far. And as much as I hate to admit it... the 'flow' on the Lavalite ones is -predictable-. YMMV.

Sorry. Just slightly frustrated with this.

Despite the fact I always initially follow gookit directions to the letter, I've yet to have their wax perform correctly.  I've had to employ Epsom salts every time...

I wonder if you could hook a power strip to a dimmer, and be able to control the whole strip with one dimmer? That would cut down the number of dimmers you'd need, but wouldn't be so great for lamps needing varying amounts of heat.  Hmmmmm...

1. What does the epsom salts do? (control buoyancy?)

2. How much does one use?

We have at least one lamp in every room of the house. That could get a little pricey.

I had a conversation years ago with the LavaLite lady in Chicago and she was -adamant- that the LavaLite 'chemistry' was unique and that's why it was patented and they would NEVER reveal it. I scoffed. But the more I mess with these, the more I buy into it. They all work the same. I wish I could get the Magma to be as consistent.

If anyone knows 'the trick' I'd love to hear it.

Since I have had goo which refused to rise, I add epsom salts.  It changes the density of the liquid (higher or lower, not sure which) which allows the lava to rise.  The amount I use is enough to make the globs of goo rise all the way to the top before falling down again.  There is no specific amount to use, and it will be different for every lamp.  What I do is make a super-saturated solution, then add it slowly, drop by drop and waiting a bit between drops, until the globs actually rise to the top, then fall.  Make a super-saturated solution by heating about a 3/4 cup of water to boiling, then stir in as much epsom salts as will dissolve.  Heat the water again, and keep stirring /adding/ and heating until no more salt will dissolve at all.  Then add the liquid a drop at a time until your goo gets going.  Should have the lamp completely warmed with the goo stuck in the dome stage before adding the salts solution.  You can search the site for the term epsom salts, or density, for many discussions on how to make your goo rise.  Hope this helped!  Good luck-

Thanks. Will search.

Doesn't the epsom salt cloud the liquid?

In my experience it does not cloud the water, however SOMETHING I'm doing does cause a faint film to form on the inside surface of the glass after several months (5).  It wipes off easily.  I'm currently reporting my results in the comment section found here: http://oozinggoo.ning.com/video/strange-personality

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