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old gold miner

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Everything posted by old gold miner

  1. When the townships & ranges were first surveyed, mid to late 1800's. Those surveyors always noted the position of cabins in the township (36 square miles). If the "Jones" lived there then, it was named "Jones" cabin. USGS topo maps were first made using those old cadastral surveys. So many topo's today show cabin sites, that nothing much is left of now. Except maybe a rock fireplace hearth, or foundation stones. I have found many many cabin sites, in mining districts all over Alaska, Oregon, California & Nevada. The reason I took the time to find them off old cadastral surveys was, they were in mining districts. Most old timers did not build cabins, unless they were onto something pretty good. Many are buried nearby.
  2. John, BLM Master Title Plats (MTP) show grafic land status depictions down to 2.5 acres parcels. Anything below that is shown as notes on the NOTE area, on the right of the MTP. You are right about getting everything in writing, to cover your hinny. It sure saved mine a few times. Talk is wind, writing is hard evidence. Standing in court with a handfull or mouthfull of WIND, will get you nothing. Hard evidence on the other hand will save your bacon.
  3. County recorders office is not the place to look. Tax assessors office could tell you if it was patented fee simple land, state land, or federal public domain. Quicker way is to: On line you can pull up the BLM Master Title Plat (MTP) of the township. That will give you the land status of all lands in all 36 sections of the township. If the MTP shows the land to be public domain, not under any withdrawal from mineral entry. Check the on-line BLM LR 2000 geo-index system to see if it is covered with any valid mining claim. If not, its open to staking/filing a claim.
  4. Fee simple land is one thing, State land is another. There are numerious instances in CA where various entities such a CYA, Boy Scouts, other youth groups, etc have a long standing "special use permit" on a tract of federal public domain lands. The use permit does NOT withdrawal the lands from mineral entry, under the General Mining laws. As such, the land is open to mineral entry, if an applicable valuable mineral exists there. However, anyone staking claim to it, cannot deny the groups use granted by the permit.
  5. Dave, that is not always the case. I can point out several instances where the CYA thought they owned it "all". Until someone came along, that knew the facts & staked/filed a mining claim right smack over the top of it. It just depends on several factors, to determine whats what.
  6. That depends on multiple land status factors. Do they own it, or is it leased federal public domain? If they "own" it, do they also own the mineral rights? Do you have an exact legal description by aliqout part, section, township, range, meridian? If so PM that to me & I will figure it out for you. ..............
  7. Watch your 6, mud flows are nasty, not to mention very deadly. Hope your home / auto insurance is all in good order.
  8. Cris, I had a thread in the political forum RE: SB 670 suction dredge ban. It had over 3000 hits & was getting 60 or 70 a day, in the short time it was up. That number of hits is equal to the number of all members here. It was pertinant to the law, mining rights & how to defend them. I had 100 hours worth of work in that data & those posts, to inform the public of SB 670 & whats wrong with it. I did not keep copies of those posts, as I never thought they would be deleted. It will take me 40 hours to reconstruct that data. That is unjust & unfair as SB 670 itself is. I sent Bill a PM, requesting that thread be resurrected, in another area, if possible. It is constructive, not political. I have even offered to pay him to copy & EM it to me, if possible. So, I will wait & see.... if he answers.
  9. Know that I grieve along side you. Other than the wife, family & those I went through combat with, my dog “Sarge“, is my best friend. If we were closer, I would offer you a puppy. The sire is a gold hound in his own right. Who, more than once either defended our camp, or warned me of trouble coming. Had he not, I might not be here today.
  10. The permitting involved the use of heavy eqt, to widen the trail, enough we could get vehicles up/down it. Because we used a bulldozer, and had to cut some tree's. It required filing an NOI & POO with the USFS.
  11. Bastards out there, will steal anything. Other than camp gear, anything small they would steel, goes in the rig, with me. I always leave a large NOTE, on a clip board, in camp. It says........... BOB, will be back in 5 minutes, went to show Bill, new shot-gun. So, tweeker theives, know, you are armed & will be back quick. That gives them food for second thoughts about getting sticky fingers. I always try to camp at roads end also. One way to drive /out. If ever going in & someones going out, that doesn't stop to BS, I always get their plate #, in case camp was robbed.
  12. GEO INDEX Check the................Meridian Township Range * NOT.....................Meridian Township Range Section * Click PDF.....Will print out all 36 sections Sounds like you checked.....Meridian Township Range Section *..... entered 36 And, it printed section 36 only, as directed.
