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Le Trap Home Highbanker / Recirc Project


frank c

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I have been wanting to try this for quite some time. While surfing the web I made a return visit to Bill & Lindas Prospecting pages,there was my project.Bill had gotten to it first.

I have heard so many good reviews on the Le Trap Sluice for stream use and for concentrates also. I wanted to try it for my drywasher cons.

I just started this project and heres some pics for any interested Le Trap owners out there.

I'm using an old lawn chair frame I came across for a stand it works perfect I can move the sluice foward and rearward to adjust the angle of drop as needed.

The first thing I had to do was seal the top end of the sluice, I did that by holding a piece of 3/4 wood in place and tracing the pattern to cut.

Then after cutting and fitting I sealed it with a few coats of black paint then ran a bead of sealant and set it in place and screwed it from underneath.

I started the framework for holding up the struts by cutting 2 pieces 3/4 x 16 with a 30 degree miter to use as base mounts secured with 2 screws thru the sluice from underneath.

Then made a simple box assembly with 3/4 inch pvc spraybar and 1/4 inch hardware cloth.

2 pieces of 1/8 inch steel for upright struts to angle the hopper I drilled 4 or 5 holes in the top of the struts to be able to adjust the angle of the hopper if necessary.

I secured the back end of the hopper with a piece of piano hinge.

I plan on glueing a piece of deep V-rubber matting on the top flat end of the sluice to trap and be able to visibly spot any larger pieces of gold.

I sealed all the seams in the hopper with silicone to waterproof it, I did'nt take the time to give it a coat of paint which I probably should have.

The assembly is drying now and I will be testing it after my next trip to the goldfields and return with some drywasher consentrates to run.

Its a fun project and I had sold my full sized highbanker and needed another to run my dirt thru. Now I can find out how well this Le Trap will catch the gold I'm mainly interested to see if it will keep the real small flakes an flour.

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Frank: You've come up with some clever ideas in this thread. Thanks for sharing. Here's a thought: If the primary purpose is to run drywasher concentrates, perhaps no grizzly superstructure is needed at all. Just classify the stuff you want to run through a #8 or #12 screen first and hand feed directly into the LeTrap. A diffuser pipe-bar easily could be inserted and removed from the sluice making clean outs quick and easy [no bulky superstructure to deal with]. Anything that will not pass through a #8 or #12 screen either can be panned out or metal detected rather easily. Another comment: The LeTrap is excellent at snagging fine gold. But it also is pretty big and requires a commensurate volume of water to make it run efficiently as a re-circulator [i.e., bilge pump or garden hose supply in the 1500 gph range or larger to adequately move the bulk of the tailings and black sands down and out of the sluice]. Final observation: Placing the LeTrap upon an adjustable slab of plywood might be considered as a more stable alternative to the chair legs in that the slab can be adjusted BOTH vertically and horizontally and used without as much risk of an accidental spill from a minor jostle, plus the sluice then either can be tilted to one side for a clean out while still being supported by the slab or lifted completely off the slab for a clean out -- whichever you prefer. The front edge of the slap could, among many possible alternatives, be supported by the lip of the recirculating tub. The aft end could be supported in a number of different ways, e.g., simply by stacking some strips of wood between slab and sluice and adjusting with small wedges to obtain optimum flow and horizontal level.

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  • 1 month later...

Martin, I really put this unit to work this week just as it was, and I agree with your tips, We were so impressed with the Le Trap recovery and ease of cleaning it out when finished. Talk about reducing the cons @#$#$%%^ Unbelievable.

I am detaching the highbank/hopper assembly and making some other changes to this setup to test with about 6 totes full of material.

And I am re-running the tails from the first run because I believe there will be gold showing up because of the trial and error system setup I first used and pump volume problems. I'm hoping to get it going this week and will post all changes and results. The speed and amount of gold recovery and final cons volume is fantastic compared to a regulation type sluice.

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Congrats at the nice progress you are making. Incidentally, what size pump [rate of flow] are you experimenting with? The Le Trap can take quite a volume -- I'm just guessing, but probably in the 3000 to 6000 gph range -- for maximum performance [i.e., to run the greatest bulk amount of material per hour]. Lower velocities and volumes, of course, will be effective -- just not as fast.

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Well I was using a 110 Volt Flotec submersible sump pump to start with I believe it was 1250 GPH, as luck would have it the pump was on its last legs and crapped out while I was running. It wasn't pushing as much water volume as I wanted but it worked.

So be it I swapped to one of my 12 Volt 1250 GPH bilge pumps AND a temporary 2 barrel recirc setup DEFINITELY not enough water volume with EITHER pump to suit me.

I was able to run my dirt classified to 1/4" without much trouble BUT I was dreaming of having a more powerful pump. I would like to know what size pumps other people use for a Le Trap 1750 2000 GPH or MORE etc. ????

The manufacturer instructions call for 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water flow thru the unit.

I have been looking at a 2 cycle lightweight 1750 GPH pump I think its a 1 1/4 inch outlet. I want to invest in another good quality pump to be able to make a permanent setup outside my garage with an actual holding pond. So I can just shovel right into it and there will be sufficent area and volume of water to break up and start a good flow make its run thru the unit and discharge into the holding pond, that would be the optimun idea for me.

