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My turn to ask newbie questions


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#1 montana

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:22 AM

I'm thinking of drywashing some gullies where I've found lots of nuggets with a detector. My reasons are 2 fold, I'm on a weight losing mission and I feel I've left lots of small gold behind. I want to know if I should go with a puffer or the blower type. I would assume the blower type is faster and can run more material. Is that correct? I would prefer the puffer type thinking it would be less dusty and quieter. Should I go with a wooden one or an aluminum one. Thanks for any suggestions.----Bob

#2 Uncle Ron

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:33 AM

Hi Bob...For my money, the Keene 151 can't be beat..That's what I have....You can shovel in as fast as you want and you can process a very large amount of material...It's big enough that you generally don't have to clean up ever half hour (unless it gets choked with gold woohoo.gif )...I used to take groups out and teach them drywashing and sometimes would have five or six folks shoveling in...We found lots of gold....You can usually run just bank run, rather than having to classify it first,(some dry washer guys will disagree with me on that, but I've tried both ways and my recovery was just as good without the extra work of classifying)...You just have to experiment with the angles on the recovery box....You can find a used one for around $450 - $500 ... If you do, be sure and check the blower fins inside...They are some type of plastic and can wear out eventually....Also be sure to wear gloves if you are hand raking the header material through the grizzly...Scorpions!!!!....Cheers, Unc PS...Don't forget to work over your header piles...I've found quite a few nice ones there!

#3 sawmill

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:15 AM

Montana
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
amazing too.
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
shoveling. laugh.gif

#4 Rod

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

Blower or puffer? I suppose part of that answer would be personal preference. As an example Laszlo has both and prefers the puffer type, a Thompson 12 Volt Model, http://www.thompsond....com/models.htm. He also has the Gold Buddy blower model, http://www.lifestyle...drywash_gb.html (model C).

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 woohoo.gif 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 icon_mrgreen.gif

#5 russfordAZ

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:04 PM

It's kinda like detecting Bob. Most of us have a hot little vlf for crevicing to use in mild soil with only a few inches of overburden....AND a P.I. for all the other areas.
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)

Notes:
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.

...rf smile.gif


#6 shep

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:16 PM

Good question Bob! In the same boat. I had a hair up my butt last week and in checking the classifieds saw several, but opted for a new puffer from Frank C. Its light weight (20#) plus a lawn mower battery. Price was right. Will let you know how I like it.

Shep

#7 Rod

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:54 PM

QUOTE
Although a vac is really nice in some areas, you can usually clean the crevices fairly well with hand tools.


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.

#8 4corners

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:33 PM

my favorite way to process is to classify first 1/4 inch screen

#9 montana

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys. I checked a lot of the classified ads and all the ones I was interested in were sold already. Like Shep, I'm leaning toward the one Frank C. makes with an electric motor/small battery. I will probably be working alone most of the time so won't be able to feed a real big one enough to justify the extra weight and noise of a 151.----Bob

#10 montana

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:37 PM

Russ. I'll need a spiral panner too I guess. What you got?---Bob

#11 russfordAZ

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:42 PM

I've only got the one I want to keep (a Camel Spartan), but there are many good ones on the market. My question would be...are you sure you will need one? Depending upon the DW you end up with, you may find that you will come home with less than a gallon of cons at the end of the day. I usually run those through a re-cycle sluice at home and end up with one pan of cons to finish off. I wouldn't worry about getting a wheel unless you come home with a bucket of cons a day, but that's unlikely unless you use something like a 151 and clean it out quite a bit. Good luck. smile.gif

...russ

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.

#12 Reno Chris

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:09 AM

Bob - I've done the exact same thing you are talking about - I use a little draw string powered Keene puffer because its light and easy to carry. The photo shows me dry washing a little patch I took about a dozen nuggets out of an area about 5ft x 15 ft. I just dug up the surface and dry washed it - a couple cubic yards and I got 4 dwt out of it.

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#13 Beer Beeper

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 04:46 AM

How about another form of dry recovery besides drywashing?? Also how about recirculating water systems like the ones below and others??


>>>Makers of the The 4x4 Gold Buggy.
The 4X4 Gold Buggy is designed to be used in mineral bearing areas where water is limited or unavailable! Two Models to choose from. It's all about gold recovery. Custom built gold mining equipment from Roper Manufacturing. Prospect For Gold! In the desert! Prospect High benches! Prospect With Water! Set up right where you are prospecting! Fun and easy to use! On Road model holds 75 gallons of water and is designed to be towed by a vehicle $4,495. Off Road model holds 35 gallons of water and is designed to be towed by an ATV $3,495. Uses a recirculating water supply system.
Roper Manufacturing PO Box 1045. Lincoln MT 59639 USA Ph: 1-888-411-4126. E-Mail: 4x4goldbuggy@linctel.net

>>>I think I saw somewhere this could be made water recirculating also:
http://www.goldscrew.com/prod03.htm

>>>The first major change in the gold pan in 4,000 years!
Works wet or dry.
http://www.goldmagic.com/
DESERTS AND DRYWASHES
With your Gold Magic® working dry, you likely have your first opportunity to effectively prospect in the totally dry desert regions.

http://www.goldmagic...page=page&id=11

>>>Another type of dry and recirculating gold mining to learn what technique to use and a good lesson as well:>
Would you have invested and bought stock in their company?...Probably not - in answer to the question.....What a sorry looking bunch of greasy long haired bearded hippy LOSERS!!!! Check the guy in the lower left......... that's Bill Gates, he was the richest man in the world for years. Paul Allen, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks with a net worth around $20 billion is on the far right, lower corner!! (If anyone would have invested a small sum of money with them and their stock then, that person would have been very rich now as the stock multiplied many times over.) MICROSOFT CORPORATION, 1978

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