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Dry Washing Questions


JordanD

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Ok so im new to the world of drywashing and with most new things, lots of questions come up. So im sure many of you have answers ha. I am planning on building a dry washer as i am out here in utah and its super dry. the desert areas hold riches, but i need a way to get to it. now a few of my questions is this, how fine of gold can the washer recover? is it flour? or coarse grains? also i have seen two types of washers. One with a blower and another with a bellows. are there advantages one over another? is one better than the other? also the cloth material used, what would be best for that? i have a general idea for a prototype, but i want to be sure i get the build the best. Now on top of the blower/bellows, would it be a good idea to put a rocker/vibrator on the riffle tray/hopper to help with movement? or will that hinder things? Anyone who knows this even generally, help is needed. Thanks again!

Jordan

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My dry washer recovers mind blowingly small gold. I like the blower type seems like a consistent speed of air would keep the feed even. Compared to short forceful explosions of air from a bellows. If I were you don't try to make a better dry washer. Buy a proven brand just keep it simple. Then find someone to give you lessons. Make sure this person has found a pound of gold dry washing. There are so many things that can affect recovery. Lots of little tricks to lurn.

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Jordan,

There are lots and lots of videos and articles online that can help you get started and answer many of your questions. I attached a link showing operation of a dry washer I built (with the help of somebody who actually knew what they were doing) to give you a better idea on that type. If you go to near the end there is focus on how the dirt moves over the riffles.

Paul

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Off set elliptical vibration coupled with constant flow has been king for over 30 years I can attest to. Just get Jim Straights booklets for all the info you will ever need. When I was manufacturing we competed in at least 2-3 contests a year on both volume and % of collection and we always won easily. Successful Drywashing has,if memory serves me right this am, a pic of the original PESCO(my co) that invented,introduced and perfected the fine art of drywashing to a whole new level...and it was goooooooood. NO insipid patents just sharing innovations for the common good too-John PS-A good quality dustmask is always a mandatory requirement to prevent the insideous Desert Valley Fever-go to cdc.com for info

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Puffer guy here and use a Keene 12 volt mostly...... Not cause it is best cause I don't know that, but because I got one and liked it.

Word for word exactly as I see it too.

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Haven't read all the links (on my phone, as usual)

For the cloth, get some muslin from the fabric store. the rifflesffle tray design under the cloth is almost as important as the riffles above the cloth when building a dry washer from ny research. You create dead spaces so you don't blow the material you're trying to keep away.

If you're dead set on building your own, go to a shop and look closely at all the parts of others' to get ideas. You will see some common items.

The Ol' Yeller manf'r is on here and builds a great wooden unit for a fair price, and the Keene units are kind of today's standard - but pricey.

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hey thanks for all the info! well the reason to build one is that i dont have a bunch of money to spend on a pre build one from keene or gold buddy. hopes are high that i can build one that works enough where i can save up enough from the gold i find to go out and buy another that is of a known brand. but now is my next question, when running a dry washer, it is a good idea to feed all your material at once? my thoughts are if i added a bucket or two, stopped the machine, gathered more material, then started again would be a bad idea. what would be a good amount to feet before cleanout?

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Steve,

5 gal bucket at a time to keep it low key. You have seen what I am working with. Meeting up with the wife's uncle in Mariposa next weekend to take a look at a trommel he has parked out in a field for about 15 years. 6 feet long but needs two motors for trommel / water.

If I use water / trommel, I was going to set up dual sluices in the recovery section. Planned to run some of the small stuff through it prior to loading the dirt to see if the system pulls out the real small stuff. All they way down to the micro level as there is plenty of the smallest of flour gold in the stuff.

Appreciate the offer. Thanks

Rick

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hey thanks for all the info! well the reason to build one is that i dont have a bunch of money to spend on a pre build one from keene or gold buddy. hopes are high that i can build one that works enough where i can save up enough from the gold i find to go out and buy another that is of a known brand. but now is my next question, when running a dry washer, it is a good idea to feed all your material at once? my thoughts are if i added a bucket or two, stopped the machine, gathered more material, then started again would be a bad idea. what would be a good amount to feet before cleanout?

