here is how i made my very first lava lamp. in my opinion it works better than any other lamp i have. so i thought i would share my process with everyone.
HERES WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
-gulf wax or good quality candle wax
-beeswax-makes goo opaque (optional)
-brakekleen made by CRC (perc)
-candle dye(hobby lobby or micheals) i used orange
-canning & pickling salt
-Glass measuring cup (brakekleen will melt plastic)
-2 mason jars with 1 sealing lid
-pot for boiling water deep enough for the mason jar to fit in
-food coloring (optional) i used red
-and of course your globe/bottle and lamp base( for this i used an old defective midnight series globe, base, and coil)
-beer bottle cap (undamaged)
-sharpie or tape
FOLLOW THESE STEPS AND USE EXACTLY WHAT IS LISTED AND YOULL BE FLOWING!
mark your globe or bottle for how much goo you need to put into it. (i went right up to the line where the glass starts to change its shape)
take one mason jar and a measuring cup and measure out 2 cups of water. pour that into the jar. now mark where the water line is with a sharpie or tape. pour out the water. measure 2/3 cup of perc (brakekleen) and add this to the jar with your mark. set this aside with the lid.
now take your wax and cut it into smaller pieces and place them into the other jar. make sure you have enough wax to fill the other jar up to the line measured out to 2 cups. take your pot with boiling water and set the jar into it to melt the wax. once completely melted add your candle dye, enough to desired color. you can also add beeswax to make the wax opaque. otherwise it will be translucent.
now carefully remove the wax jar from the pot and add the wax to the jar marked with the perc in it. add the wax all the way up to the line you previously marked, put on the lid and carefully swish them together. mix them well.
now your goo is done. you do not need to let it cool or test it for that matter. directly pour this into your globe or bottle (coil in place) with a funnel a little above the line you made. now let it cool all the way down. its ok if you have it on the sides of your globe or bottle it will melt down later. you may also have extra goo leftover. you can either seal the jar up and save it or toss it.
now once the goo is solid you can now start to add your distilled water. add the water until its about 3/4 full. now place the globe onto the base and heat it up until the wax is fully melted and is good and hot. (about an hour and a half) the goo should stay at the bottom. now take a teaspoon of salt and put it into the shot-glass, add distilled water to fill the rest. this is to dissolve the salt so it takes to the water easier.
with the straw used as dropper, shot-glass, and salt. keep adding a few straws full at a time. i added about every 5-10 mins. keep adding the salt and water mix until the goo starts to dome or rise up. (it does take quite a bit of salt) and quite a few times refilling the salt and water in the shot glass. but this is for good reason. so be PATIENT in adding it. you may need to pour out some water out of the globe in order to add more salt to get the saltwater mix right. but once you have a dome effect and its starting to rise you're close to being done. now slowly add more salt to the mixture until the wax starts rising about half way up the globe. it is now around the correct density. an easier way to think of the density issue is this; which i think this issue is what confuses most people... (even myself) from what ive read on this and other websites. think of it this way... this is not technical information but... the more salt you add to the water mixture, the lighter in weight your making the goo. so this is what is making the goo rise. perc makes the wax heavier, as wax itself will float in water. do not worry if you add too much salt, you can remove the water in it and replace it with distilled water only. which if too much salt is added it will make your goo too light and will float more so to the top. the trick is to basically even it out.
now let it run for about 30 mins. now its time to add your liquid dish soap. for the results i got i added 2 drops right away. now let it run for about 15 more minutes every drop you add. if your wax is still staying in one blob add another drop. the soap's purpose is to help separate the blobs and help it cling to the coil. so add as you need to get the desired effect. do not add too much soap. as this will make the goo too runny. so go very slow with this one.
now its time to add your food coloring if you'd like to color your water. i used about 6-7 drops. but start with one or 2 and add as you see fit. consult a color wheel in deciding what colors to use with others if you don't already know.
cap it off with the beer bottle cap. making sure it seals well. if not the water will evaporate, and will not hold pressure. you're almost done...
and the best step of all...ENJOY!
i nailed it on the head basically the first try. i hope it works just as well for you! if you have any questions i would be more than happy to answer them. good luck and thanks for reading!
Did you use natural or the white beeswax to get the opaque look? I have purchased some creamy candle wax that has a shiny appearance for the main mix. I figured I'd use some beeswax if it is necessary. I don't know how transparent the creamy wax is when melted. The melt point is 185 deg. Farenheit for the creamy wax. I've seen a great range of melting points (135 to 185 degrees) in my search for a wax to use on my own project. It's my hope that the wax I've chosen will give the lamp a more vintage look. I love the way that the 1970's wax undulates as it moves. Very nice. One thing I have discovered about using beeswax is that the darker colored, unbleached beeswax may actually have trash in it, even parts of bees. Look at your block for anything that may have settled out in the processing. It will be darker than the other parts of the wax. Take a look at this link for everything you ever wanted to know about beeswax. http://www.santafecandle.com/learn/beeswax/beeswax.htm