Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all,

I am about to try and make my first lamp and I have had some ideas in mind for the project. I want to use some retro mid-century Pyrex coffee carafe’s and use an amber to brown wax with clear liquid. This would make it look a bit like coffee in these I think.  If anyone has suggestions or has worked with smaller sized lamps anything you can add will really help.

The two carafes are pictured here along with their dimensions:

On the gold coffee carafe the extra wide bottom had me thinking about the light and heat. I am not sure if it would be best to try the wire in the kit with this one or a spring coil with cross supports of the same springs to conduct heat. My other option that I am thinking about might be to use an actual coffee hot plate turned down very low to get the heat right and build into the base some LED lights to shine up through the carafe. This would really give me the whole coffee pot effect I am looking for.

I am also not sure how much wax to use in these as they are odd sized. I need enough to flow and look good but, there is not a lot of height to go far. The cork stoppers will be covered with foil or a flexible clear silicone sealer spray to get a good clean fit.

Option 1: Coffee Carafe: Measuring 9 3/4" tall x 7" wide (including the handle) x 6" round (at the base), the carafe has the iconic shape of mid-century modern design and is trimmed in 22K gold.  The stopper has a cork base; the top is gold.  I think it is 6 - 7 cups in volume so between 48-56 oz

  • Option 1:  Build a base light from an old carafe stand and wire my own socket in and help with what lights to use would be great. I have looked at oil warmers with a 20 watt bulb to building my own. However, it might not give me enough heat with a centered light on that big base. (I have found a base for this type of carafe which I could buy and wire with a bulb.).
  • Option 2: Use a hot plate set at the correct temperature using the built in rheostat and/or a dimmer but, I might not be able to lower heat enough. I would install some small LED lights into the base to shine up through the lamp. (I plan on testing one first with water and my cooking thermometer to try to get it down to the 120-130 degree range.)

Option 2: My second idea is to use this silver set carafe which has a better bottom for the coil and the stand can be drilled for a lamp in the base. I can cover the bulb with a stainless steel flange cup which would help focus the heat up to the carafe bottom. (Coffee pot 2 & Hot Plate

SILVER TEA / COFFEE POT: Set Warmer 7 Cup (Coffee 3)

Dimensions: Overall; 15 ¼” Tall, 6 ⅛" Wide, 7 ¼” Deep, Carafe; 12” Tall, 5 ½” Wide at Base, 7” Deep Handle to Spout Base; 5 ⅝” Tall, 6 ⅛” Across

Thanks for any help in advance!


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Good point also Verax, I didn't read your reply about the surf, but that was gong to be my next guess.  Although you don't really need much of the MT goo surf to get it flowin.  I use minimum 15 ml in mine, but I've used as little as half of that and still got flow.  I noticed the bulbs and the coil have more to do with the flow then the surf, but I try everything when my lamps don't flow.  I even tried more surf with my newest green kit, but that didn't do beans.  I eventually had to add a 2nd coil.

Has anyone ever tried to use this type of bulb in a lamp? I was thinking of trying this type on my silver plated base/coffee,(coffee 3 image), carafe. I was thinking of hiding the base and bulb in a metal napkin ring on the lower area where the tea light would sit.

JDR Type GU-10 Base / MR16 2 Diameter / Line Voltage / 50 Watt

I finally have my old lamp flowing a little now and I am tweaking the surf and dimmer tonight. Thanks for the advise.

I got my blue/purple lamp flowing with my kit quite well, but now weeks later it is starting to get cloudy. Any ideas?

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