Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I'm new to this site, not a collector just a retro do-it-yourselfer. I acquired this Grande lamp for free from a neighbor I think it is really cool being so big but it came with a burnt bulb and a boxed burnt bulb so...2 burnt bulbs. I got discouraged when I realized it used a 100W bulb which is too much to run consistently just for effects which is when I started doing research on how to "green" the lamp up. 

Not sure if anyone can decode these numbers to tell how old the unit is I believe it is all original.

In my research I realized you can re-goo them and the kits have lighter wax which requires less wattage then the factory goo does so I plan on doing this I saw kits on eBay for about $30 not sure if that is enough for one of these sized lamps. I want white lava since my walls and furniture are white which goes good against the stainless it will make for a very contemporary lamp, then I'm not sure if the re-goo kits keep the water clear for much longer periods of time but I'm unsure I may want the water to be Caribbean-teal color like the liner on a pool. 

Then I was thinking about trying to insulate the base to make more efficient use of the heat loss through aluminum which is a conductor of heat. I will install a twist knob "pot" style dimmer on the base of the lamp itself, as far as the bulb goes not sure if they more a better light bulb then the basic 100w they sell for use in these? I thought about retrofit combining LEDs and a heating coil but probably would not make any difference in electricity consumption. They don't make a better designed coil ring I should install with the goo kit do they??

Long term goal with the lamp is to turn it into a usable bedside end table like the colossal/colossus lamp probably the same width glass ring with a smaller hole in the center for more usable table area. The thing I can't figure out is how the glass rings stay on the floor sized lamps does anyone have any close up pictures of how it is mounted? 

I can't even find one on eBay for sale, I assume they don't make them anymore? Here are two I found on Google which I Photoshopped feel free to use them elsewhere on this website in a gallery or something...I corrected the color of the images and then added depth of field to them:

 

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Dont worry about the paint thinner or brake cleaner, with really hot tap water and several soap rinses it all comes out with absolutely no scent and no residue on the glass, which is why its VERY important to swish distilled water and surfactant to coat the globe before pouring the wax.

The best way to do that is to pour about a quart of distilled water into the clean and rinsed globe (rinse with distilled water after cleaning) and add the measured amount of surfactant to the water in the globe, then swish the whole thing around to wet the entire globe with the surf, then drop both clean coils and swish some more (be careful not to scratch the glass with the coils, it can happen) and then pour all the water into a clean container, if some foam or bit of water is left inside thats fine. Then go ahead and pour the molten wax right away into the globe.

drink you some buuuuud light there buddy!  nice buzz cut!

Thanks

The way I saw was use non-diluted surf to coat the globe, then add water and surf to the globe at the same time instead of mixing it on the side. Maybe non-diluted surf will coat better?

I prefer Bourbon over beer, but they go together well too :)

I am going to work on getting a cap prepared before I continue with globe washing/coating and filling. What was the preferred coil arrangement again, figure 8? Should I combine the kit mesh WITH the coil?

Nah, i dont like to use the weird mesh thing, if your globe came with 2 coils one big and one small then just use those two like normally, if you only have one big one then twist it into a figure 8 and use just one, also if you have a big one and a smaller one from another lamp you can use the big and small one, if you happen to have an extra one.

To coat the globe it doesnt matter whether you mix the water and surfactant outside or inside the globe. All that matters is that at some point you pour surfactant with water (mixed before or in the globe, doesnt matter) and swish the water and surf around. I wouldnt use STRAIGHT surf because its gonna be harder to get 55ml of liquid to coat the huge globe well, just pour the surf, then some cups of water, swish swish swish, pour out into a clean container, pour the wax let it harden for a few hours, pour the surf water back in, top off the water, fire it up and wait lol

This tutorial here will show you every step thats important, if you follow this for both your lamps they will both come out great. The most important part really is to clean the globe spotless and to coat the inside with surfactant before the wax gets poured.

http://oozinggoo.ning.com/page/goo-kits

FROM THE TUTORIAL VERY IMPORTANT:

Step 3: Preparing Your Globe For Wax

This is the most important step to take when preparing your globe.  We are now going to mix our surfactant with the (some, not all) distilled water. According to the instructions they supply with the kit, you must use 10 ml of surfactant per quart of distilled water. Now I'm not sure exactly how many quarts of water are used in a Grande because I never measured it, but this will be 7th grande I've refilled and I've always used 55-60 ml of surfactant for a Grande and always have great results. Measure out your surfactant and pour it into a water pitcher with about 4 cups of distilled water. Take that and pour that into your empty globe. And then it's martini time again! Swoosh it around a good amount making sure you coat the entire inside of the globe with water and surf. Do that for a good minute and pour the water out into your water pitcher and set that aside. Don't worry about any left over water in the globe. This will not mix with the wax, plus it keeps an important barrier the wax needs to prevent it from sticking to the globe. Make sure you have your coil in the globe as well when swooshing around the water surf mix.

if the wax is has a lot of trapped water (looks like bubbles), the screen can be used to reduce it.  as the trapped water cycles through the bottom, the mesh screen traps it.  you can put it in at a later time if need be, and it can be used in addition to the coil.  if you use the mesh, place it in the middle of the coil like this: /\

Glad they were able to smooth that out.  It definitely does look like there's enough of a "neck" left to allow the stopper to seal. 


