I am interested in learning to make my own ooze, and figured out that the only "right" way is to mix wax with perc in order to obtain a mixture that's denser than water. The other way would be to make the water less dense, but that inevitably means mixing it with flammable liquids such as alcohol, which I don't want to risk.
However I have problems obtaining pure perc where I live, and there are few details around the net over e.g. which specific products contain it, if it's pure, how it's supposed to be mixed etc.
The closest I've found is a can of circuit cleaning spray which says it contains "Tetrachloroethylene", but I don't know at which concentration and degree of purity. Am I supposed to spray and collect it in a separate container to have pure perc to mix in with wax?
Exactly how is the mixing done? Do I just pour it into molten wax and stir the concoction? Won't it just evaporate too quickly?
What other substances can be used for the same purpose (not many, from what I've gathered, but it doesn't hurt to ask) ?
Also, which household, easy to find products contain perc, even if not necessarilty pure? (e.g. what about oven cleaning products and creams etc.)
Yeah I read about that one in the Lava lamp recipe, and probably the circuit cleaner is equally good (but no way to verity it unless I shell out the cash), so if I could find it I'd get it without a second thought.
Still, I need some more specific info on how the two ingredients are actually mixed, at which wax temp, how stable is the mixture over time, if it will outgas with time etc.
Does the perc bond with the wax or is it more like forming a waxy sponge that barely keeps the perc trapped ?
melt the wax in a jar in a pot of water. dont boil. spray the aerosol in another jar. Ventilated. until you have enough liquid. remove wax from stove. while it is molten pour in perc swish gently. Allow to cool.
Pretty much what I would do regarding the mixing part.
But, if I allow the mixture to cool in the mixing jar, and then reheat it to pour it into the globe, won't it lose quite a bit of perc in the process? Or should I keep the jar sealed while cooling and reheating?
Also, wouldn't it be better to pour the mixture directly into the globe where it will be used after mixing the two ingredients? This way it should be possible to subject the mixture to one warming/cooling cycle less.
A final question (for now): once the mixture is heated again and poured into the globe, should the globe be sealed even without liquid in it while the mixture cools down?
I have also been considering when tinkering to keep it sealed. Such as adjusting specific gravity . Currently I am trying a new batch and making adjustments to the liquid when ooze is solid. I am being anal about keeping it capped. Temporarily using plastic wine cork. I would not heat up having ooze sealed. Pressure. cooldown might be okay. Possible vacuum. And i agree to make it in the bottle that will be used for the lamp. I feel the less contact with air the better. injoy
OK, so today I made my first experiment with "proper" home made ooze. As a wax base, I used some tealight candles which were lightly coloured and resulted in white wax which gets transparent when heated.
As a perc source, I used Unispec Electric Motor & Machinery Cleaner, which seems to be 100% perc (if you exclude the aerosol content, since it comes in spray cans). It only mentioned "Tetrachloroethylene" in its contents, so it oughta be the real deal.
I sprayed some in the cleaned and empty bottle...yup, transparent liquid. I mixed it with the molten wax at about 1/3 proportion (out of the bottle), poured the mix almost immediately back into the bottle and let it settle there with the bottle capped.
Later, I added the distilled water and a few drop of water colouring (bad move?). When put over a 25W fixture,the ooze (which was now solid and opaque white, and didn't seem to have lost any volume) got transparent in a matter of minutes, and soon "exploded" to the top of the bottle where it formed a solid white goo and.... it just stood there.
Now, I suspect that I must have got a few things right, because e.g. the goo won't stick to walls, exhibits considerable surface tension and surprisingly few bubbles, while using e.g. normal wax would result in much more pitiful displays...however something is still off, it seems. Either the bulb is too powerful for this goo (it's a small 32 Oz globe) or the density isn't just right.... however the goo behaves much better than the contaminated and outgassed one this lamp had when I got it.
OK...for my Mark II goo, I simply took out the old goo, let it boil to get out any older perc (or perc + aerosol?), separate it from trapped water, and added another finger of perc directly in the bottle.
Now it's apparently so heavy that it won't rise ;-)
At least that shows that the perc-wax binding kinda works...and increasing water density is much easier than increasing that of wax, right? ;-) The wax also stays opaque now, instead of becoming transparent.