liquid motion timers (aka density timers/toys) What's in them?

You know those liquid motion toys you often find at places like Spencer gifts in which a denser liquid (usual bright colored) drips down onto a spiral and you can watch this discrete bubble ride on down?

I'm wondering what's inside them and if its feasible to make your own. I've heard lots of things, that the clear liquid is usual a light oil and the colored part is water. I've heard the reverse, I've also heard that there is no water in these things that both are different oils.

any help would be appreciated. if your still wondering what im talking about heres a place that sells them :

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Grenskie8 months ago

Actually as mentioned previously on here water has a tendency to effect the longevity of the unit, and although certain methods can be used to "prep" the water to avoid evaporation/separation, algae growth and many other inerrant complications, most "professional versions" and I use that term lightly as in this case it is simply meant to reference those built fo retail sales, where longevity and quality are important, do use 2 different weights of oil.

If you are looking to build one of these and have access to the plastic material and manufacturing necessary to create the design you are looking for, and you are looking simply for ingredients to use, you can experiment with different "clear" oils as different viscosity will result in different levels of separation, which among other things will change the rate of speed at which the drop will travel through the body of your design. However even here you will want to be careful as if the density is too closely matched between oils, it may look good at first but may begin to combine over time into one color goo.

The best combo I have found thus far is lamp oil and baby oil (both the clear versions, for color accuracy with food coloring). These have enough difference in viscosity that they separate nicely, but not so much that they carry air bubbles with the moving drop.

When coloring oil i tend to go more towards the "paste" style food coloring as it will blend easier with oil than liquid food coloring, which is mostly water.

hunza9975 years ago
I was thinking about the all seasons and then came across this post here , originally I wanted to know about the palm oil .
one of my cusion started business for palm oil and he told me to join this .

As I started traveling from sydney to UK now so I was involved with my originally profession which is IT services as I have done my masters in computer science and then started some sort of web design in sydney and then now doing some seo services in london along with running a call center in uk

sharing stuff and learning more about this kind of stuff is really nice to know . Oil business will let you all know more about it once started .
LizzieClems5 years ago
Well, they are oil on the top, and it works with colored water, so you are actually watching a "water" drop lol. But yeah, I love these things immensely and purchase all them at and they are like the best for gifts!
multisport76 years ago
Alcohol and water are different densities so it should separate! =)
I found the best prices and shipping for the commercial type

Hi everyone, I am new here, I want to learn how to make a liquid motion timer. I am extremely fascinated by them, I have bought 2 of them from internet sites, but they are so bloody expensive. How to you make a liquid motion toy?
Kiteman10 years ago
All the versions you have heard are true - some use different oils, some use oil and water, and the colours used can be dissolved in either liquid. If you're making your own, your best bet would be a combination of a light-coloured vegetable oil and water with food-colouring in it. If your project is meant to be kept and used for any length of time, though, you will need to be aware of several things: > Air in the water will bubble out and obstruct small holes. The water you use will need de-gassing (boiled, and then cooled in a sealed container). > Microbial / algal growth will need to be prevented somehow. Maybe you should use mineral oil and engine oil? What about hydraulic (brake) fluid? Just thoughts - ignore them if you want.
Ola, I am Craig Kasterson Recently moved from Kansas, originally from the Quad cities area and grew up there.

I have a great free time,I prefer all four seasons , specially the winter and snow!

High Tech has been a part of my life for the last few years and most recently primarily on the Web.

I love to learn new things.

As tough as it is right now, more and more people are seeking guidance from people who have walked the walk and can teach others how to benefit from what they went through. I am here to help those that need help and will ask for help from other people when i need it.

I am a designer in the field of IT project management software.

I am sharing my websites , search engine optimization specialist search engine marketing professional professional seo services

Learning about new things is one of my passions.

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Glad to be a part of this Website and Will learn something new here.
Welcome to the site, Craig, but will you please share things you have made, rather than spamming a website that appears to actually owned by one "Leo Berenguel", not "Craig Kasterson".

Why have you changed your favourite charity?
kgutierrez56 years ago
your kidding me.. I am a lava lamp collector. Also craving to create my own wave machine someday soon. Much of what you describe in here is dead on. All these ideas, concepts and info. apply to my lava lamps. Often a lamps lava dies so to speak. Sometimes the dye will separate from lava, Other times to strong a lamp has been used. there are many methods we use to try and fix from boiling the lava , to filtering the waters thru mrs filter giving bottle a good few rinses and gently re filtering back into bottle, often we use salt for bouyency that has been melted already into distilled or added to boiled water in cerating portions then added in half teaspoos into bottle in 10 breaks until lava starts to rise. Often there is added a miniscule amount of dish liquid so lava wont stick to inside of bottle.some people have diff. opinions on brand..there are those who use oils, wax, parrafins ... then there is this..we have available what are called goo kits and dye packs.too. What an intelligent and informative page i found here.. thanks
GameNox6 years ago
You can dye the water and use a clear oil i don't know what its called, we got it from a hotel.

It has:
Jojoba Seed Oil
Meadowfoam Seed Oil
(Leaf Extracts)
Hexyl Cinimal
Benzyl Salicylate
Benzyl Benzoate
Alpha Isomethyl Ionone

It has leaf extracts too but I left them out. (It has them where it said them)
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