  13. I think we might see $1200 gold, in the not far future. Any country holding billions in US dollars, is looking to trade those US dollars for something better. Sadly, as the US deficit increases, there are more secure options holding a basket of other currencies, gold, silver etc. China is the bull on the horizon. They are buying gold with US dollars they hold & let me assure you, they hold billions of US dollars in cash & treasury bills PS, on some gold I have purchased over the years, mostly coins. When the price is high enough, meaning double my purchase price. I sell around 50% of any particular batch. That leaves me holding the other half of that batch, with ZERO invested in it. Which makes it into what I refer to as "patient" investment. No matter where the price goes, I still profit If it doubles again,...... again.....I sell 1/2 the remaing batch, etc.
  14. Some of the best ground, I & my extended family ever dredged, or worked was: Hike, float or helicopter in only........ Reason the ground was still good, it had not had the panties pulled off it by previous gold seekers. As most will not plan, nor take the time, or trouble, or go to the expense to get to those places. Hence, in many instances, except for being worked by hand panning, or rocker box, no dredge or modern mining equiptment ever touched them. In one instance, because a trail led to the area, we asserted RS 2477 R/W & were able to "permit" clearing the trail enough, we could get vehicles & eqt in. That, "permitting" was a PITA, but worth the effort.
  15. Lot's of spots in CA, but SB 670 put a crimp in that. SW & NE Oregon & several area's in Idaho. But, you have to be far off the beaten track. Anywhere EASY.... has had the panties stripped off it. Those old timers did not miss much. Idaho is better than Oregon, because there are several area's ... even today... tough to get in/out of. Look in area's so isolated, in the 1800's, a hens egg sold for $2. Meaning, supplies had to be hauled in by horse or mule back. The cost of grub & supplies was so high, if a lone prospector was not on 1 ounce a yard bedrock material. He could not make a go of it, because food/supplies cost was so high. Area around "Buffalo Hump" Idaho still has some rich ground, as do many others in Idaho. Sadly, I'm not going to reveal where I'm going in Idaho, come spring. Because, I want to get there first & stake up some open ground. That looks sweet, from the data bank I have.
  16. I hate going against the grain of advice here ...............BUT .......... 1/2 gram for 10 hours labor isn't minimum wage. I would sample around for better diggin's. If I'm not on $100 a day......... I'm looking elsewhere. If I'm on more than that, I'm sticking tight. An ounce, in 6 days, take the 7th off & I'm okay. If I can do that by hand, time to file NOI, POO & bring in a 580 case, to bulk sample with.
  18. Not a trommel, but on a double deck screening plant. We built a 12 ft sluice box, with an eccentric cam bushing on the header box end. Bushing shaft was turned by a variable speed electric motor, much like yours. 18 inch width & 6 inch side walls (half 4X8 sheets). Expanded metal sections were held down with 1 inch angle iron bolted at the side walls. Riffle section was held down with metal wedges, via an angled slat, to pound wedges against. We covered the sluice box floor & side walls with conveyor belting. Gold particles will gain traction, slow & stop on rubberized conveyor belting. Where, nonmalleable rock will bounce along, without skidding & stopping. Same principle as wearing basketball shoes on a basketball court, better traction. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can find big used rolls of conveyor belt cheap. Or, sometimes new rolls that are excess, never used. We had expended metal in the 4 ft header box section, Then, 4 ft of ¾ inch angle iron riffles, set like this < < < < < < canted 15 degrees tilt to the rear Then, last 4ft was more expanded metal. Sluice was very self cleaning & easy to pull sections for clean up. We would pull first 2 sections daily, to get the big stuff (with a snow shovel).. As 1st & 2nd sections caught all the course gold & 3rd section caught the fines. About every 3rd shift we would pull all 3 sections, for a complete clean up. We found water volume, direction & velocity was a major factor in how efficient sluice box recovery was. With a screening plant, with spray bars, water & feed gravel came into the sluice box from the top. After initial testing, we altered the design to improve & increase water flow direction, volume & velocity. We altered the upper end of the header box face plate to include a ½ inch slit, the width of the header bow. Which we pumped water through, that by design ran directly down the box. We used a valve, so we could adjust the flow, to fine tune that waters velocity. Adding that adjustable & increased flow, directed straight down the box, increased the efficiency of the system to around 97% recovery. Which, we were more than happy with. You might ponder adding a vent type water flow director, to the head end of your box. Which (IMHO) will improve efficiency & recovery. Because it gives you more water volume, flowing in a effective direction, which increases the velocity of the water going down the box. Ponder, water directed into the box from above has to change direction, to flow down the box. Water directed straight down the box does not, hence you get better velocity & more volume in the direction you wanted. EDIT TO ADD: Quick 5 second sketch of what I'm talking about.
