Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey all--

Long time no see! I haven't been here in a while, but I wanted to see if anyone had any feedback on an issue I'm having with a Goo Kit.

I kitted a handful of lamps last year--one I gave away, one was for a friend, and one was my 90's model Silver Streak, which I kept for myself. (I also kitted a Grande for a friend who bought his own Goo Kit. It went really, really well!)

Anyway, for the one I kept, I used a mixture of yellow and green dye that was included in the kit. It looked really nice for a while, but now I've noticed that for about the last 3 hours of an 8 hour run, the goo starts to get translucent. It flows fine, but the color just absolutely sucks. I like the goo to have a melted crayon look, and the Magma Tower dye makes it look like a cheap Chinese lamp that I got for $10 on Amazon. I don't like being able to see through the blobs as they glide past each other.

I know that I used a good amount of dye, because the color is very deep and rich, but it just looks terrible after it's been running for a few hours. The lamp is definitely not overheating. I have it on a dimmer at about 3/4 brightness, and the blobs always stay nice and big until I turn it off at the end of the day. 

So I don't have a goo problem, I have a color problem. Any suggestions? I'm really considering re-kitting this thing, but I'm definitely not doing the green/yellow MT combo again.

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I understand that you say it's not overheating, but Carol had this issue and spoke with Magma Tower about it.  They said that if the wax gets too hot it will go translucent and start to break down.  That doesn't mean that it will affect the flow at that point though.  

One thing that stands out is that this happens to your lamp after several hours of being on so my guess would be the wax is too hot, but not so hot as to affect the flow.  I suggest you try dimming it a little bit more and see how it goes.

I will definitely try that, though I think if I turn it down much more it won't flow at all. I have it at about the lowest it will go at this point. I edged it down little by little for several days to get it to the point where it was just hot enough to flow, and then kept it there. It also sits in my cold basement 24/7, so I have my doubts that it's a heat issue.

I'll give it a shot though--might as well try at this point.

I don't think this is a dye issue, because MT dye won't make a transparent goo translucent, or vice-versa. When was this goo bought, do you know? I have known MT to have some fairly major product quality issues over the years, from  electric shaver contamination to goo that just won't flow.

I honestly thought you were going to say that your green dye turned purple, which is what people have been screaming about THE ENTIRE TIME, but at least you didn't have that problem. :p

I bought this stuff less than a year ago--it's not that old. I think it was January or February of this year. The goo actually flows just fine, it just becomes translucent once it really gets going. Today I nudged it down just a little bit, and it still did the same thing, maybe not to the same degree, but still there.

I'm going to try another nudge down tomorrow and see how it goes. I thought I had it down as low as it could go, but I guess I was wrong. Or maybe it's just a lot more broken in now.


Loren said:

I don't think this is a dye issue, because MT dye won't make a transparent goo translucent, or vice-versa. When was this goo bought, do you know? I have known MT to have some fairly major product quality issues over the years, from  electric shaver contamination to goo that just won't flow.

I honestly thought you were going to say that your green dye turned purple, which is what people have been screaming about THE ENTIRE TIME, but at least you didn't have that problem. :p

Aaah yes, the mysterious MT goo!!!!  Gotta tell ya, I feel like I had gotten to know Kim at MT on a personal level until his departure.  That's how many call's I made to them.  In my very last conversation that I had with him he said to measure my water temp....something like 140 is the perfect temp for the mt goo to perform.  Anything above that will produce a clearer more translucent goo.  I used a meat thermometer to give me kind of a ball park range of what my fluid temp was and running on a 60 watter you would be surprised that it doesn't take very long for that fluid to get cooking.  I was running at 160.  He also put the blame on the aluminum bases.  He said that although they get really hot, they allow a lot of heat to "escape" out of the lamp when it should in fact be concentrated on the globe to produce flow.  He said that the lamps that mt designs have some sort of a coating around the bulb set so heat doesn't escape and a ceramic inside their bases.  I don't know about this as I have never seen an MT lamp up close and personal.  I always use my old LL set ups for kits. 

 

Long story short, I found absolutely nothing out nor did our 1/2 hour conversation solve my pink lamp going clear.  If I lower it, the goo will just sort of snake and tower and fold back into itself in column form.  I did notice that the darker dyes don't seem to show the clearer goo.  Is this just because they don't let enough light in?  My "neon" green (combo of yellow/green mt dye) is still true to color and texture.  Even if I boil it, It doesn't turn clear.  I did however use way more green and only a small amount of yellow.  I hate to tell you to add more green dye to your lamp because that will change the color.  If you are thinking about making a whole new kit and you want to experiment, try adding a small chunk of green to it.  If it is too dark green, then add a tad of yellow dye until it get's that "neon" look.  You may just add enough green that light can't show through and it may solve the "clearer" goo look problem.  My pink turning clear doesn't really bother me too much.  I just look at it like that's it's personality.  Some people would die to produce clear goo, myself, well, I think if it was happening to all my goo I would be bothered.  I can say this....Mt is NOT without it's issues.....

 

And yes LOREN, my lamps keep turning PURPLE......BEWARE of the MT BLUE DYE packs unless you have a deep rooted luv for the color purple...I ended up with like 3 purple lamps which I have had to since become creative and turn into other colors, lol!!!  Ho hummm....

Thanks for all those details, Carol!

