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pad sanders for ry washers


wyndham

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Has any one thought or tried using several pad sanders attached to a dry washer for vibrating the dirt?

I know there's the electricity problem but that should be 110 off a small generator.

Thinking out loud and cutting down on the weight maybe.

Please let me know what you think, Wyndham

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Wyndham,

I don't think it would be strong enough. Plus I've burned up things like sanders in no time

at all using them for what they were intended for. I've always wondered if a small heavy duty

motor like an old fuel pump or something fitted with an off-center cam would do the trick?

But hey, if you have the sanders there you may as well give them a try. If you can get them

to operate so they work together and not cancel each others vibrations out it might work on

classified fines.

Still I think they'd burn out pretty quickly. Good luck!

Paul

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An air blown drywasher already has a fan with a counterweight to provide vibration. A bellows type has a pulse of air to stratify the material. I am not sure why a person would put an orbital sander on either. If you wanted to add vibration to a puffer just add a counterweight or a flywheel with a weight. On my "crankplate" design drywashers I use a wheel weight on the crank to provide "jump" that stratifies the material at the end of the stroke. But that would provide a much different action than a buzzing orbital sander.

A puffer is an accurate machine. I think better classification would get more improvement in efficiency than vibration. And drying the material will probably increase efficiency more than any other factor if the dirt is slightly wet. A low frequency (slow)vibration has always performed best for me on the blower type machines. An orbital sander would create a very high frequency vibration and in my experience that causes the gold to pile up in the corner of the riffle and go over into the next cell of the sluice.

It would be easy enough to test the puffer with and without the orbital sander to see how it may improve things. I have never had an efficiency problem with either machine as long as the material is dry and properly classified to match the static pressure capabilities of your blower fan.

Just my two cents.

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Hi Bob,

I to am a big fan of the puffer style and feel I get better gold recovery especially the flour that will blow out so easily on air driven drywashers if set too high. Do you have a photo of the style you are speaking of? I use a Keen DW2-12 volt and love the thing... On my second one, sold the first years ago, but with AU prices going up I picked up another on a trade.

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Hi Bob,

I to am a big fan of the puffer style and feel I get better gold recovery especially the flour that will blow out so easily on air driven drywashers if set too high. Do you have a photo of the style you are speaking of? I use a Keen DW2-12 volt and love the thing... On my second one, sold the first years ago, but with AU prices going up I picked up another on a trade.

Bill,

I had posted photos and a story about the "Zephyr" drywasher some time ago and I cant find the post. Here are a few photos. I am sure that you have seen this basic design, if not the genuine article. I made many back in the 80's and sold them all over the southwest. It has a crank plate (like a steam engine drive wheel) instead of a crank shaft. It functions like a flywheel and you can add weight to the plate to give you a "bump" when the bellows is at full closed position. It helps difficult material move along and it probably increases recovery in damp material a little. It is a breeze to turn because you are not turning over a crankshaft...The plate acts as a counterbalance and a flywheel. It smooths the torque of the bellows out.

This one is made of scrap material. I generally use clear cedar and mahogany plywood.

The bellows and valve is a lot like Franks Ol' Yeller. A six pack with ported heads.

Here is the crank plate from below.

And from the above. The shaft is in a copper housing with bronze bushings and everything sweated together to keep all dust out.

And a close up of the gate and metering plate. No clogs. Just open it up and run.

The puffer is hand crank only for me. I can move a yard an hour through it and clean right down to the gold with no water at all in a bump, a shake, and a blow. I like the table on the puffer because it is so accurate and easy to clean up. It takes exactly five seconds to be able to see 90% of the gold. If I have more than a couple of yards to run I use an air blown drywasher but I probably use the puffer 96% of the time. No battery to lug, and the unit folds up into a bundle with some pack straps.

Besides, that rythm gets in your ears. That sound of the air coming through the dirt over and over is some sort of mineral mantra.

Hope you enjoy the design. Maybe it will give someone some ideas.

Bob

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Just read Jim Straights booklet-Follow the Drywashers and you'll see puffers blow. Over 30 contests with our PESCO in 7 years(over 6,200 sold) and NUTTN' ever came withing 50% of our production and recovery and keene copied soooooo--John

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Wyndham:

I think your instinct is good, but probably better applied to a classifier. The reason I say this is because drywashers weigh much more than a hand sander, i.e., the mass of the drywasher might absorb much of the energy put out by the sander, thus reducing its effectiveness considerably. If a dry washer could be designed with a free floating riffle tray it would be a different story. But every drywasher design I know of fixes the riffle tray in one way or another to the frame of a riffle box. The weight of the riffle box plus the weight of the material being processed would seem to be a fairly high load for such a small sander. Plus, there may be a dust problem, i.e., a hand sander is designed to deal with wood dust, not the gritty stuff found in desert dirt.

