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Wish I had my camera with me today.


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Pulled into a gas station to gas up.

While pumping gas, an older guy :old: drives up in an old pickup, pulling a fair sized home made hobby scale trommel behind it.

First thing I noticed was the way the engine & drive were mounted different than I had ever seen before. :nutty:

Walked around the gas pump to get a better look.

Then it struck me what the engine & drive were.

LOL…… a Bolen 4.75 HP rototiller. :D

Only had a minute to talk with the guy, because cars were lining up to get fuel.

But he said he bought the rototiller cheap, so its what he used & it works like a champ.

Edited by elder-miner
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Pulled into a gas station to gas up.

While pumping gas, an older guy :old: drives up in an old pickup, pulling a fair sized home made hobby scale trommel behind it.

First thing I noticed was the way the engine & drive were mounted different than I had ever seen before. :nutty:

Walked around the gas pump to get a better look.

Then it struck me what the engine & drive were.

LOL…… a Bolen 4.75 HP rototiller. :D

Only had a minute to talk with the guy, because cars were lining up to get fuel.

But he said he bought the rototiller cheap, so its what he used & it works like a champ.

Did you give him this site address? I never go anywhere without my camera.....

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LOL, I don’t take my camera on a grocery store & gas run. It’s only about a 12 block trip. If I had been in my jeep or pickup I keep a camera in the glove box of both, but was in the wife’s town car.

Frankly, I would not have recognized the motor & (for lack of a better word) “transfer case”, if there had not been a Bolens rototiller sticker on the engine cowling.

The way he had it rigged, everything was stripped off the rototiller except the motor & transfer case. There was a lever that went to the transfer case via a cable, so you could engage or disengage the drive. RPM was controlled by a cable engine throttle lever with notches in it, so you could adjust the throttle speed.

Trommel tube sat on what appeared to be riding lawnmower tires mounted on 1 inch steel shafts mounted on pillow block bearings. Transfer case was hooked straight to the drive shaft on the drive side of the trommel tube. Trommel tube appeared to be about 7 ft long steel pipe about 20 inches in diameter & somewhere around ¼ inch thick. About 3 feet of the tube was drilled out in lines of about 3/8ths holes. He said, drilling all those holes was a time consuming task.

Catch basin under perforated area of the tube was made out of ½ inch thick conveyor belting bolted to an angle iron frame to hold the belting in the shape & place he wanted. He had 3 four foot long sluice boxes 12 inches wide that bolted together. Riffles were 3 inch wide ½ inch span expanded metal over miners moss matting. He had a separate pump to run the spray bars.

Whole thing was built of assorted size angle iron drilled & bolted together. Once he had it constructed, running & turning right, he took it to a welding shop & had most of the angle iron joints welded together for rigidity.

Front & back of the single axle trailer had duel leveling jacks on both ends, so he could adjust the trommel tube angle anytime he set it up to run. Feed end had a grizzly spaced 2 inches apart made out of light gauge mine rail he scavenged up somewhere.

He said it would run 4 or 5 yards an hour with ease. Once built, he said he wished he had built it smaller scale. Simply because even with 3 or 4 farm boys shovel feeding it, as fast as they could. It ate the gravel faster than a herd of deer would eat your garden. He said he was looking for a little used cheap bucket loader farm tractor to feed it with.

He would not say exactly where he was working it, except feed material was from a buried old channel on a slight hillside that erosion had exposed & a creek just big enough to feed the water pump was at the base of the hillside. Gold he was getting was 30 mesh & smaller.

Edited by elder-miner
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I built this one for a customer It uses a commercial roto tiller transmission and an 8 hp engine.

they run about 10 times more material through it than it was designed for but it seems to have held up.

post-26666-0-80430900-1368194300_thumb.j

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