Today is my second day of having edged the temp down, and it did get flowing again, so I'm going to keep trying and see if that helps. My green is already pretty dark, so I would hate to add more to it and end up turning it black, but it might be worth a shot if all else fails. If I continue to be unhappy with this kit, I will probably just re-do it. I just wish there was a way to reproduce the wax that LL used to make back in the day. Nothing flows as nicely as that stuff did.


Carol said:

Aaah yes, the mysterious MT goo!!!!  Gotta tell ya, I feel like I had gotten to know Kim at MT on a personal level until his departure.  That's how many call's I made to them.  In my very last conversation that I had with him he said to measure my water temp....something like 140 is the perfect temp for the mt goo to perform.  Anything above that will produce a clearer more translucent goo.  I used a meat thermometer to give me kind of a ball park range of what my fluid temp was and running on a 60 watter you would be surprised that it doesn't take very long for that fluid to get cooking.  I was running at 160.  He also put the blame on the aluminum bases.  He said that although they get really hot, they allow a lot of heat to "escape" out of the lamp when it should in fact be concentrated on the globe to produce flow.  He said that the lamps that mt designs have some sort of a coating around the bulb set so heat doesn't escape and a ceramic inside their bases.  I don't know about this as I have never seen an MT lamp up close and personal.  I always use my old LL set ups for kits. 

 

Long story short, I found absolutely nothing out nor did our 1/2 hour conversation solve my pink lamp going clear.  If I lower it, the goo will just sort of snake and tower and fold back into itself in column form.  I did notice that the darker dyes don't seem to show the clearer goo.  Is this just because they don't let enough light in?  My "neon" green (combo of yellow/green mt dye) is still true to color and texture.  Even if I boil it, It doesn't turn clear.  I did however use way more green and only a small amount of yellow.  I hate to tell you to add more green dye to your lamp because that will change the color.  If you are thinking about making a whole new kit and you want to experiment, try adding a small chunk of green to it.  If it is too dark green, then add a tad of yellow dye until it get's that "neon" look.  You may just add enough green that light can't show through and it may solve the "clearer" goo look problem.  My pink turning clear doesn't really bother me too much.  I just look at it like that's it's personality.  Some people would die to produce clear goo, myself, well, I think if it was happening to all my goo I would be bothered.  I can say this....Mt is NOT without it's issues.....

 

And yes LOREN, my lamps keep turning PURPLE......BEWARE of the MT BLUE DYE packs unless you have a deep rooted luv for the color purple...I ended up with like 3 purple lamps which I have had to since become creative and turn into other colors, lol!!!  Ho hummm....

Chris, as I was watching my vintage cheetah white/orange last night into slumber land, I said the same thing in my head....the new LL lava doesn't even spike like the vintage stuff did......I need a time machine so I can warp back to circa 1970/80's and bring us back some good lamps, lol!!!

P.S.  If all else fails you could do what I did to my purple.....dump massive dye into it, turn it black, dye the water orange and voila....Halloween lamp!!!  JK'ing......

Well, I think what you guys suggested was at least partially right. For two or three days in a row, I edged my dimmer down just the tiniest bit before starting the lamp. I did this once a day until it got to the point where it was too cool to flow. I then edged it up just enough to get it going again. It's nowhere near as high as where it was before I started the process.

The wax is still slightly translucent depending on how long it's been flowing, but a lot less than before. I think heat was the issue in the end. Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm glad it's working for you!!!  I've done a mad amount of kits and they are all pretty much tempermental!!!  I've gotten to learn what each one "likes" as far as temps are concerned, but it took me a year of running them pretty much every night and experimenting with the dimmers. 

 

I now am having blue dye issues.  I've had 3 or more kits (lost track) that were the greatest shade of blue, then over time turned plum/purple leaving me with just too many purple lamps that I had to get super creative and modify....I just turned my last one black/orange, lol!!!

Last I checked, the blue one that I did for my mother in law turned purple as well. Fortunately she ended up not caring and actually likes it.

Carol said:

I'm glad it's working for you!!!  I've done a mad amount of kits and they are all pretty much tempermental!!!  I've gotten to learn what each one "likes" as far as temps are concerned, but it took me a year of running them pretty much every night and experimenting with the dimmers. 

 

I now am having blue dye issues.  I've had 3 or more kits (lost track) that were the greatest shade of blue, then over time turned plum/purple leaving me with just too many purple lamps that I had to get super creative and modify....I just turned my last one black/orange, lol!!!

I need to get dye from another source.  Vox did a blue one that is still keeping it's color as far as I know.  He got his dye from a candle company online that sells supplies for candle making.  I really like the color he chose as far as saturation.  I have to search for the link, or email Vox, but If and when I decide I want to try another blue I def won't be using the mt dye.  As a matter of fact, I dumped the whole thing into the already purple lamp to help turn the goo black for my orange/black so it's GONE!!!

 I know the candle place you're talking about, and the next time I do a kit, I'm totally using their dye instead. It looks like it does a lot better than MT's.

Carol said:

I need to get dye from another source.  Vox did a blue one that is still keeping it's color as far as I know.  He got his dye from a candle company online that sells supplies for candle making.  I really like the color he chose as far as saturation.  I have to search for the link, or email Vox, but If and when I decide I want to try another blue I def won't be using the mt dye.  As a matter of fact, I dumped the whole thing into the already purple lamp to help turn the goo black for my orange/black so it's GONE!!!

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