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Fsbirdhouse

Gas powered vacuums

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Have been doing a little research about the gas powered vacs out there, and they all claim to be the best.

Anybody using them, and whats been your experiences as to which ones do the best job?

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Gas vacs are great. I dont know anyone who does not use them in a dry placer area. They are much faster at cleaning bedrock than a broom and a toothpick.

The best ones are the ones that last longest. They all use leaf blower engines and no leaf blower was designed to run 4 hours straight without stopping. Thusly, the engines wear out fast. An Echo engine has been the best for me and will last a couple of hard seasons.

I use a four stroke engine on a big high static Dayton blower. It will move 2" rocks and it has lasted many seasons. It was half the cost of the 2 stroke equipment but is heavy to carry. Pick your poison. All designs have their drawbacks.

My choice is to build one. All it takes is a leaf blower, a 5 gallon bucket, and a couple of screws. Maybe some foam backer rod or a tube of silicone for a gasket. Lots of good plans out there. It is not a complicated thing and it is best to spend an extra $50-$60 for a quality engine.

Bob

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Thanks Bob,

I think I have already decided to make a good vac one of my first purchases in dry mining equipment. Some of them have a 5 year warranty.

The Jobe vac claims 30% more power than others:

http://www.goldfeverprospecting.com/govacjooresu.html

The Keene is a $100 more, and the Mack vac is $50 less than the Jobe.

I may look into building my own, but have no plans to follow.

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$20.00 Weedeater Blower Flea Market

$2.00 bucket

Reclaimed Hose and Fitting

And about a hours time =

SUNP0087.jpg

Blow for the dry washer.

Move the hose and it suck too!

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Google it. I know there has to be a hundred construction plans. All it ammounts to is screwing the "sucking side" of the leaf blower to the bucket lid and putting a hose on the bucket. You couldnt get a simpler project.

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A home build is the only way to go. My first blower I used a Echo leaf blower PB 251 i believe. Imounted the motor to a toilet flange. I use a dremel tool to cut notches in the flange so it will mount to the motor assembly I then use PVC fitting one male, and one female that were threaded on one end, slip fit on the other. One fitting go on the flange, and one go on the bucket lid. It just make it handy if you want to screw the motor assembly off the lid. I also purchased what is call a "GAMMA LID", this is basically a lid that will snap on to your bucket, but the center portion of the lid can be screw on, or off. This lid already have gasket in both pcs I also built one for a friend of mine, but this time we use the Echo Blower/Vacume model. This motor is a little bit more powerful, but the factory uses a gasket, steel barrel clamp(super big hose clamp) to mount the blower, or vacume assemblies to the motor. The toilet flange fit right on to the clamp, saving time from notching it out. Let see if I can post some pics...

post-1291-0-59701800-1296698629_thumb.jp

post-1291-0-96540400-1296698939_thumb.jp

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cp90,

Your design is pretty nice. I made one about six years ago, and "hard" installed the motor to the top

of the bucket, with an aluminum plate. It works great, but when it becomes time to replace the

bucket/lid(they only last so long), it is going to be a pain in .., well, you know. I like your way

of mounting the motor.

Also, the lid on mine just snaps on, and comes off with difficulty. Where can a person find

a "Gamma Lid"?

I also noticed that, on your bucket where the hose goes, the flange on the bucket is curved to match the

body of the bucket, on mine all I could find was a flat flange that distorts the body side of the bucket a little.

Where did you find the curved flange?

Greg

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Adam's link

http://www.arizonago...powered-vacuum/

was interesting, but reading on down a bit to the post by Jokenda, I like the idea of the 'Y' connection, and NOT running the grit thru the blower at all.

Pushing the air thru the 'Y' would also allow you to go 'wet' at the suction end as well as dry, but you'd have to have one of the more powerful blowers to move the water.

I wonder if double in-line 'Y's and two blowers on the same line leading to a dredge/combo high banker at waters edge wouldn't have some applications as well in removing loose overbuden over bedrock.

Sure would make a powerful vacuum if hose size was increased slightly after/at second 'Y' to accommodate both blowers capacity. :hmmmmm:

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Adam's link

http://www.arizonago...powered-vacuum/

was interesting, but reading on down a bit to the post by Jokenda, I like the idea of the 'Y' connection, and NOT running the grit thru the blower at all.

Pushing the air thru the 'Y' would also allow you to go 'wet' at the suction end as well as dry, but you'd have to have one of the more powerful blowers to move the water.

I wonder if double in-line 'Y's and two blowers on the same line leading to a dredge/combo high banker at waters edge wouldn't have some applications as well in removing loose overbuden over bedrock.

Sure would make a powerful vacuum if hose size was increased slightly after/at second 'Y' to accommodate both blowers capacity. :hmmmmm:

The static pressure of the fan is the key to the "suck". A small leaf blower fan has a specific static pressure before it cavitates and does not "suck" harder. 2 fans will draw more air, but will not suck harder. They both have a maximum "suck capacity". So the material carrying effect is limited.