  19. Sad day for all of us here. Men of Jim's caliber cannot be replaced. Old prospectors spirits never die, they have just gone prospecting in a better place. Know this, every time you see a shooting star. It may well be Jim, sending us a quick signal, he is on a good patch, and just found a nice nugget. I wish his wife & family well....
  20. That Northfield you found is a GREAT find, looks to be from around 1895, or so. I would think worth 4 or 5 hundred, to a collector. As for shaping, the billet was cut with a lazer cutter. Same lazer cutter was used to shape each full tang blade blank. The rest was plain old elbow grease, filing it until I thought my arm would wear out. I was lucky to find/buy a bolster, that suited the blank & design well, once done. After filing, hours of belt sanding & wheel buffing. Then, repeated acid baths to bring back out the damascus lines of the steel. Given the time/labor involved, this is a labor of love. Because unless you charged about $800 for one like this, you could never profit from making them. Even then, the profit would not be all that much, unless you did batches of about 10 at a time.
  21. Funny you mention meteorites. I had a few large ones from the CAMPO del CIELO fall. I did a horse trade with a guy in Kentucky, that hand forges / folds damascus steel billets & some knife blanks. He wanted one of the 45/70 hex Springfield rifle barrels I had, that was near mint. LOL, they were made into ash tray stands. LOL, bought 5 century old upright ashtrays, at a rummage sale for the gun barrels they were made from ($20 each). 2 barrels were traded for two 2 inch X 12 inch damascus billets, & I sent him a 5lb niclek/iron meteorite to mix in the damascus blend. Later I cut those billets down into just under 1/4 inch thich X 12 long knife blanks. End result of 1 (1st attempt at a damascus steel knife) Man, this thing holds an edge, like you would never believe. Not many knives around, with extra-terrestrial metal origins.....LOL
  22. Back in 97, when the Camillas factory closed (SAD) after 100++ some years. I was fortunate enough to acquire 20 new CAMM1A bayonet blanks for $250. Out of which, I made 1/2 dozen combat / tactical knives with iron wood or micarta handles w/ lanyard holes & custom sheaths. Everything bead blasted & flat black, so sharp (diamond honed) you could shave with them. Through some old military contacts, I was able to get a few names of squad leaders that were seeing heavy nasty close ground combat in Iraq. Once I had their name/rank & APO, I sent small care packages, each with a custom "pig sticker" enclosed. I was shocked @ all the heart felt responces & pictures of those young "warriors" packing those "stickers", I got back. Am now building 10 more, that are going as gifts to our boys Afganistan, once done.
  23. I have made a few very nice knife scales (handles} out of AZ ironwood. It's about as tough, and as good as you can get. Good quality ironwood knife scales are getting harder & harder to find, thus costing far more than they used to.
  24. Old timer here (retired mining engineer) Old ways are tried & true. Today, you can use modern methods, in comfort of your home or office for preliminary targeting. Get a state series of USGS topo’s on discs, such as national geographic topo series. Pick a mining district that interests you. Acquire & compile all available geologic info, & credible mining history. Make maps, apply geo data. Use BLM LR 2000 & master title plats to determine what’s closed to entry, what’s claimed & what’s open. Once done, you have info what’s closed, what’s had & what’s open. If any good targets are open, set GPS points on them, and go look, letting GPS guide you to the targets. No sense searching out something you cannot claim. At least, that’s what I do. I have a power inverter in my rig, so GPS & laptop go along. That pinpoints my rigs position, every 15 seconds, on a topo on my laptop screen. Many times, arrived road weary, at night & set up camp by headlights, close to targets. Daylight breaks, I an off and prospecting targets.
  25. Besides using a dozer, to remove overburden, to be able to inspect something underneath. THE REST OF THE STORY.............. Years back, the mining law mandated a 4 or 5 yard "discovery cut", on each & every 20 acre claim. I have run across places, where in a straight line every 300 ft, for a mile or 2 you would find a small dozer cut. Which, were "discovery cuts", usually in barren ground. But, made to comply with the law, back then. Years back, the feds & state did away with that requirement. Because, it often resulted in 4 or 5 ft deep pot holes all over the place, in deserts & flat lands on big claim groups. Which were done mostly by big mining companies. To stop that they changed the law. Which now requires a "discovery" but no cut, or excavation, to expose it
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