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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herb and lava lamps?  who would've thought! ;)

Well that can't be the solution because I was all dabbed up and feeling confident when I took on that cap lol

Instead of a vertical slit in the cap what about going around the lip on the bottom with a Dremel, cut that lip off the bottom of the cap? 

Does the area I have highlighted with a marker have to be pried back? Is this a lip that holds what I assume is a lip on the glass?? 

yes, pry that back from the glass using a small screwdriver.

Using the glass as a fulcrum point for the screwdriver is not a concern? 

It shouldn't be, use a small flathead and pry it carefully around, the metal is actually quite soft and easy to pry out. You don't need to pry the lip all the way out, even a slight prying all around would loosen it enough for you to lift the cap off by hand

Good news! The local glass specialty shop said they can even out the break so it can be re-capped for $15! Jeff is entitled to my untouched globe but I will still run the broken one, an inch or so shorter shouldn't affect internal operating pressure etc, and the cosmetic cap covers everything anyway.  

I think it's a lot safer melting the wax on the lamp base then double boiling on the stove:

Here is Jeff's wax...not sure if it is any good but it's removed and the globe is clear, I also removed the heating coil:

I dropped the broken globe off at a specialty glass shop they said they have to use a wet cutter/grinder but told me it will not scratch the glass (their fluid) I still feel like such an ass for breaking this....

That wax still looks pretty clean so i would save it, you can use it to refill smaller lamps and just make the liquid. What does the cut neck of the bottle look like now? Im sure as long as it plugs up its fine, you'll just have to fill it up a little less and the cap covers it all up anyways.

I didnt have a problem sticking the globe into a pot of hot water (not boiling) just simmering but never glass on metal, i always use a cork pad between the globe and pot. Now starts the process of cleaning that bad boy out till its spotless, or else youll get wax stuck to the sides when it flows. Try to use solvent like brake parts cleaner or paint thinner, swish it around for a while then hot water and soap until its all clean, you can use a big bottle brush. Follow Dr Whats tutorial to refill it, not MT instructions because pre-coating the inside of the globe with water and surfactant before pouring the hot wax is CRITICAL or else it will stick everywhere.

Wow they hold more wax than I thought.  I agree w/ Rodrigo, that doesn't look to be cooked at all.  I wonder if the problem was the liquid.  I'm glad the glass shop was able to salvage it somewhat.  Hope it works out for you. 


Did you uncap the other one yet?  I'm getting excited about this again now...maybe I can still have by blue lava grande after all.

I will send it back to Jeff if he wants it then, must have been the water because it would not flow. 

That was going to be my next question, I was afraid paint thinner/brake cleaner would affect it somehow if I can't get it all out. 

So pour in the surfactant and swish it around the inside of the glass and coat it all (then pour out) ?

Jeff I am going to try my best to get you that blue Grande together, I have not tried uncapping mine yet I think I am going to take the Dremel route and remove that bottom ring...maybe the glass shop would be interested in removing it for a price??

Speaking of I picked the globe up today, I'm pretty impressed on how they grinded it down completely smooth and pretty damn flush! This is going to re-plug just fine I will be happy with it minus the fact this globe has a chip on the outside looks like a factory imperfection:

Schweeeet!  They did a great job! And relax...so will you! Good luck!

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