A 5 horse Tecumseh vertical shaft engine on a Dayton high static blower with a wheel designed to move grain and rags is the best darn sucker machine you can get. And if you coat the impeller with rhino liner you will never have a problem with abrasion.

The whole deal costs $300 in materials.

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Your machine sounds interesting, perhaps even the best plan.

Having been tasked with caring for 4 giant Cleaver Brooks boilers in a Gov Nuke facility for years, it often fell to me to enter them on shutdowns to vacuum them out. The soot was particularly nasty stuff, and required specially filtered vacs.

The 'suck' of one was not sufficient to do the job, and no amount of pleading ever gained us a more powerful vac.

To make a long story short, yes, we hooked up two in-line with a 'Y', and the 'suck' was not just better, it was significantly better. It wasn't just a matter of moving more air, you could feel the 'grab' against the wall of the boiler.

I can't say if dragging two blowers into the field would gain enough movement of material over distance to save having to shut down, and disassemble the unit, then pack a bucket to a high banker, but anything that could accomplish that would sure be a knee saver!

Looking up that Dayton blower now!

BTW Bedrock, What is the weight of the unit you described?

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Looking up that Dayton blower now!

BTW Bedrock, What is the weight of the unit you described?

It is heavy. Probably 45#-50#. But you could easily build one that was 30#-35#. I use a big air blown drywasher and the blower powers that.

Here are some photos of the blowers, but I do not have the vaccum units that go below them on hand to photograph. So you will have to do some visualizing with these blowers sitting on top of a container with a hose and a small baffle (I use an empty Gatorade bottle with the top cut out and facing down).

NOTE; You can let the blower take away most of the lighter stuff and save all your gold by using your baffle creatively. I eliminate 25% of the volume of the “sweepings” and lose very little gold by pointing the baffle UP toward the fan but keeping it a few inches away (and below) so only the very lightest particles are lifted and blown through the blower.

The container for the large blower is an aluminum trash can with a hose mounted on a flange at the side (see dust collecting systems for woodworking applications). I put a piece of closed cell foam automobile weather stripping (2009 Chevy 2500 drivers door) around the top edge of the trash can. The weight of the blower seals the deal. At the end of the hose I have a 1/2" screen covering the intake so large rocks don’t choke the hose. The hose is 2.5" dia. I put a screen over the blower intake so that your hand does not get sucked into the fan if you get near the hole. Also, the impeller has been sandblasted to a rough finish and coated with bed liner so that the material does not eat it up when using it as a vacuum.

The smaller blower is the Keene blower for larger drywashers. It won’t suck as hard but it does a great job. It has a 7 gallon plastic feed bucket that it fits perfectly. It is a little top heavy when it is on its bucket so you see I made it a base. The hose is mounted the same but I glued a ¼ ” X 1” piece of felt weather stripping on the rim for a gasket. The feet of the blower fit down into the bucket and the bucket seals on the housing of the blower. Really simple!

The model number of the big blower I dont know, and I dont have the Grainger catalog in front of me. But I beleive the nomanclature is "high pressure blowers" and this one has a 12" wheel and a 5/8 shaft (I think). It bolts right on a Tecumseh 5 hp mower engine with nothing but a 1.25" spacer (the laminated wood under the engine in the photo).

Maybe that'll give you a few ideas. The big fans can really suck some dirt and they will give you some good elevation. They will also run a drywasher at idle and last for 20 years. They arent as loud nor costly as a screaming leaf blower either.

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Hey!

Thanks for the reply, and the photos. Your answers have really turned on the light!

I'm sure glad I asked these questions by starting this thread, it has led me in an altogether better direction than I started off in.

I'm sure I'll end up with a better, cheaper machine, no matter which way I go, and saving money here will leave more for the other equipment I'll be needing.

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That set up I shown, Works quite well.

The suction hose is 3.0 inside Diameter and when you neck it down to 2.5 it tries to suck a golf ball through the garden hose. LOL.

It cleans out the Crevices and Cracks most well.

In 3-5 minutes it will fill the 7gl bucket to the max.

When it makes "THE SOUND" I shut it down and know it's time.

The Sound happens when the Intake is below the Intake to the Bucket.

The Weed Eater Blower has a plastic impeller and not to be expected to last for ever but there cheap .

I screened it off with some open poor foam and nothing larger then 1/64 gets through it.

Oh Boy does it Dust!

I've used it at least 30 trips, runing it 2 maybe 4 hours at a time with no problems.

Sissy gas tank will only let you run about a hour at a time.

Weed Eater says run it with a 40/1 mix.

Run it at 30/1 and it will run longer then you can.

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Thanks to all here who posted such good info about the gas vacs, and how to build them.

Had a devil of a time here abouts finding a screw on lid that was flat enough to mount the blower on, but finally did!

