Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello all, first time here.

I have an old lamp that was my grandma's and I'm a little sentimental about it.  It must be early 70's minimum because I remember it as a child.  I'm sure you all can probably identify it and that might help what I'm trying to do here.  A few years ago the cap cracked, it got cloudy and didn't work good anymore.  I'm in the process of trying to restore it, using the lava formula I found here.  I was about to say goodbye to it because I could not find a replacement cap.  Then I realized I could 3D scan the old cap, use that to build it in CAD, and have a replacement 3D printed!  So the cap should be back from the printer soon and hopefully it fits and the re-lava goes well.  I want to share the file used for the 3D print, it took about 10 hours and some pretty expensive equipment/software to reverse engineer.  The cap only cost $13 to print once I made the file.  I do want to make sure my replacement fits before I upload it.  I will also try to give updates on my overall success with the restore.  Here is a picture of the lamp so maybe someone can identify it.  Hard to tell in picture but it is gold-ish in color, and the cap screws onto the glass threads with an o-ring seal.

Buy it here https://www.shapeways.com/product/4TJ6AR66D/lava-cap-for-70-s-quot-...

Views: 3196

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Na im not gonna return this lol.  I just dried the top and the old gasket, and added some rtv on the top like claude mentioned which is silicone i use for cars for gasket making..  And it stopped.

Its deff was slowely leaking.. i marked the bottle stone cold and over the past 2-3 weeks it slowely went down and down from that mark as i ran the lamp and cooled it daily..  I can see the cap itself got stained with liquid as well..  I have half a 32oz bottle of spare old 70s liquid since it deff isnt the same as modern lamps.. and refilled it a bit and did the silicone job and it doesnt seem to be evaporating this time.

The problem isnt the "part" its the 3D printing process..  3D printing leaves the surface bumpy..  The rough plastic is keeping it from sealing properly with a rubber gasket..   I work on cars as a hobby and AMC american motor company who made Jeeps from the 60s to 80s until chrysler bought them, they had this problem on their engines.   The cylinder heads where the valve springs are, they werent machines smooth.. they were bumpy just like the plastic on this cap is.  And because of that cork/rubber gaskets cause oil to leak past the valve covers..  The only way to fix it is machine the heads smooth.. or use silicone which gets in the bumps.

Its not a big deal man lol.   Its better and good someone like you made a cap for all us to have replacements.. But for me it didnt work with the original gasket.. and im fairly certain its due to the 3d printing process making the plastic rough

The base does not appear to be the original base that was produced in the mid to late 60's  which was different from the one shown.  However, Lava Simplex Scribe Corp. who acquired the rights to the lamp could have changed the base anytime after the late 60's. The original lamp water phase was clear but you described how that cloudiness occurred.  The red colour wax phase was one of the original colours.  Not sure if this helps but I was one of two chemists who converted the original European version of the lamp which by the way, was produced in a straight cylindrical glass vessel to the configuration you show. The redevelopment of the lamp was necessary, as I recall, due to the raw materials not allowed in the United States and other factors.  This work was done at Kolar Laboratories in Chicago sometime in the mid sixties.  This project lasted months until we had a consistently working model. Strangely enough at the time, I gave this about six months on the market as a fad.  Who knew?


Donald Rogers

Incidentally, Duane, you can clear the solution which is quite possibly quite cloudy due to emulsification of the wax/water phase by letting it cool to room temperature and then operating it several times, cooling in between, and the water phase should clear.

Don Rogers

How do you remove the outer caps from the vintage (1970s/80s) Century size bottles?  I need to try and repair a cloudy bottle on a Copper Coach lamp but the outer cap will not budge.  I am afraid that it will crack if I force it.   Were the outer caps on the older lamp lamps glued on?  


I've bought and used this cap from shapeways;


They have worked well for me.

The O ring was the hard part to find.

I used  a #81  1-1/2 x 1-3/4-1/8 part number  02-1618P

Duane K,

Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the screw cap .stl file. J printed a cap using a liquid UV resin printer. Works great!!!

 I’m still working on the finish to try to match the base. I’ll post some pics upon completion.

Thanks again,

Brian Beaver

Awesome, glad to hear.  I've become more involved in 3D printing and I hadn't even thought of someone trying a light and resin system.  I'd love to see the result.  I recently was lucky enough to print this cap on a Markforged using their Onyx material (Nylon with chopped carbon fiber).  It was a little better detail and finish compared to what we can get from Shapeways. The Markforged isn't my printer so unfortunately I can't share/sell parts on it.  I am seriously considering getting one, it only prints in Onyx (Black) but it's incredibly strong.

Reply to Discussion


Support Oozing Goo

By using the eBay button above, you support OG if you purchase anything. Thanks for thinking of us. Mark Goo

© 2021   Created by Mark Goo.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service