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Drywasher testing/adjusting


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I recently got a blower type drywasher. I searched the archives and found no info on testing one. I have been running different materials through it just to see how it traps heavier material. I did find my first gold, two very tiny specks, in a drainage behind my house. I am wondering how to be sure it is angeled properly so you are not losing gold? In previous posts and videos it seems most people run a large volume of material through one before a cleanup. I just do not trust that the drywasher is doing what it is designed to do.

Today I mixed 1/8 cup of birdshot into a bucket of material and ran it. After some tweaking all of the birdshot was trapped in the riffles and I was able to improve my panning skill as well. It was a challenge to keep the birdshot in the pan.

This seems to work but any suggestions are appreciated. I am trying to how to use this thing before I go to the desret.

Thank you, Ed

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Birdshot is good. Take a hammer or plier to some of it and give it irregular shapes. Leave some round .

If you have a problem seeing all of it spray paint the pieces with a flourescent color.

Count the number of pieces you begin feeding through the drywasher so you will know exactly how much is recovered.

When you have the machine set up correctly you will recover all of it in the first 2 or possibly 3 riffels.

Others will chime in here that use the power blower type units.

I am offering advise from puffer style units so I don't have to regulate a blower motor.

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Hello Ed

Frank is spot on with his advice,but I can add a little more that will help.

There is not a specific angle that covers all situations that you will encounter.

Heavy coarse magnetite type gravel will require a steeper angle and more vibration

than a lighter soil type. Watch the dirt flow over the riffles,if it is flowing like water and

not clogging the riffles with heavy gravel,then you are good to go. If your gold is fine

and the dirt is not too heavy ,use less angle. Engine speed and air flow is critical for

each soil type too. Too much and you will blow all of your fine gold away,and not enough

your riffles will clog. If you are seeing the cloth in the riffle tray,you are losing gold,give

it more feed or cut the air flow. Keep it where the dirt is just barely covering the top of

the riffles in a smooth flow.

Always run the test with the bird shot every time that you work a new place, If you

are catching all of it and things are flowing smooth ,you have it nailed. Also in real

heavy course stuff,adjust the feed from the hopper ,for a slower feed rate. I only use

10 or 12 pieces of bird shot,and use a permanent marker like a Sharpie to color them.

That way you won't be counting pieces that were in the soil before the test.

Setting up will come natural after some time,and experience. I don't like to make long

runs between clean up either. If your riffles clog with heavies ,you will just be pumping

gold out the end. Shake down and clean up is too easy to do,to chance losing gold by

being in a hurry. I don't like shoveling just for sport. The object is to retain the most gold

for your work. A drywasher is only as good as the operator. Depending on the soil and

gold type,I clean up anywhere from 3 to 9 buckets of dirt. Practice with your machine is

the best teacher.

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You have not provided enough info to properly answer your question-constant flow comes in many varieties-name :idunno: ?? Does it have a internall offset weight on the fan---or just a simple ol'fan?? If weighted you can radically change the offset elliptical panning action with as much as a simple 1/4" adjustment outward for more --or conversely inward for a more faster shorter throw--must know info to answer. :old: No offset weight?? doable from a half dozen folks but it all starts with WHO made it and weighted??? :D post and ye shall receive- John :4chsmu1:

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First of all, thank you for the help. I can see how changing the shape would change the reaction to the action. Coloring, even different colors to be dropped in at different times, will be very beneficial. I think different shaped and different colored shot dropped in at intervals would tell the story. After watching the puffer type in use and the amount of dirt they move with each cycle I was concerned that the blower was not moving enough dirt but it sounds like that is OK. John, it is a home made unit. It does have an adjustable counter weight that I have not adjusted yet. That will be another lesson for sure. At present I have a Stihl blower with no throttle adjustment. I believe the material I am feeding is flowing properly.

Thanks again, Ed

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I do hope that you all dont mind me droping in,it is about the same subject.. I have a puffer no fan but the bellow is

electric.. I ran some smaller dirt with small gravel threw . it seems to be flowing but, it goes to the top of the little slats in there and keeps going.. is it getting to cloged. and there is I think pyrite in there so it keeps shooting most of it on and on even down to the bucket at the bottom.. do i need to raise it a little or when it is full then dump it in a bucket. there is lots of the magnetic stuff, you can see the black ,but no gold only pyrite..when cleaned out.. I only used a gallon of dirt to go threw. will the gold continue to stay in the first 3 rows or how often do i check.. Thanks

I did the shots like you said and they are in the first 2 when i clean..

Edited by birdlady
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If you are catching all of your bird shot in the first two riffles,you are doing

just right. Now all you need is some dirt with gold in it. :ROFL: Don't try to compare

the puffer to a blower type ,it will only confuse you,and cause you to worry about

stuff that you don't need to worry about. If you are catching the shot,every thing

is going like it is supposed to.

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