Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Old dry washer?


Recommended Posts

14 hours ago, brownb56 said:

That's what I was thinking, wondering what the rest of it looked like.

Due to lack of nearby water, I'm guessing it was a shaker operation of some sort. Could have been hooked up to a gas generated conveyor belt and fed into a trommel or any number of other configurations, including using a front loader or whatever was used to feed the hopper with. It's hard to say really. Part of the fun of travelling the outback in gold country is seeing all of the hand made gold recovery mechanisms that people come up with.

I was driving along a unimproved backroad in far Northern Calif. one day and ran into one old timer that had built a 2-story, 40 ft long combination belt-fed gold recovery machine consisting of a hopper (similar size to the one in your pic), which screened onto a conveyor belt, that fed into a long tom sluice box water washed recovery system. He had it fine tuned and running like a top. Very impressive. He lived off the grid next to a creek and had a good producing claim right next to it. He installed propane or natural gas heating and lighting , water heater, shower etc, and all the comforts of home in a nice house that he had built himself. He invited me to stay and detect his "diggings", which was a 10' deep X 50' wide pit that he drove his skip loader down into and had been scraping a pay layer off of bedrock.

Turns out the man had been a construction foreman some years back down in the central San Joaquin valley and doing well except he had a serious drinking, (until he blacked out problem) When he got his 9th DUI arrest, he lost his driver's license, lost his job and his wife kicked him out, so he went to the mountains and promised to quit drinking. He was on probation with his wife and she visited him every couple of weeks to check on him and bring him groceries and a newspaper. She just happened to drive up while we were talking and they invited me to stay for dinner and tell them how metal detectors worked since they didn't know anything about them and were quite interested.

During the conversation over coffee, I noticed a glass sugar shaker sitting on the table 2/3 full of good sized nuggets which had come from his claim. The next morning his wife and I went into the pit and detected for a couple of hours. I let her use my Minelab XT-18000 and I was using a GB-2. Neither one of us found any gold. I detected a few steel shavings where the mostly smooth bedrock had been cut into, but that was it.

The man thanked me and was happy and smiling when he found out the results, since what he had wanted to know was how much gold he had been missing. Apparently none. :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

looks like northern Nevada area. Unusual  classification screen. Have not seen one like it before. Wonder if they used that above the fabric of a dry washer for a second classification. looks to light and weak for the hopper. Too many fragments, especially if it is shale or schist would get stuck between the wires. Interesting!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the one I saw, the larger screen was a heavy duty non-flexible grate type classifier that was on top. It deflected the larger rocks and gravel and allowed the smaller stones and dirt to drop down onto a second screen. Anything smaller than about a inch in size passed through to the sluice box. The screen in the photo looks like maybe someone was trying to make do with what they had, or the screen might have been used just to help somehow contain and guide the load onto a truck.:idunno:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...