Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Preliminary steps on a large project to share with my friends...


So a short while back I posted a link to craigslist which had a Humongo listed for over five grand. Long story short, no one was interested so I called and made an offer and, a couple headaches and eleven hundred after shipping later, I have a fourth one sitting in the living room.

The other three we have are pristine but this one is not without problems. The first time I ran it, the pressure in the bottle blew the cap off which was a first for me so I am now stuck with an open bottle. There is some chipping in the granite covering and a small dent in the cap but the biggest problem is the dye that has left the wax and stained the liquid. If I backlight it I can see through it but I believe a lava lamp should stand alone so I am not a fan of the backlighting idea as a permanent fix. This sucks though because the thing flows so beautifully! Anyhow, this is the one that is screaming project to me so I am going to kit the new girl.

I know some of you like to use the old wax and liquid. It was black/clear when it began so I am going to have a bunch. If anyone would like some black wax or some black stained liquid, it will be yours for shipping but I will need to know soon if there is interest or I will just chuck it out as I will most likely never use it. That is the first reason I am starting this thread.

The second reason is that I made a discovery of sorts I would like to share. I really want to make a metallic one but there are concerns... First is that I do not want to cut open a thousand sharpies to do the job. To that end, I tried to just get some ink and the company basically told me to eat it. That said, after some research and several hours of diligent phone calling, I was able to find the operations manager of the production line that makes them and I have a small bottle of ink heading my way because we were both in the navy once. That eliminates the lazy concern.

The other concern I have is that I keep reading about how many others have failed because of settling of the ink and other problems that ruin the metallic lamp projects over time. I have done the metallic thing before and had no issues like that, but I also don't want to have to mess with it again other than to look at it appreciatively for a long time to come so I tried some experimenting looking for a different way to make the same effect. At Hobby Lobby I picked up some liquitex ink and put it into a small lamp. I got the impression that it would not mix with water so this is the reason I tried this particular one. The metallic ink was heavy and simply sank in globs as soon as I put it in. No mixing can fix this. The blue ink I also tried mixed with water and made the most amazing and beautiful blue water I have seen yet. A very very small amount is all you need as I overdid it a good bit, but if you are looking to stain your water, you may wish to try this ink. Food coloring seems to fade in short order and nothing else I have ever tried works to stain the water well.

Well, that is why I wrote this today, to share the ink discovery. I know many of us are tinkerers and maybe no one has tried this yet, but first run has a wonderful outcome for me so far and when I kit the small lamp to continue testing before the big girl gets done I will share a few pics to show if it works or not.

Have a most lovely father's day and good, clear flow to everyone,


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Aside from making a metallic one, have you tried to change the fluid?

You would probably need a quart of propeleyne glycol but,..

I bought what I thought was a colossus and turned out to be a humungo

The wax is very dense and does not transmit light very well, but once it flows well,.. It glows

Although thinking about it, black lave is horrible to light up in any lamp

Your lucky you popped the top and not broken the globe

 "Critter" here on OG that had one explode on him


What a mess

Good luck with the metallic dye, let us know how it worked out

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