Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

OK sci-fi-folks, we all know that Carousel never works, no one ever Renews. Once your palm crystal starts blinking, it's game over. My 30 year old Aristocrat stopped moving. The wax just kind of puffed up and laid at the bottom. So I figured, what the hell, I'll crack it open and try to bring it back to life.

The Aristocrat has a really easy to remove screw cap and mine had about 15mm of space between the bottom of the cap and the cold water line. That's quite a lot of gap. First I unscrewed the cap, turned it on, and let it heat up for 4hrs. Then I added distilled water to bring the level up, and then waited another hour for it to come up to temperature again. Still no action. I then added a couple of drops of clear dish soap, and immediately there was some action. Not a lot, and it calmed after a few minutes. Then I started adding Epsom salt water. The water is super saturated, so I added it just a few drops at a time. With each drop there was violent movement. But it would calm a few seconds later. After adding about a tablespoon of saltwater, it came back to life. Re-sealed it hot. The movement is a bit different than before, but it's glooping and blobbing quite well now. This is the second lamp I have tried to restore and my first one that was 100% successful. The other one had good results with flow, but had a bottle cap, and I cracked the globe while trying to re-seal it. Screw caps are a major advantage.

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Well shoot, it died again. Maybe I just need a complete goo transplant.

After all those years, sometimes its just best to start anew

I'll try replacing the water, completely, this weekend. But I'm afraid I may have to drain the wax too.

It looks that way.
the wax looks pretty toasted

Ha!

Am I the only person here on the forum who got the “Logan’s Run” reference?

LOL.  So like people of the year 2274 Lava is good for thirty years?!  Love it!  

I am such a SiFi nerd and of course Lava Lover!

Logan’s Run is a classic!

Critter

I wouldn’t totally give up on it. My first project lamp failed 4 times due to mostly my ignorance, incompetence and impatience. It’s a powerful trifecta in my life. I eventually polished my methods and achieved a super unique lava flow due to my slight over use of surfactant in a previous attempt. It was an accident, but is one of my favorite lamps now. If you do decide to dump the wax, get a mason jar and pour it in there, with a bit of DI or original liquid over the top to keep it moist. I plan on keeping my vintage wax and liquids in case I ever want to do a faded/cloudy vintage look. Anyways, cheers to your efforts! Keep us updated!

So I gave up this weekend. Sort of. Changed the water 3 times. I had been trying to get the 30 year old wax to move again and it just wouldn't, so I dumped it out. I still have it. I need it for a volume measurement for replacement. My plan is to order a goo kit from MagaTower. 

A couple of observations and questions:

  • When I first cracked open the lamp, the liquid smelled almost like gasoline. Normal?
  • After dumping the wax out and letting it "harden" it is very crumbly and has a soap like feeling. Should it?
  • As for replacement. I'm refilling an Aristocrat. Does anyone have experience with measurements? I forgot to measure the liquid, but based on other 16in lamps I'm thinking it uses 1.25qt of water, and just eyeballing 12oz of wax.That would make it a 52oz globe which is what the 16in'ers are advertised as being..


Lol! Trump better not start making Lava Lamps. That actually gives me a good idea. MLGA “MAKE LAVA GREAT AGAIN!”


Nick Stefanisko said:

My plan is to order a goo kit from MagaTower. 

Normally I just eyeball the wax when pouring it in through the funnel. I use my sealed lamps as an indicator of level. I don’t usually worry too much about exact fluid. If you get the wax level close to original, I haven’t had any issues. The amount of fluid takes care of itself. I fill low to start, let it run so the wax expands, then add a bit of DI until it crosses the cap threshold. Turn it off and on a few cycles to ensure smooth operation and then I cap mine when running. I would rather have a partial vacuum when testing than a pressurized lamp when running. When you put in then surfactant is up to you. Some recommend having it in before filling with wax, others (like me) prefer to tune the surf once warmed to monitor changes.

whenever I open a vintage lamp I get that chemical smell. Not quite gasoline to me. More of Dry Cleaning fluid/synthetic chemical smell.

Nick Stefanisko said:

So I gave up this weekend. Sort of. Changed the water 3 times. I had been trying to get the 30 year old wax to move again and it just wouldn't, so I dumped it out. I still have it. I need it for a volume measurement for replacement. My plan is to order a goo kit from MagaTower. 

A couple of observations and questions:

  • When I first cracked open the lamp, the liquid smelled almost like gasoline. Normal?
  • After dumping the wax out and letting it "harden" it is very crumbly and has a soap like feeling. Should it?
  • As for replacement. I'm refilling an Aristocrat. Does anyone have experience with measurements? I forgot to measure the liquid, but based on other 16in lamps I'm thinking it uses 1.25qt of water, and just eyeballing 12oz of wax.That would make it a 52oz globe which is what the 16in'ers are advertised as being..

MLGA!

good luck! I couldn't get anyone to buy just ONE T-shirt

Just put the goo you took out and put it into a small measuring cup,

Heat it in a water bath

That will give you the measurement you need

Is there a particular color you're looking for?

EXACTLY what Dan said
Except, make sure you coat the bottle well with surf prior to fill ing it with hot goo so it will not stick.
Fine tune it later

I find @ a 70/30 mix of PG is the end result but I add PG a bit at a time and wait 30 min before you add more so it stabilizes until floatation occurs.
Make sure you have the correct wattage bulb in the base

Dan Curb said:

Normally I just eyeball the wax when pouring it in through the funnel. I use my sealed lamps as an indicator of level. I don’t usually worry too much about exact fluid. If you get the wax level close to original, I haven’t had any issues. The amount of fluid takes care of itself. I fill low to start, let it run so the wax expands, then add a bit of DI until it crosses the cap threshold. Turn it off and on a few cycles to ensure smooth operation and then I cap mine when running. I would rather have a partial vacuum when testing than a pressurized lamp when running. When you put in then surfactant is up to you. Some recommend having it in before filling with wax, others (like me) prefer to tune the surf once warmed to monitor changes.

whenever I open a vintage lamp I get that chemical smell. Not quite gasoline to me. More of Dry Cleaning fluid/synthetic chemical smell.

Nick Stefanisko said:

So I gave up this weekend. Sort of. Changed the water 3 times. I had been trying to get the 30 year old wax to move again and it just wouldn't, so I dumped it out. I still have it. I need it for a volume measurement for replacement. My plan is to order a goo kit from MagaTower. 

A couple of observations and questions:

  • When I first cracked open the lamp, the liquid smelled almost like gasoline. Normal?
  • After dumping the wax out and letting it "harden" it is very crumbly and has a soap like feeling. Should it?
  • As for replacement. I'm refilling an Aristocrat. Does anyone have experience with measurements? I forgot to measure the liquid, but based on other 16in lamps I'm thinking it uses 1.25qt of water, and just eyeballing 12oz of wax.That would make it a 52oz globe which is what the 16in'ers are advertised as being..

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