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I have a Beck drywasher


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Hi folks. I’m new to the site and I’m not a prospector. I asked the admin for permission to post so I could discuss my drywasher. I’m hoping someone can give me an idea of what it’s worth.

My grandfather was Harold Beck. When he died in the 1980s, my uncle Virgil took over the drywasher business and continued to build them using the same methods and materials my grandfather used. This is a genuine Beck drywasher and has the label stapled to the side of the hopper. (Note to the site admin: I was incorrect when I wrote you – this is the genuine article.)

My uncle built this one shortly before he died. My father bought it from my aunt, who didn’t want it. My father wanted it as a keepsake for his brother because he always admired his carpentry and woodworking skills.

I’ve done some Googling and eBay searches for Beck drywashers and although people discuss them, I haven’t been able to find one for sale so I can get an idea of what this is worth.

This one is unusual in that it’s been in the family for so many years and it’s the last Beck drywasher ever made. (To the best of my knowledge, the Beck drywasher business ended when my uncle died.)

This one is completely unused. My father never used it for any reason other than to show it off. It's been in his garage for years and it's pristine.

I’m not sure if this is the most appropriate forum to post this in, but I thought it’s a bit early to post this in the classifieds forum. In any event, please excuse me if I’m doing this wrong, and I hope someone will correct me.

In addition to getting an idea of the drywasher’s value, I’d like to hear anyone’s experiences with the Beck drywasher. I grew up watching my grandfather building them. I spent time as a kid in his workshop whenever I visited Randsburg, and it was such a commonplace, I never thought it was a “thing” so I’m very happy to know my grandfather’s machine has such renown.

If requested I will post pictures. Let me know what you would like to see.

Edited by Double-A
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I sure hope a Hoser John rings in on this.......he is very familiar with them

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Russ Ford took over the Beck Drywasher inventory from the last person in Calif. that had it years ago.
You can search this forum and the other Arizona gold forums members category and send him a personal message to make phone contact and get the latest info.
I have his cell # but would rather you contact him personally.

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Gilaoro ( max) may chime in on this as he has had significant history with the beck Dry Washers. I believe Russ Ford out of Mayer, AZ has the " rights" to build them ?.........Oops , sorry , didn't see Franks reply.....

Edited by adam
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Actually if I were you I'd keep it for family history as simply lo tech and not worth that much.Amazing info in all of Jim Straights books but Sussessful Drywashing has pics and background info on them such as designed by Harold Beck waaaaaay back in the 30's and produced in the final years BLIND as a bat and fabricated by hand....now THAT is a very cool factoid alone-respect to a pioneer-keep it man jus' outta respect as a few lousy dollars won't replace righteous family mining history...John PS-been years since I read that book and was surprised to see my ol'round bottom PESCO(look Ma..no dead air space) included,now that was a real surprise as I looked for mo'info on Beck co....

Edited by Hoser John
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Double-A, Thanks for the photos. I agree with Hoser John just keep it or donate it to a museum. I know of two for sale.

I heard from Jim Straight that Charlie up in Randsburg built them for a while after Harold Beck retired.

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Broken Arrow, apparently that would be Charlie Salwasser in Randsburg. Never met him, although I hardly know anyone in Randsburg any longer. (I guess Russ Ford acquired the rights to the drywasher from Charlie.) Also, you say you know of two drywashers currently for sale. Are they both Beck drywashers?

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D-A, Thats the Charlie he owns and runs Charlie's an Antique/ Repair shop in Randsburg. If you are ever in Randsburg stop by to meet him he's good people.

Yes they are both Becks D/Washers one with a motor and one without.

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  • 7 years later...

Here’s a nice one to look at or if anyone is looking for one.  A red Beck original- (its not mine, I just thought it would be of interest to someone who may want to restore it as it is a historic piece of mining equipment from Randsburg)

https://offerup.co/pSthSGU05db

Edited by GotAU?
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1 hour ago, fishing8046 said:

Boy I bet that thing makes a racket 

The Becks is the red hand crank puffer- the one with the Briggs and Stratton motor is a custom one- and probably very loud, but not much unlike the 151’s of today.

Edited by GotAU?
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