On the other hand I myself have been dabbling with the idea of applying hand sanders to the standard-sized round classifiers available in most prospecting stores. I've picked up several different used sanders at garage sales. The problem with many of them is that they have a lot of plastic fittings and parts that make it difficult to securely and tightly affix to a classifier. But if a suitable means of attachment is available, then the classifier itself plus the attached sander could be suspended from springs over a catch tub, thus enabling an efficient transfer of energy from the sander to the classifier. As the classifier fills, a simple method for draining the screened out material would have to be selected.

A final thought here is the concept of a vibrating "filter" or "channeler". If a lightweight, sturdy material [such as Lexan hollow core sheets] were fitted with traps, leaned at a fairly severe angle and vibrated with something like a hand sander, it might be able to catch a considerable amount of heavies while allowing the lighter stuff to just slide or bounce down the face of the Lexan sheet. Pre-classification plus carefully controlling and distributing the rate of feed would be critical. No blower or puffer mechanism would be utilized at all, thus reducing weight, complexity and expense.

Just a thought.

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I have just put this out as an idea. I've thought of this for a shaker table for micro gold. My ultimate would be ultrasonic transducers but this as I say is just to spark ideas.

Thanks for the feed back. Wyndham

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  • 4 weeks later...

tried them on a small mesh vibrating table with different sized screens. it ended up being too bulky to haul around.

sanders burned out aftet an hour with dust and they got real hot.

i got a small motor with a pulley on it, i cut nearly half the pulley off to throw it out of balance and bolted the motor pulley combo to table frame which was mounted on springs/ it worked okat but dampish dirt it couldent flow shovels of gravel through it it simply didnt have enough vibration power.

IDEA. look into elecric or gas powered concrete vibrators[ we called it a poker]. i would imagine that bolted to a table would shake the devil out of it. Again the hassle of lugging it around.

for dry washer id suggest getting a keane 151 which has hot air and plenty of power to vibrate the material through it.again the keane 151 is akward to lug around wahes but i fine it works great and helps dry the dirt// but i find myself using it instead of a sluice on damp ground i run the tailings/ fine dirt passed through riffles twice and if there is any gold in it it will have got it all.

an idea i have is a tromell hooked to with the dry washer installed in it. the tromell would knoch clay off stones and break up the dirt good and fine. that might be a winter project for me.

id need three eighth punch plate moulded into a tube like structure and strengthened with light steel and some way to attach a pulley to be able to rurn it wil a small motor[ i will have to over come dust getting to motor/ maybe keane 151 could spare some air to blow at motor to keep dust away from it. i wish i had an atv to haul stuff around in the washes.

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  • 1 month later...

Bob,

That Zephyr is one fine looking puffer. A lot of care and attention to detail is

abundantly obvious.

Thanks for sharing your photos.

I wonder if there is a set of plans somewhere available for building such a drywasher,

just like the Zephyr.

Or, you can box it up and ship it to me, that would be fine... :thumbsupanim

~LARGO~

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Bob,

That Zephyr is one fine looking puffer. A lot of care and attention to detail is

abundantly obvious.

Thanks for sharing your photos.

I wonder if there is a set of plans somewhere available for building such a drywasher,

just like the Zephyr.

Or, you can box it up and ship it to me, that would be fine... :thumbsupanim

~LARGO~

Thaks Largo. It is a great machine and you just cant beat it for recovery or simplicity. I used a plan published in an old prospecting book back in the 30's and adapted it to my own design, and then installed the "crank plate drive" to replace the cumbersome crankshaft. No plans are available.

As a puffer afficianado I can tell you that there are a couple of secrets that will make the machine every bit as efficient as an air blown drywasher. Most folks just turn the crank and dont really stop to think what makes the puffer tick. But puffer guys know the secrets and are just tickled when others insist you must have a gasoline engine, a blower, and a vibrating unit to get excellent recovery.

I would be happy to give you any dimensions or help if you would like to build your own. And I have devised an inclinometer (not shown) to set your angle just right every time and avoid having to "tune" the machine for good recovery.

Bob

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Hi Bob,

That puffer of yours is indeed different from any I have seen.

I would be interested in making one in the future. I would think

that getting the crank and flywheel and other refinements to get

the right amount of "bump" might be fairly time consuming. My guess

is that you didn't come to the perfect setup the first or second

time you made one of these machines.

I did send you a p.m., not sure if it got to you or not.

Thank you for your offer of help!

Gary/Largo

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