. Are you even sure you like dry washing it very hard work. Go run 80 buckets per day and see if ya love it. I run 60 buckets per run before my clean out on the keen 151. Recover in the mid 90% range. Some gravall give better recovery. Seems like rounder gravel runs better overal like granate. Angular stuff like shist gets a little jamed up now and then. He who shovels the most buckets wins
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hey thanks for all the info! well the reason to build one is that i dont have a bunch of money to spend on a pre build one from keene or gold buddy. hopes are high that i can build one that works enough where i can save up enough from the gold i find to go out and buy another that is of a known brand. but now is my next question, when running a dry washer, it is a good idea to feed all your material at once? my thoughts are if i added a bucket or two, stopped the machine, gathered more material, then started again would be a bad idea. what would be a good amount to feet before cleanout?

You will be better off buying a premade bellows drywasher. ( contact Frank C on this forum he builds them) You can build one, but if its running improperly (and it will be) you will loose all your gold, and you still wont have the money for a high production drywasher.

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. Are you even sure you like dry washing it very hard work. Go run 80 buckets per day and see if ya love it. I run 60 buckets per run before my clean out on the keen 151. Recover in the mid 90% range. Some gravall give better recovery. Seems like rounder gravel runs better overal like granate. Angular stuff like shist gets a little jamed up now and then. He who shovels the most buckets wins

very true. 80 buckets is a lot of material to move and process. and you are extremely right about he who shovels the most buckets wins ha. ill try and find someone who has a dry washer and give it a go. I know there is a a grizzly at the top of most drywashers to classify at least the big stuff, but would it be a good ideal to at least classify down to 1/4 inch before running? or would i just be wasting my time?

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You will be better off buying a premade bellows drywasher. ( contact Frank C on this forum he builds them) You can build one, but if its running improperly (and it will be) you will loose all your gold, and you still wont have the money for a high production drywasher.

ill have to get in contact with frank then to see what he charges. you prove a good point. if the dry washer isnt working right then ill be loosing a lot of hard earned gold. its such an interesting process, drywashing...i need to get out there and experiment with a washer to see if thats a good route to take. i think it is but like adam said it is hard work. that doesnt scare me too much ha ha. i mostly need to find a good area to go here in utah. i hear notch peak is a good place. anyone have experience in that area?

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Jordan

The problem I have here in Utah is finding sand that is dry enough to work right in

a drywasher. For small gold like we have in most places,it needs to be bone dry to

run through a drywasher,or you will lose most of it. Trying to dry the dirt for such

small amount of gold is a waste of time too.

Most of the washes here have just enough silt and clay to hold a lot of moisture . I

have found it better to use a recirculating sluice or high banker for our flour type

gold. That is probably the biggest reason that we don't have a lot of competition. :grr01:

If it was easy,someone else would have it. :ROFL:

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Jordan

The problem I have here in Utah is finding sand that is dry enough to work right in

a drywasher. For small gold like we have in most places,it needs to be bone dry to

run through a drywasher,or you will lose most of it. Trying to dry the dirt for such

small amount of gold is a waste of time too.

Most of the washes here have just enough silt and clay to hold a lot of moisture . I

have found it better to use a recirculating sluice or high banker for our flour type

gold. That is probably the biggest reason that we don't have a lot of competition. :grr01:

If it was easy,someone else would have it. :ROFL:

So when you go do you pack in the water as well? or are you able to fill a tub up enough to start recirculating? and also what part of utah are you from?

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Jordan

Yeah I pack a couple barrels of water. I have a couple 30 gallon acid barrels that I use.

Then i either pump it to the sluice or pack it in 5 gallon jugs,depending on the distance.

My recirculating setup will run for quite awhile on 30 gallons,and stay clean. I live in

South Central Utah.

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Jordan

Yeah I pack a couple barrels of water. I have a couple 30 gallon acid barrels that I use.

Then i either pump it to the sluice or pack it in 5 gallon jugs,depending on the distance.

My recirculating setup will run for quite awhile on 30 gallons,and stay clean. I live in

South Central Utah.

Sounds simple enough. Though do you do anything special to help filter out the water from silt and such? or just run it into the same bucket?

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Jordan

I invented the system I use. I use three tubs,and a couple screens. It is not your

typical setup at all. There is a little more to it,but I would have to write a book to

explain it.

The next time I set it up,I will get pictures. Depending on the soil sometimes I only

use two tubs. A standard two tub setup works OK for day trips,but use more water,

and don't run as clean. Some of the fellows on the forum use them.

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