My turn to ask newbie questions
Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:22 AM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:33 AM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:15 AM
This is kind of a trick question. The answer will be like a Chevy versus Ford
thing. I have a friend that runs a small battery powered puffer. The darn thing
will work two guys to death feeding it bank run. The recovery rate is totally
I feed my puffer bank run,and two guys can't keep up with it. Mine has a 3/4
classifier screen,and you couldn't support a flea on the gold it loses.
It is just mostly a matter of which machine suits your fancy,and how you run it.
The 151 Keene is a work horse,and has a lot of advantages for blower type machine.
The hot air on them is a real advantage in damp dirt. They are a little heavy if you
have to pack in very far,but you will run out of wash quick,if you don't die from
Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:26 AM
The Thompson is excellent and runs all day off a small battery and is super quiet. Laszlo is looking into some kind of solar option as well. The Gold Buddy is a great unit also. With the puffer type is best to "prime" the riffles by filling them with material before running.
I prefer the blower type and used a 151 for many years. Like Ron said the 151 is the king and is the best option for heavy processing. The downside to the 151 is its size and the fact that you need a separate setup/engine for a vac. If you have to hike the 151 in to a spot it will take several trips, hey that's good for weight loss Right now I'm using a Keene 140 Hi Vac System, http://www.keeneeng....ategory_Code=DW it can run a lot of material, is suitable for a one or two man operation and is much lighter and easier to hike into a spot. The 140 is rated at 3/4 of a yard per hour the 151 at excess of 2 tons per hour.
No matter what type you go with you'll need a vac to get all the gold out of the bedrock cracks and crevices which is why I like the 140 Hi Vac System. It's just the right size, you can shovel right into it running bank and wash over burden and and it runs off the vac. When its time to hit the bedrock with the Hi Vac System you can usually fill the vac bucket about half way, load the material from the bucket into the hopper with the feed shut, hook it up to the vac for dry washer operation, fire up the motor and start processing. The half bucket will process fast, you can also do a "prime" on this method if you like.
Like Ron said don't worry about pre-classifying the material and don't forget the header piles
Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:04 PM
There is no DW that will be "best" for all situations. I say start with the one that you feel will fit the way you want to work and the type of areas you will be working.
Stop by sometime and I'll be happy to show you some options, but I have none ready for sale at this time....russ
Large blower type.
Pros: larger volume - constant feed - hot air w/151
Cons: heavy - bulky - no vac - noisy
Small blower type.
Pros: medium weight - "fairly" constant feed - dual purpose vac w/ Keene 140.
Cons: still a bit bulky - noisy
Large puffer type.
Pros: Very quiet..especially w/ electric motor. Usually fairly light weight. Large volume - constant feed (w/motor will keep up with a 151)
Cons: Can be heavy if used w/ auto battery or gas engine... or bulky (varies)
Small puffer type.
Pros: Very quiet. Very light weight. Some can be backpacked easily.
Cons: limited volume - can be hard to find a good one for sale. You always have the option of more volume by adding a 12Volt motor or gas engine,
but will require more frequent cleanups. (will usually still handle enough material to keep old men like us happy)
Recovery will vary with machine and operator, but an experienced man can do well with each of these types.
Although a vac is really nice in some areas, you can usually clean the crevices fairly well with hand tools.
Pre-screening is not a requirement, but will increase recovery in some areas where only fine gold is present.
I usually pre-screen when using a small puffer because it's easy to check oversized material by dry panning or visually.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:16 PM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:54 PM
On this point I agree you can do fairly well but to maximize recovery and really do it right you should vac the area especially if you've gone through the trouble of digging down to it or scraping down to it. This also adds the benefit of knowing what is really there fine gold wise and if the area merits more work.
As an example, Laszlo and I have been working a very dry desert area. One trip Laszlo went in alone and as his vac was not working he used a small whisk broom and a screw drive to clean the jagged bed rock breaking apart what he could, this was a shallow area, about 6 X 8 ft. He is the most detailed prospector I know and the the bed rock looked as clean as a table when he was done. On the next trip, we both returned and he used a vac on the area. The result, 1/2 gram of very fine gold was left.
The small hand puff wooden/aluminum dry washers are great for hiking and sampling an area too.
Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:33 PM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:34 PM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:37 PM
Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:42 PM
p.s. If you have to many cons to carry out, you can always run the cons a second time and reduce them further. There's a risk of some gold loss, but sometimes it's necessary.
Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:09 AM
Posted 06 June 2009 - 04:46 AM
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