After removing the highbanker header I had constructed an temporary extension on the head of the sluice of about 14" to allow an area for spray bar, breaking up of dirt, and also have that extra area to start a good flow of water and material before it came in contact with the very first riffle.

That idea worked well, so well that I am going to remove it and incorporate a larger similar designed extension made from metal the temp. extension I had constructed from plastic to conform to the mold of the Le Trap.

I also have a large sluice tray made from metal to use as a base that I will mount the Le Trap on for rigidity. I will alter it to suit and maybe build a removable classifying area over it. I have some big ideas to construct a great setup, its all the trial and error that takes the time. Working out the "BUGS" :idea: thats a P.I.T.A.

If you have used a LeTrap with a higher GPH pump than 1250 I would like to hear about it.

Meanwhile heres a couple pics of the changes and the final cleanup after the blue bowl, most of this material was from the "Ol Yeller drywashers of mine and a prospecting buddy who has one we combined our material and worked it together. The wash we worked wasn't a great producer but we did get some nice gold for our efforts.

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I wanted to add this fact to my progress so far I had forgotten to say after the panning of the material from the LeTrap and picking out all large pieces I classified into 2 sizes to run thru the Blue Bowl first was 30 mesh and then 50 mesh which of course included all finer than 50 particles.

It shows the recovery of the LeTrap is capable of the finest particles of gold you ( Meaning I ) would want to deal with.

For those of you out there in prospecting land that are concerned with MICRON Gold recovery its probably there too but I can't get into microns cause my eyes are too old and it takes way too many MICRONS to make a GRAIN or Pennyweight and I ain't gonna be around this planet that much longer to worry about COLLECTING MICRONS. :cigar:

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I,ve been thru my share of sluices, I am hooked on the LeTrap.

I finished the tear down and re engineering of it for purposes of using it outdoors with a 2 stage holding pond I will dig in the back yard.

I mounted the sluice in an aluminum U-channel for rigidity ,lengthened the rear extension and curved it to conform to the 8 inch height that is the area I will make a lift off spray bar assembly and installed a piece of deep-V rubber mat at the head.

The next step is a spray bar and a sturdy adjustable stand to set the whole unit on. It still remains very easy to lift and tilt the unit to hose it down into a bucket its lightweight even with the added aluminum u-channel and extension.

One of my prospecting buddys has offered to weld together a stand for me if I design it he is a retired welder and I take him drywashing with me so he has an avid interest in the project he wants to construct one for himself when I get this one finished and operating.

My other buddy has a 2-cycle 1750 pump he uses and will let me test it on this to see if I get the water flow I'm looking for.

Well I have to spend some time on the other build this week "ol nellybell" my prospecting jeep, but I'll be back on this one again very soon and then more pics of its progress with spray bar setup and stand then its time to test it. :inocent:

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frank, it sure does look nice and will be following your progress with interest. you have some pretty good ideas and a good way of putting them work with good results. thanks frank. ron :D

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  • 9 months later...

I wonder why no one has tried to build a small scale ventura and attach thier small pumps to it and double the GPM , I think that could be cheaper than trying to keep buying bigger pumps and packing them to location.

I use my garden hose to feed my ventura suction and at full volume I can get as high as 3000 GPH (50 GPM approx )

my bilge pumps I double or triple the flow (750GPH pump gets me approx 1100 to 1250 GPH ) , but one draw back is how high is the spray box/wash down area is and also if you are pushing or pulling the flow with the ventura tube.

But those of you that have limited power for your pump or have a larger settlement pond this might help reduce extra equipment.

Just aidea that I use thought it might help to pass it along. :rolleyes:

ventura tube.bmp

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I downloaded your attachment and saw the drawing of a "venturi" ??

I am having a senior moment and I can't visualize how to incorporate it into a backyard sluice with a spraybar and a small pump.

Can you elaborate on how to hook it up to say a 12volt 1250 gpm bilge pump or even a 1750 gpm 2 cycle pump with a 1 1/4 hose?

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running pay dirt through the sluice works well, i have carpet instead of miners moss/ nothing ever makes it to the miners moss as before that on thesluice the material passes over fine riffled rubber matting that catches everything except pencil eraser nuggets which usuall stop at first riffle.

dry washer concentrates i have to clean rubber matting a lot more often as i usually get a lot of fine black sand which holds and locks small fine gold with it. going over tailings it rarely ever looses any fine gold even ultra fine.

the desert fox gold wheel will wash the fine gold out if the material is not screened down to a fine mesh.

i have 2 1200 gph bilge pumps and i have a feeling that the volume of water is too great and will wash some of the fine gold away and flat flakes of gold. the riffles on the sluice are an inch high and if i havent a big volume of water flowing it wont efficently clear the bigger pebbles,my problem could be that i screen material down to half inch screen size, i need to screen down to three eighth and i wouldent have the pebble problem.

the other is that the manufactured inch high riffles are too high, if they were lowered a quarter inch they might work better// but it might destroy the sluice. its a jobe river sluice that i have turned into a re circulating sluice.

it does work great and i find the fine ribbed rubber map is awsome.

i dont think what i wrote was any help any way i might as well post it hope you find lots of colour.

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