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trommel wash plant questions


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I bought this trommel wash plant and have been working with a friend of mine fixing it up. the trommel is solid see pics below and i will be putting a 14 inch x 9 foot sluice on it. It also has a clean out in the trommel. Has anyone worked with a trommel like this. is the trommel set up to trap gold inside and the sluice is used as a back up or it set up just as a wash plant with the sluice doing all of the gold collecting. I think this was built in the 1970s or so.

Any information on how to make it work the best would be helpful. I am getting the motor fixed which runs the trommel and the vibrater on the hopper.




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It's extremely hard to tell as appears to be home made I believe. Any tags/id anywhere? 3 pics is not enough,so rough answers only. Normally the barrel would have perforations so it appears to be made for 2 things-a low water situation and/or high clay/caliche content. They put that fence wire on the end because either the heavy duty end classifier was too big for their gold or holes?. Remove it as not heavy enough to last anyhow. Your sluice should be a LOT wider as that unit can handle quite a bit of gravel. I see no gold retention within the unit BUT hands on--my favorite by far,could answer all easily but not there. Myself-I'd add another set of round classifier wire on the exit end to classify better using much heavier gage wire than that fencing wire in the end. Anyhow you say a vibrator?? Great addition to any plant. Hydro--physical throw--or hydraulic vibration? Anyhow would like to play with your serious style unit. Cost.ifn' ya don't mind and what engine type repair? Lotza luck-John

Edited by Hoser John
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Looks like the barrel has a rather large step before the classifying screen(s).... That would probably be considered a nugget trap in the barrel, but the barrel is really just for scrubbing not catching gold. I agree with Hoser about the screen. If you cannot find hardened shaker screen in a smaller size, I would make a steel punchplate. The big question to answer about the screen size is how big is the gold where you will put the operation? If you have enough bigger gold (1 gram +) then that larger screen would be OK. Go smaller only if your operation has predominately real fine gold. Keep in mind you will have to get a fabricating shop to roll either one to the right diameter.

A wider sluice would probably be better, but at 9' length It's probably OK... got a picture of the sluice you will use?

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I have some more pics still working on getting the one of my sluice. little surface rust but nothing real on machine just needs to get a good paint job. thanks for the information so far and will keep you updated cant wait to get the engine back and put on. the unit had some damage to the back end which in the pictures you can see the new metal that was replaced. it has an old briggs and stration motor on it with gear converter on it might be using wrong word but you get the idea. the small engine repair shop is working on the carb mainly. I do know Von my wielder will need to rebuild the platform the engine sits on. I have a honda 5.5 hp pump which I plan to use for water. and also thinking about a conveyor but not sure. Since I live in Arizona with both clay and low water issues the trommel is starting to make more since. Thinking of making the system recirculate water just not sure how feasable that is. It would really expand where i could use it though.






Edited by Tanker
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WOW definately built industrial tough. The inner ring and paddles within are meant to keep only the lighter materials going over as on both ends the same. Frames take a horrencous beating from any/all oscilation/vibrations/throws. More meat on all frame is needed definately as does not appear to be any vibration isolation springs/rubber bumpers/shock absorbers so the whole thang will try to walk away. Sizing on the barrel end means ALL nuggets bigger going in the trash pile and NOT good. You'll need a huge stock of belts as thatn' has them a plenty. Any chance of a video when up and running?? What brand are the pumps if marked? Dual/tripple classifier screen needs 2-3 sizing sluices or a good ol'over under for good classification and fines retention. I wanna go play but epic storm a coming with 7-10" a rain YAHOO!!! :brows: Gotta ask-how d' ll' did ya get a purple pic wow that sure woke me up- :4chsmu1: John

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ok have pictures of about everything but my pump which is a 5.5 honda we are still working on tubing for water and will attach motor on saturday. on the sluice I am going to take off the metal tabs on the bottom just leaving the metal bars with grating behind. the sluice clogged up to fast with sand so taking them off but will still get some side to side action which i hope traps small gold. I am gonna have Von make 2 classifiers for the end of the trommel. the one on the end now is 5/8 thinking of making a 1/4 inch classifier and maybe a 1/2 inch one tha can be switched out. but would love some input on what 2 sizes to make. if you thing i need 2 sluices for differnt classifications could you show me some pictures or something ?

the barrels itself is almost 4 feet long and the classifier is another foot out. It is 28 inches tall. the hooper is 24 inches by about 28 inches on top and about 24 inches deep. I took a bunch of pictures of the vibrater too but was wondering should i put a vibrator on the sluice to help with small gold too ? We will take the box off of the sluice of course. The sluice also has the carpet with the rubber backing on it in 2 sections so it can be managed. Would like any ideas on how to make this better since im pretty new to all of this and would love to use your guys experiance to rebuild it right the first time. The briggs and stratton motor is 8 hp but built in 1977 so its alot more powerful then the new motors since it does not have all of the emisions crap but i will make sure i get a spark arrestor on it. I just had it completely gone thru and was told it is a very strong engine. the guys at olsens sharpening in mesa az did the work for me and i would recomend them. well here are a bunch of pics. and please let me know anything that might improve gold recovery. thanks






Edited by Tanker
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Tanker I bet "elder-miner" could answer your questions on that trommel....

Good luck with that trommel rig. Looks built from whatever the builder had on had on hand or could scrounge up. Appears steel wheels against the steel tube. That metal on metal contact would tend to make it real noisy.

I would imagine it also vibrates slightly & tends to eat or wear out belts fairly fast. I don’t see any adjustable swing arm type idlers on the belt arrangement either. So, don’t know how belt tension is adjusted or maintained to keep the belts from slipping.

I assume whoever built it was working in some hard baked cement like clinker clay material, given the striker type paddle arrangement inside the tube. Fact the tube has a clean out built into makes me assume the tube may retain some portion of the gold. Otherwise, there would be no need for clean out, in it.

Odd the way the screening part is attached, looks a little short & appears about 1 inch mesh size.

If you are working in fine gold, that big of sluice box feed will create fine gold recovery issues. As it takes a lot of water + velocity to move large material through the box. Often washing out a significant amount of the fine gold.

I would crank it up, see how well it functions, then (if & where able) improve it as best you can, to suit the type & size of material you will be working it in.

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Optimal trommel RPM should be between 20 and 40 rpm depending on tube diameter - length - slope & angle, feed material size, screen mesh size, motor speed, gear reducer, sprockets or pulleys utilized, available water supply, spray bar pressure & configuration.

To fast, the feed material will centrifuge, without thoroughly washing & tumbling. To slow, feed material will not wash & tumble enough.

Longer tubes give the feed material more length to wash & tumble in. Screens should be as far along the length of the tube as possible, without extending past the tube end. Screening slots should be cut from the tube body itself, not so large as to endanger the strength of the complete tube. Screens should be bolted over the tube screen slots on the outside of the tube. Which allows the screen to be easily and quickly changed.

Trommel should be set up (if possible) on an elevated site allowing gravity to aid in moving oversized material down-slope away from the plant. Trommel should also be as high off the ground, as its configuration allows. To low to the ground equates to moving oversized away, as fast as it exits the tube.

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