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Maes

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    Here's an old post I made on the subject,

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  1. I recently got into this whole Lava lamp craze, and started my own little collection.

    However, I recently stumbled upon a dud: I got a small 32oz lava lamp which had a cool color combo (golden wax/blue liquid) but the wax proved to be fubar and exhibited all sorts of problems like sticking to walls, floating when cooled, crumbling into a coarse, grainy mess, was filled with garbage etc.

    Lava Lamp? More like a shit lamp, motherfucker.

    I struggled to get it to melt properly and start a cycle for a whole week, until I gave up and decided to take the DIY way, once again.

    Initially I did some pretty stupid shit like e.g. mixing normal wax while boiling the original one (which looked more like axle grease at that point) or trying to use normal wax directly. Then I found this nifty website which also included DIY recipes for home made lava lamps! That seemed like a job for Maes, well within the Way Of Maes ;-)

    So I tinkered a bit with the Retro-Basic Formula, and after just one failed attempt at mixing the perc with the wax, I managed to get a nice working flow, that looked 100% pro-spec :-o

    Now, that's more like it.

    And, of course...



    Total work for the actual, finished lamp (I reused the base and globe ofc) was about 36 hours, on and off, with a lot of time spent just waiting for it to warm or cool down before making adjustments. Mixing and pouring the actual goo and fluid is pretty straightforward, however perfecting the density etc. takes some patience. Good if you want to do something you don't have to be constantly over.

    1. Show previous comments  12 more
    2. Danarchy

      Danarchy

      Maes said:

      Chances are that it uses one of those diminutive R39 25W or 30W reflector bulbs. Depending on the original wattage and/or space available, you may be able to use a standard golfball bulb -my big lava lamp has barely the space for that-.

      I had no problem finding those R39 reflectors even here, but they are steep...and hard to find in wattages other than 30W.

      THere is just barely enough room for the bulb in there, and it is flat-topped. Looks like I'll have to get one of the specialty ones. I wonder if Spencer's sells them, since they often sell lava lamps. I kind of hate that store, though.

    3. Maes

      Maes

      Danarchy said:

      THere is just barely enough room for the bulb in there, and it is flat-topped. Looks like I'll have to get one of the specialty ones. I wonder if Spencer's sells them, since they often sell lava lamps. I kind of hate that store, though.


      Another solution would be retrofitting the lava lamp with a 12V reflector halogen -these come in 25W and 50W variants and are sold as a bulb+reflector combo. Even that way, they are cheaper than specialty R39 reflectors, and more durable: you might never have to replace them again for the whole life of the lava lamp, until the wax degrades due to time.

      You will need an external transformer ofc, but since e.g. those tabletop halogen desk lamps are like a dime a dozen and already include one in their bases, that shouldn't be too hard to do.

      Either that, or fit another bulb fixture in the lava's base (a lower one) so that you can fit taller lamps.

    4. Csonicgo

      Csonicgo

      Amazingly, Lava (the company) still makes lava lamp replacements. I got some at Wally World (it's a warzone in there man!) and got out. They seem to work fine.

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