Everything is about ready to go.

Would like a high banker, but will make do with a Le Trap sluice this first trip to the Klamath in N. California.

Only going to be there about three days this time, but will be pulling a trailer over later to stay for a month or so at a time by the end of May.

Next trip after that, I think I'll drag the little jet boat over for more mobility. Been running the Snake river in E. Idaho with it for twenty six years, and from what I've seen of the Klamath, it seems pretty gentle as well.

Just bigger rocks in places.

Hope the weather warms a little over the next couple of weeks!

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I have a DeWalt cordless vac. This thing has some pretty good suction. With a little PVC extension it will suck up anything out of bedrock. Depending on the size of the operation the battery lasts a long time. Can always pack an extra battery or two.

vac

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That DeWalt vacuum looks like the sweet deal, for sure. About $100 on Amazon.

Hopefully we can see one of these in action in a video.

Mike

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I used to know a little Indian guy in his late 50's and he was homeless, and had had emphysema. He would go out with his Vac-Pac most days just for a

few hours, and always came back with 3 dwt of gold...or more! He would work the cracks above water, and run the dirt thru his sluice

and get the gold. One day, he dug up an 8 dwt. beautiful nugget within 1/2 hour! I know, I was there.

One of the tricks he did was, he would pack wet clay into a crack that was mostly dug out, come back after the clay had dried and suck it up.

That really got about all the gold deep in the crack out.

What bothered me, was that he would never get wet, and work the cracks continuing underwater, and his buddy was too lazy to get wet also! If he had followed

the cracks underwater and sniped them with a stick he would have gotten a LOT more gold!

So go vac up those dry cracks, and be sure to snipe the wet cracks too!

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Oh! One thing I should mention!

Do NOT use your Vac Pac if you see enviro type people around! They HATE the noise, and may cause trouble for you!

You know the types: They have big mops of fuzzy hair, wear horn rimmed glasses, have binos for bird watching, stare at the sun a lot,

wear loin clothes and Jesus sandals, and often are seen fornicating with trees! Carefull, they often camoflage themselves as bushes and scream

at the sight of gold miners! :inocent:

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Oh! One thing I should mention!Do NOT use your Vac Pac if you see enviro type people around! They HATE the noise, and may cause trouble for you!

You know the types: They have big mops of fuzzy hair, wear horn rimmed glasses, have binos for bird watching, stare at the sun a lot,

wear loin clothes and Jesus sandals, and often are seen fornicating with trees! Carefull, they often camoflage themselves as bushes and scream

at the sight of gold miners! :inocent:

Note to self: NO prospecting in Berkley! :wacko:

Mike

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A question.

When necking down a 2 1/2 inch hose to a 7/8 inch opening for working the bedrock cracks, do you have to make allowance for an additional opening near your bucket as in a tee or some other means so the reduced air flow doesn't bog down or damage the motor, or even distort the bucket by too much vacuum?

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A question.

When necking down a 2 1/2 inch hose to a 7/8 inch opening for working the bedrock cracks, do you have to make allowance for an additional opening near your bucket as in a tee or some other means so the reduced air flow doesn't bog down or damage the motor, or even distort the bucket by too much vacuum?

That would certainly make sense to me, as the machine is designed to draw in air at "x" rate, and reducing to 7/8" may not provide enough air for it to operate. OTOH, they usually include one of those air-limiting "slot tipped" adapters with most shop-vac's so you can get into cracks, etc.

I would be conservative, and put it together with an option for adding a tee fitting later just in case you need to provide more air to the unit than the 7/8" can give.

Mike

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Finally put my home-made gas vac to the test.

What a sweet machine!

I added a 3/4" spigot to the side of the bucket, (Designed for water coolers...I found at Walmart)that I can open when necking down from 2 1/2" to 7/8" for the crevice tool. Don't know if it's really needed, but there is definite change in the sound of machine when closed.

Having read a thread in the DIY section about a so called "Land Dredge", I have to admit I was thinking along the same lines, but in conjunction with a highbanker, utilizing a blower pushing the air to a venturi, sort of a much larger version of a 'sand blaster', where sand is drawn from a hopper to the gun.

Maybe the velocity from a leaf blower isn't enough (Or Dayton blowers, as Bedrock Bob suggested), but I wonder if the volumn part of the equation couldn't be accomplished with multiple blowers in-line, in a push/pull application thru an ABS Y? Perhaps a 2 1/2' suction line opening to a 2x3x2 Y (Necking down 3" opening to recieve 2 1/2" hose at one end and on side where air is fed in), then adding a second 3x3x2 inch Y to the now 3" line at a half way point?

If a leaf blower can pull the material to a bucket, what's to prevent it from doing the same thru a venturi, and by-passing the bucket straight to the highbanker/drywasher? What was the fatal flaw with the land dredge? The thread seemed to end by stating it just couldn't be done.

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