I think I know the chip you are talking about...it was there from the day I bought it.  It took 8 or 9 trips back to the store to get that globe....the others I had were much worse, either had scratches, chips, or were full of those pinhole bright dots. 

Are you still going to do the 2 simultaneously, or are you going to finish this one, then do the other one?

Our globes only have one big coil and I don't have any spare coils to donate to the project which is why I was curious if I should combine the coil with the mesh or some mesh.

I was worried about trying to measure diluted surf to add to 250oz of water lol thanks for the link!

Brad: One large coil in figure 8 vs one large coil untwisted with a piece of screen in the center? Sounds like installing both could be beneficial by purifying it as it's being used like a self sharpening knife block.

Jeff: There is deff enough neck on 85% of it to get a seal, I remembered you saying how many globes you went through before you got the one you liked which is why I feel even worse. My globe is not perfect there are a few scratches and some stars but probably nothing close to some of those you had gotten, I think this one was purchased from Spencers. I may just complete this globe before opening the other, I can already tell cleaning this thing is going to be a PITA...would a new toilet brush work? I might have to attach a sponge to a rod myself or something I need to look around for ideas sorry this is taking so long but rushing is never quality work (with me cracking it you can pretty much laugh at quality jk). 

No you dont fill the whole globe with water, just like one quart of water, or 4 cups. Then add the 55ml of surf to that into the globe then swish it all around and store it in a clean container while you pour the wax and let it harden for a few hours, then you get the surf and water and pour it back in, top off the water and youre good. If you just have one big coil i would use the coil (in its round shape) and the mesh like this /\ in the middle of the coil, i feel like twisting the coil in figure 8 could cause it to untwist on its own and then youre gonna have to pull it back out.

PinkFloyd Effect said:

Our globes only have one big coil and I don't have any spare coils to donate to the project which is why I was curious if I should combine the coil with the mesh or some mesh.

I was worried about trying to measure diluted surf to add to 250oz of water lol thanks for the link!

Brad: One large coil in figure 8 vs one large coil untwisted with a piece of screen in the center? Sounds like installing both could be beneficial by purifying it as it's being used like a self sharpening knife block.

Jeff: There is deff enough neck on 85% of it to get a seal, I remembered you saying how many globes you went through before you got the one you liked which is why I feel even worse. My globe is not perfect there are a few scratches and some stars but probably nothing close to some of those you had gotten, I think this one was purchased from Spencers. I may just complete this globe before opening the other, I can already tell cleaning this thing is going to be a PITA...would a new toilet brush work? I might have to attach a sponge to a rod myself or something I need to look around for ideas sorry this is taking so long but rushing is never quality work (with me cracking it you can pretty much laugh at quality jk). 

the coil in my grande is in a circular shape with the magma tower screen in the center.  it catches most of the water-filled pockets, but not all.

PinkFloyd Effect said:

Brad: One large coil in figure 8 vs one large coil untwisted with a piece of screen in the center? Sounds like installing both could be beneficial by purifying it as it's being used like a self sharpening knife block.

 

Okay SO, here we go...I used the brake cleaner as suggested as it claims to leave no residue on the can and it worked nicely:

I then proceeded to scrub the ever living chit out of the inside with a new mini automotive buffing sponge zip-tied to a piece of wood using hot tap water and some antibacterial dish soap. I rinsed with hot water and it left a residue on the inside as it dried so I did it again with cold and it dried clear!

I did as described with the mesh to make an improved design, I had to cut the mesh so that it would keep the coil in a circle and not egg shaped if I had used the entire piece provided: 

Talk about building a ship inside a bottle jeeze, and it probably will just mess up if it gets moved when hot anyway but whatever haha I now have a little more respect for the people who really do build ships in bottles!

I used just 2 cups of bottled water and 50-55ml of surf to coat the inside well, heated the bottle inside water on the stove-top until it was entirely liquid and poured in, there was a little bit of surf foam in there but that should work its way out:

It sat on the table for about an hour or until the top of the wax was not flexing then I put it outside in the 45F weather last night for about 45min. I then filled it with water and that 50-55ml of surf that was in it, I did not think of it at the time but this is bottled spring water which is super filtered but it still has trace elements unlike distilled water so we will see...should be fine as soon as it gets heated those elements are dead I assume just like distilling. That foam at the top went down over night it was just surf foam:

It has been 18 hours and I am ready to fire this thing up! There is still no plug on the top at the moment but I have the cap on for some protection, I will be using that broken head as an experiment to remove the edging that is literally crimped onto these necks. It's pretty damn clear by my standards but the only thing I do not like is the slight tint from the surf:

Nice it looks good! I like that screen design. Post some pics of it flowing

Nice Job!!  That looks beautiful!!  Can't wait to see the pics of its first run. 

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