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ISO Puffer/Bellows Type Drywasher


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Mike, If you have basic hand tool skills there are plans available for building your own. I have built many different one's starting with a "BECK" from his original parts and in his Hometown, Randsburg , CA.  But if you use pre-cut stock it is mostly " Cut , drill , staple , bolt . But I will tell you this if you do it right you can not make any money building and selling them. Ask any of the guys on this forum thats tried it. If you can't find any plans I can dig out some old pictures of mine and you can figure it out ,  I used stock hardware that's available in any good store. And forget all the arguments about the cloth to use in the riffle tray . ANY good woven fabric from adress material shop will work if it pass's this test " Hold the fabric up in front of your face and blow a good breath of air at it from about 4 or 5 inches , if you can feel your breath through it it will work" . Don't use sheer or nylon just plain old dress fabric! One of the commercial manufacturers makes a fortune out of selling plain old cheap  black cloth that's supposedly "special" l! It is for them to make money! I used red , makes the gold show up!

PS: Beck used wood from old bowling alley floors , superior but not necessary .And don't go hand cranked unless a small one just for testing, those old timers were tougher than us and a full size hand cranked drywasher  will wear out  3 people!!

:m2c:    Max

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Thanks for the comments guys.

Steve, I really didn't/probably still don't have a preference as to battery/hand crank.  Though Max's caution of avoiding a hand cranked, I'm sure, has merit.  Probably my main requirement would be lightweight & quiet.  I am definitely to a point in my life where portability and simplicity is much more important that production.  From the videos I've seen, the almost zen-like 'thwack', 'thwack', 'thwack' of those little puffers seem pretty soothing.

Max, my first thought was building my own (certainly not the slightest thought/desire of going into production).  Being in Sun City West, I have access to a well equipped woodworking shop, machine shop, sheet metal fabrication shop, MIG/TIG, CNC, etc. - just about anything I might need.  Problem is everything is shut down tight with the virus.  When moving to AZ, knowing I had access to all the shop equipment I might need, I left all my stuff back in Missouri.  Hence, I'm tool destitute at the moment.  :aw-shucks:

I recently came across PaleoManJim's post here of a several years ago of his little lever-operated build.  I thought that's about what I was looking for (Max, if you recall, you also posted a response in that thread).  The idea that I could carry a drywasher a couple washes away from where I left my truck is very appealing to me.

In the same thread, someone mentioned that 'Frank C' was making/selling a small puffer.  I see Frank is still active on this forum, so I got a note off to him.

I enjoy, and much prefer building my own equipment, but sure hate passing up this great drywashing weather we're having now...


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Mike, BUMMER on the tools. Franks C builds a great drywasher! Who knows when or if things will ever get back to "Normal" but gold has always had value and someone with beans always will want some. Hard times fueled the gold rushes of the past and I know of people in Mexico that support their family to this day with very simple "Jerk" line dry washers and simple rocker boxes if there is a little water. One old man on mule back used to come through my camp with his drywasher and I would always give him a beer and ask him if he had any "Chispa's" , no senor ,  he would tell me "They are in the dirt", but he would never show me the dirt. He did show me a weed that he used to sweep the crevices with, grab a few , wrap them with baling wire and when they  wear out do it again, no fancy store bought brushes for him !



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I have a slick hand cranked drywasher for sale. Bill has photos on the Nugget Shooter web page. I have one left and after that there will be no more.


The shipping for these machines is expensive. I will offer to work with you on the price if you are interested.



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On 4/22/2020 at 4:49 PM, MikeBiondo said:

Anyone have a puffer/bellows type drywasher you are looking to sell?  I'm in the market for one...


Mike see Bed Rock Bobs post on this forum ! Excellent deal!

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