Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate


This is My first Post in the forum. Was always a bit scared to ask for help but now i have too many questions piling up.

I bought an Astro Mini a few years ago. It looks like an MK1 but has a mk2 lightswitch.

The liquid is a bit low and the wax melts but stays at the bottom. Both wax and liquid are orange in colour. Not sure if this is an original colour combination and if so is it worth saving?

The liquid looks clear but gets a bit cloudy when heated.

My thought was to slowly top it up with distilled water and see what happens but i wanted to ask first before ruining my bottle. 

The seal in the lid (made of cork,cardboard, and aluminium foil i think) was damaged and i dont know how to replace it yet. Keeping the backelite lid would help keeping the copper cap in place.

The rubber grommet at the base allso broke apart, while i was changing to an e14 fitting. Had no sbc bulbs at the time. Does anyone know if these exact ones are still made? Couldn't find them on the internet.

Otherwise ill probbably just rewire the lamp completely.

Is the lamp supposed to run on a candle bulb just leaning on the inside wall loosely? Im concidering making a brass spacer to use round bulbs, without them making direct contact to the lamp base.

One last question. Compared to other copper things this lamp looks allmost golden. might be a clearcoat that went yellow over time. This is my only copper crestworth lamp so i dont know if this is normal.

If im asking too many questions just tell me, so i can make my future posts better.

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Your master fluid is too lite, meaning the wax is heavier than the water.  You need to increase the weight water/ master fluid.  You can do this by using epsom salts or PG(propylene glycol) .  If you choose salts,  make a small amount, cup or so of distilled water and heat it up and add the epsom salt to it until dissolved.  Once the salt is completely dissolved in the distilled water, slowly begin to add to your globe until you begin to see the wax rise.  You want the wax to rise to the top, begin to cool then fall back to the bottom.  With the addition of more distilled water your master fluid will probably become lighter in color.  If you wax needs to be adjusted, to make it snakey looking you can add some SLES to cause the wax to stretch out.  Careful you dont want to add too much as this will cause your wax to start breaking into many small globules, which most people do not want.  Let us know, sure the group will chime in here shortly.  Good luck.

Thank you for helping. <3

Just wanted to make sure as i read somewhere, that some old lamps can run on just distilled water.

Ill order the PG and SLES today and make an update as soon as i can. might take a few days to a week.

Edit: SLES could take a week to deliver so i might need around 8 to 10 days before i can make an update.

the proper bulb and will fit correctly is the 40watt golfball SBC and stll available on line just type 40watt sbc and look for golfball, or you can get a golf ball style bulb in halogen wont run as hot as the 40watt do so wont over heat. the bulb will hang down correctly as it will sit on the inner sides of the base, this is correct.

as copper finish looking gold thats normal can be from when the lamps were anodised not enough colouring or from years of direct sunlight, i have one which is so light its almost silver looking, its a pain as its the better condition one out of my 2 astro mini's.

For the black rubber base trim i used this stuff but think the size i got not 100% sure the size now , something like 3mm by 6mm  the 6 being the depth ( aka what you see around the edge ) 

the foil on the bottle top, just using tin foil / backing foil. peal the old bit of  stick some pritt stick glue on the board part then lay the tin foil on and trim it.

as for the clouding that could be from age and may well carry on doing it, distilled water will thin the fluid so the wax wont rise, personal if it was mine i'd but a new bottle and replace the contents, remembering the when cold the fluid level shout be just under the copper top part so theres space for expansion.

Thank u very much.

Allready got one of these bulbs lying around.

If you are referring to the rubber piece in my picture. i will probbably replace that with a white one. it looks like it was grey or white when it was new.

Sadly i allready got rid of the seal. ill probbably have to make a new one, since i cant find anything similar on the internet.

If that doesnt work i could attempt using a piece of rubber from a bicicle tube.

soz i didnt look at the pic with the gromet cable gripper, they always split, being rubber and years old, the rubber bit i was saying is the early mini's had a black rubber trim that pushes onto the bottom of the base to protect wooden services.

it should be easy to make the bottle cap inner sealer, it would have been a thick board and foil

Oh didnt even know they all had a rubber base. Allways thought they added that with the later models with fixed bulb fittings.

Probbably wont replace that as i have no clue, where to get such specific parts. The lamp probably looks better without it anyways.

The seal allso had a thin disc of cork which i removed for some reason. Won't be hard to replace by cutting a slice from a champagne cork or something like that. milk carton might be perfect for the rest of the seal.

Thanks again for helping! <3 didn't expect to get so many replyes.

Great bunch of gooers here!

The rubber trim goes round the lip of the base, i bought replacement from ebay 


Been looking for something like that - thanks Johnny

Thank you verry much. 

I managed to get the Wax flowing with the Propylene Glycol. Had to top the bottle up with a lot of PG and distilled water.

The Fill height wasn't as good as i remembered. Compared to my astro mini bottle there seems to be a lot of wax missing too. Maybe the previous Owner tryed to repair it too.

Over all the result is ok but looks horrible on photos so i wont post one of the original bottle. Might upload one with the Astrobaby bottle later.

Red/Purple Astrobaby bottle. Liquid colour faded.

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