Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So, after a couple months of reading + trial and error I feel that I have some knowledge to share for those that are seeking some pointers on building lamps. It is not for the impatient or faint of heart.

  1. Glycerin can knock your wax clean off the coil, even when diluted! This has set me back many hours. I have read that the swirl method can correct this but I have had little success and typically have to drain, boil, cool, refill ugh
  2. A coat hanger can be used for many things including a coil hook, stirrer (I spin it), and scraper. Also good to "flip" your cold ooze back in place.
  3. Improperly preparing a bottle can lead to wax being stuck to the walls. If near the bottom of the globe this will result in a lopsided dome with relatively good action up the side of the bottle. Looks like crap.
  4. There are many surfactants and additives to make the water denser. PG, Glycerin, and salt water will increase the density of your water. I use SLES as a surfactant… for me, an extra drop of dish washer soap has decimated a lamp that was “close” to perfect.
  5. Maybe it’s just me; but I think that I hurt more lamps than I helped on my first 6 rebuilds…
  6. A decent dimmer is around $10 and can be the difference between a great lamp and one that you want to smash..
  7. The root of many problems for me has been related to the coil. Fricking coils!!
  8. Tap water leaches the dye out of wax over time, at least in my neighborhood. I suspect it’s the chlorine.
  9.  Some people seal their lamps hot, some people seal them cold – the difference in pressure does seem to appear to have an effect on the flow the next time that you run it. I’m still not sure on what is best.
  10. Someone here mentioned lots of containers – they were right. Mason jars and $0.99 plastic containers from Salvation Army are great. I try to get containers and bowls with pour spouts on them.
  11. A pair of nylons are easy to wrap around any container mouth and work decent in regards to straining your fluids – just the debris, won’t fix cloudiness.
  12. If you are going to pop the cap; you need a tool to get it back on tight. The simplest cost effective method is a hose clamp and a screw driver but I really enjoy my capper.
  13. Dilute your food dye in H2O and then put it in your fluid with a dropper. A nervous squeeze of the actual dye directly into your fluid can result in a very dark lamp that needs to be, at best, partially dumped and re-balanced.
  14. If you see a cheap lamp then buy it; may parts (caps, coils, fluids) can be used for other lamps.
  15. About 20% of the lamps you buy on EBay will show up damaged.
  16. Globes will behave differently on various bases with various light bulbs and/or reflectors.
  17. Impatience will result in lost hours / days!!

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I screwed up the die process , it takes a lot of patience

I learned the hard way.

I can agree with the intro to repairing lamps j probally killed 10-16 trying to "fix" them lol still want the how too on the metallic lamps but haven't got any help on that topic any ideas ! I want chrome Lava or as close as chrome as I can get !

You can find yourself a Mathmos Silver Glitter Ball thats about as close to chrome you can get with lava.

http://oozinggoo.ning.com/photo/copper-glitter-ball?context=user.

Joey "Dirtypawz" Huck said:

I can agree with the intro to repairing lamps j probally killed 10-16 trying to "fix" them lol still want the how too on the metallic lamps but haven't got any help on that topic any ideas ! I want chrome Lava or as close as chrome as I can get !

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