Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I'm relapsing into lava madness.  My boss has the best flowing lava lamp I've ever seen, and it's some no name china cheap lamp.  So anyway, sitting in her office staring at it in meetings got me messing with my lamps again.


I have a clear and green 52oz that never flowed all that well.  Always ends up getting to hot after awhile and it's plain boring up until that point.


So I figured I'd replace the coil to start, and noticed all the talk about springs, and screens, and what to use.  So I thought, anything that conducts heat with surface area will work.  So I grabbed a small handful of small, and I mean small, stainless steel nuts here at work and threw them in my 52oz.  There were 60 of them, and I think I may add more.  They were M2 size I believe.  I used nuts over screws since they have holes, hoping for more surface area.  I left my coil in there, mostly because I didn't have a hanger laying around at work to use and fish out the old one.  


I'll let you all know how it goes, and if I remember to take a camera to work I snap some photos (if it works that is).  I'll keep experimenting as well.  Maybe with bigger nuts, more nuts, screws, no coil.  Whatever.  Let me know if you have any ideas.


I'm kinda hoping since it overheats, having more mass might help.  It's not a logical hope, since all the mass will simply heat up sooner or later.  But whatever.  It's worth it for the experimentation factor alone.

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I'm going to need to see pics of that. ;)

My joy of playing with nuts waned, but it has come back.


Adding the 60 SMALL nuts to the lamp without removing the spring didn't do much.  I removed the spring and realized I didn't have enough nuts because it didn't flow.  So I grabbed 10 larger nuts (M8 size I believe) and dropped them in.  So far, seems to be working just like a spring.  Losing the brightness has not become an issue yet at they are all at the periphery of the lamp.


It might be possible to adjust your flow somewhat by using nuts (or a similar small piece of hardware) as you could add more or less conductive material to your liking.  I'll run this for awhile and maybe add another 10 to see what that does.

The idea of being able to control the flow interests me.

Brandon said:

My joy of playing with nuts waned, but it has come back.

The 10 extra nuts helped the flow. It flows better now that it did with the spring, and when it had half the nuts in it.  It still doesn't flow awesome, but that's mostly because it was crap to start with, and it overheats.  Next up will be putting some hot tub anti-foam stuff in there.  I'm thinking it will act like a surfactant.  Maybe string out the flow.


So far, my conclusion is, nuts or other hardware work fine.  Don't worry too much about using a spring, screen, or whatever.  Put something metal with surface area to heat the wax and make it flow.


Take this for what it's worth though.  I'm dealing with a sample population of one.

This is great, I hope your lamp turns out awesome! I am really interested in what happens with the hot tub anti-foam. I have some weird gel that I want to put into a little lamp with some soap and see what happens. I am all about finding out new ways to modify my lava lamp to fit the way I want it to work so please keep us up to date with your experiments.


please keep us up to date with your experiments.

Yea defuntunly - we need goo expermanters :)

Any pictures of you lamp which you used nuts on.

Here's some pics.  First is the nuts.  The second is the "flow" which isn't so good since it's all overheated.



I don't think I'd suggest the hot tub antifoam.  I think it jacked my wax.  When one teaspoon is good for 200 gallons, it's hard to put just a tiny bit in...
Im not sure i understand this but are you useing nuts to controll the heat
in your or the flow of the lava in your lamp

I thought nuts might help control the heat, but they do not.  You can use nuts to control your flow to some degree.  I think anything metal and conductive of heat will do that.  A spring or screen is probably the best considering their light mass, good conductivity, and high surface area.  I simply used the nuts as I had them, not springs, and wanted to try something different.  I have since put the spring in with the nuts, and now that I'm typing this, I'm going to yank it out again!  


Seriously, I'm having more fun playing/breaking this lamp then I ever had with it working.  I drained the water and replaced the other day as well.  That was a lot of fun and I highly recommend doing that with a cheap lamp sometime.  You'll learn a lot.  I screwed up my wax even more then before, but to be honest, it's still more interesting then it was stock!


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