Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I am quite the nerdy loser with the lava lamp collection. I am certain that you, my good friends, can add many lines to this list, but this, in no particular order, is a sample checklist for collectors on their progression towards being a complete loser as I am:

- I purchased lamp number ten.

- I spent many hours actively searching ebay, then craigslist, then newspaper classifieds and foreign ebays (and on and on and on...) looking for a score. I still do.

- I bought my first icon.

- I NEEDED a tenth Grande to balance the shelf.

- I cried real tears and experienced real depression in the great Christmas crash of 2014.

- I ran out of shelves.

- I tripped breakers in the house because I was running too many lamps.

- I began the superhero shelf. And the rock and roll shelf. And the homemade shelf. And the...

- I realized that, as I am an ass man, I am also a goo man. I just don't care for glitter lamps.

- I reached a point where I have seasonal lamps I only break out at Halloween or Christmas and such...

- I did my first gookit.

- I joined this here club on the internet to find other likeminded nerds.

- I learned to envy those with lamps from Europe and I take pride in the fact I have made a few other collectors jealous with some of my prizes.

- I realized that every lamp has its own personality and flow style and I describe them as if they are alive.

- I have spent an amount for a lamp I just HAD to have that left me a little ashamed.

- I stopped giving anything other than lava lamps as gifts years ago. Birthdays, weddings, housewarmings... All get lava lamps (And I tend to turn them on when I go to my friend's houses to visit.)

- I somehow accumulated spare parts...Lots of them. I also have lamps I have never opened and bought "for the collection".

- I made my first custom lamp - a 750ml Ciroc bottle.

- I have made plans for one of those 8 ft. tall ones in the same manner of fantasy I made plans to win the lottery or get Elizabeth Shue naked. (Boy, that sure shows my age!)

- I reached a point where I began rotating the lamps around the house all the time to have fresh views and appreciation for all of them.

- I have somehow gathered a huge box of bulbs.

- I scored our first Colossus. And later a second and third in the great January LAVA giveaway of 2013. And now number four which is what I am actually getting to today...

Not too long ago I found a Humongo for sale on Craigslist. It is black/clear and the base and cap is the black granite covering. I posted it here and no one bit (I suppose because the posting was asking for $5k?) so I called the person up and offered $800. She agreed so long as I did the work so I set up a shipper to pick it up and pay for it for me and, one week and $1200 total later I had number four in the house here in Texas.

I knew when I bought it that it was in bad shape but I also had hope that the photo made it look worse than it would be in person.

No such luck. That black wax has bled into the liquid so bad that it can only be seen through if I put a bright-enough-to-see-mars flashlight behind it.

Because I like to share with my fellow losers, I always said that if I ever did a gookit on one I would share it as I did it. I know I am not the first to share such a thing, but we all got a kick out of another one a few years ago so I am going to share my experience here with my friends.

Here is all the gear...

I hope this works...

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Step one: Gotta get the lid off.  This is what the sticker looks like. Lord knows what the is that is spilled on it.

Cap is off. Looks like there was a bead of silicon around the inside of the aluminum cap to help seal it. It did no good though because the first time I started it and got it flowing it blew the lid off and knocked the cap into the air and onto the ground leaving a brutally ugly dent in the thing.

Ouch! That dent hurts!

This morning at the gym I bench pressed 315 three times and this thing is heavy even to me. That said, how to get the liquid out? For a few cents more than a dollar, I purchased an 8ft tube for fish tank bubblers. Because it is so small on the inside diameter it takes forever, but some old-school siphoning does the trick marvelously.

I am a patient man, but this is testing my limits. Drain already!

Finally empty (it is actually ten gallons worth) now I have a different problem. How to get this thing out of there. I am going to heat it on the lamp and try not to make a monstrous mess...

You know, David killed Goliath with a stone.  But I bet it wasn't a tiny stone!  Larger diameter tubing would have taken less time 

Following this with interest!  Keep us updated!

So I got it melted on the base. I am 6'4" tall so for me this was easy, but it may not be so easy for someone else to grab it like a catfish on one end and lift it up and over with the other. Not calling anyone a pussy or nothin', just sayin'...

So I got it all poured out and I think I am beginning to see some of the problem. I think this lamp got burnt too hot for too long and there was some sludgy goopy gunk settled in it I could scoop out. It is kind of like the stuff that accumulates at the bottom of a deep fat fryer which remains after you dump it out.  I played with it but forgot to take a picture while I did because I had other things more pressing to attend to... Here is the waxI guess I expected normal springs in circles so I found this odd...

Maybe it somehow contributed to the burning issue by being in such a ball? I am going to have to do some considering on this one. But the pressing part now is the bottle...

If you have done this before then you probably know that fully hot sink water will remove the wax film that can form when pouring out hot wax. After I sprayed it out for a good, long time, I discovered that the bottom of this thing looked like a coffee pot that someone left on all night and it was every bit as terrible to clean.

If you have made a goo kit, even with a nice, fat grande, then you know it can be a pain to get the inside of the thing clean. How in the wide wide world of sports do you get a scrubbing device capable of handling some elbow grease inside of that tiny hole to clean that thing? I watched a nun cuss up a storm three years ago trying to handle the task.

One would think that cleaning such a cavernous globe as I am would be a cinch because you can just stick your whole arm in. Easy, right? Wrong again. It is big, but everything north of the south side of my elbow is bigger. So what is a person to do?...

I quite literally mopped it clean like a floor.

Boom! I gots lava lamps so big I be moppin' them bitches, bitches!

The swabbie days in the navy seemed to have paid off and Kator approves.

With that, I believe it is bed time. Until tomorrow...

You are very right, brother, but I figured it was a really cheap tube, it would work, it was about the same size as comes in an automotive safety kit with a siphon setup, and I don't really have a reason to hurry much,

Now, had I used my brain earlier, I would have remembered I own a shop vac and I could have had the thing empty in seconds. I should have just done that but I was also trying to keep it all salvageable.

And I know! Had it been someone else, I would be glued to the progress with envy and admiration.

Have a delightful night.


 Keith said:

You know, David killed Goliath with a stone.  But I bet it wasn't a tiny stone!  Larger diameter tubing would have taken less time 

Following this with interest!  Keep us updated!

It is 0430 in the morning, my gym partner just bailed on me because he got called in and I don't lift alone or I end up hurt, and I am wide awake. What to do, what to do? Back to the project...

So I got up and started looking at where I stand on this thing. It is practically impossible to take a good pic so you can see what I see, but this morning I noticed a bubble in the glass that I failed to notice last night. It is pretty much in the center of the pic. There is nothing I can do about it except proceed so that is what I shall do, but I am so afraid of a break as happened to others. at least it is round which is a good sign, but I am going to be on full worry no matter what happens.

Anyone who has done a gookit has most likely found the tutorial here on oozinggoo. I have never strayed from those instructions my own self and today is no different. That said, it tells you to mix some water with some surfactant and get them spinning in the globe to prepare the glass and avoid wax sticking. This time, that was much harder than it sounds.

Got it all cooking up double boiler style.

For those curious about the quality of wax from the gookit folks, here is a thing I noticed.

I am not certain if you can see it too well as it was really hard to get a pic of, but there are red spots on the wax.

There was also a lot of colored wax on the outside of the containers and it was also hard to get a good pic with proper contrast to show it as brilliantly as it was in person, but all of the containers were coated in a film of waxy color.

I have worked in a lab before and these spots of color and wax, to me at least, are signs of sloppy lab work. I know, this is just lava lamp wax and not nuclear fission material, but sloppy is sloppy and in a few hours it may and may not matter at all. We shall see.

Well, I managed to get it all in with pretty minimal splashing.

I have to say that it does look pretty ugly at the moment.

There are some spots of wax that did a little splashing but I think (hope) they will fix themselves when it all gets fired up later. You can also see the screen I decided to use for a surface breaker. I have done the same thing with other lamps and screen always seems to work fine, so hopefully this will do the trick. For now, though, we wait as it cools.

Commence pacing impatiently

Holy crapola Batman, we are loving this and can't wait for the next installment!!

lol I love how you cleaned the globe with a mop

LMAO - love your initial post... now I don't feel so alone

So it is pretty much cooled down. A wee soft in the middle yet, but I am an experienced goo-man and I know it is good enough so long as I poor slow.

Remember those little splash spots I mentioned? They may kill me if they don't fix themselves. Even worse, it is a bit over half full and on the base in front of me as I type and, as glass and water tends to do, those spots are magnified and each and every last little eighth inch speck looks like it is about a five inch glop of shit stuck to the side of the glass right now. This is not good for a person with anxiety issues.

The instructions say that the soapy mix used to prepare the glass is next. I will admit that I am a clumsy idiot and spilled it everywhere like a dumb ass so not as much made it back as could have. That thing was so damn hard to pick up and twirl that I hope I got it set properly and don't have to fight sticking. I mostly just picked it up and spun it to coat the entire inside and let it sit, the repeated every five minutes or so for about an hour and change while the wax melted on the stove.

When I coated the inside with the soapy mix, I used a gallon of water and a whole bottle of surfactant, all 16 oz. of it. Even being as careful as I could, I began to wish I had put the soapy mix back in out of order. At four gallons it looks like I may have to wait on bubble issues.

Seven gallons of water in.

And the wait for the bubbles to melt begins....

Sometimes you can read on here that a person is wondering what is meant by a "clear" lava lamp. Then they put up a picture of something that is anything but.

For those wondering what the definition of a beautifully clear lamp is, notice the picture of the supplies on the floor behind one.

Or the colorful chair on the other side of the room.

From here on out, this may be the gold standard of clear.

Oh shit - and it is backwards, too. The couch is on the left of the lamp but on the right when you look through it. Who knew it does that?

Enough bragging, it is time.....

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