Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles
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Thread: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2009
    817
    305 times

    Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    When prospecting mobility is important when you have to get off the beaten path and its a hard hike to gold bearing gravels. Sometimes its just too far to hike in while rolling a conventional highbanker or coming down a mountain or steep grades. So I built this bare bones fluidized bed highbanker/concentrator for about 50 bucks. It would have been much cheaper, but I underestimated how many square feet of rolled steel I needed for the grizzly. I ended up using 13 bars @ 3 bucks a bar. The rest of the cost was for the PVC pipes (mostly the 2 flow adjustment ball valves).

    I built this in about 2 hours, and then tested it for only 30 minutes. I know it needs much more testing and the spray bars are not final.



    Here's putting the pvc together to make the hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles for the bottom spray bar.





    There are 5 bars, with 6 spray holes on the bottom each a little smaller then 1/8 inch.


    The fluidized bed trap is 6 inches deep by 10.5 inches wide however, after testing I think the trap is going to need to be shallower in order to pump out the tailings easier.







    These spray bars are just something I was trying, I am going to build regular spray bars like on a conventional high banker. These did not cover the area enough to wash the gravels well.





    Here's how I made the grizzly, this was Dr Phils idea and it worked great. Just a bunch of bent rolled steel. Then I drilled holes in the bucket to slide them through. They are removable if needed and I might need to strengthen the bucket on the bottom part where all the gravel slides.





    I used about a 3/8 inch spacing on the grizzly but a couple of them went slightly larger (to almost 1/2 inch). I intend to make a 4 mesh hardware cloth grizzly to fit over that when I want to classify smaller.




    I cut all these with a hack saw and measured each one out so it would fit right.













    Here's one of two ports for tailings. The tailings come out either side on the back. They are about an inch high so they cant get plugged up. The lighter material constantly boils out of these while running (and the heavier stuff settles deeper into the slurry).





    Here's my small water pump next to the bucket highbanker. I have used this pump for my bigger highbanker as well. That pump is nice and lightweight and easy to carry, only rated at about 39gpm at full throttle but that's more then enough water for either high banker.





    Here it is all ready to take for some testing.



    And next to my main highbanker.




    Now time to hit the creek for some testing.











    To clean it up you just turn it sideways and let the water pump it into another bucket. Or you can just carry it out as it sits when you turn the water off.

    I think it worked pretty good for a first test run. Here's the cleanup pics. It caught much smaller then 100 mesh as well as anything bigger. I only ran about 25 shovelfuls of material because the top spray bar needs regular bars for better washing of material.






    So what did I learn? Well it does work but I need to redesign the trap to either be shallower and/or increase the flow coming out of the bottom water bars so it flushes out the lighter stuff easier. Right now its holding too much blond sand which means you have a lot to pan out when its time to clean up. A smaller trap would alleviate that. Also since the trap is so big it holds a lot of black sand, which makes it really heavy to carry out without first panning it down further.
    ----------------------------------------- -----------------------------


    After that test I changed the spray bars.

    I changed the spray bars to conventional ones. I have to keep the amount of water going to the top as minimal as possible to keep pressure up in the bottom allowing it to boil out the lighter tailings. So that's why there's only enough water on the spray bars to clear the gravel and not as much water there as a conventional high banker. It should still be plenty to clear a shovel full at a time (I hope anyway).

    Also changed the water hose from the water pump to 1 inch lay flat instead of 5/8 inch garden hose (not pictured cause I was just testing the spray pattern from the garden hose). Hope to get some testing in on it this weekend, but not sure cause I have to Christmas shop too.

    Oh and ignore the date on the pics, my new (old) camera wont let me put a new date in it for some reason. Unless I went back in time 4 years to make this and didn't realize it, the pics are from the other day.





    Hopefully I can get out soon and do some more testing on it.

    chupacabra and goldenmojo like this.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  2. #2

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    5,849
    4472 times

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    very intellegent thought proccess! cheap/light/simple!

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2011
    Tillamook, OR
    White's 4900/D Pro Plus
    207
    27 times
    Prospecting

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    A square bucket should work out pretty good too.

    Gramps
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  4. #4

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    5,849
    4472 times

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    i hate shoveling but i might try out gramps idea and make a square bucket unit for the fun of it! i have all the material in my garage or stacked up outside and bothering my neibhors() so i may aswell make something out of it!

  5. #5

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    5,849
    4472 times

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    is it still today(haha) i wanted to build that bucket device and its dark out already! im going to turn into a pumkin any min.! hahaha its been a long day so far!

  6. #6
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Arizona
    Bounty Hunter's, Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Suction Dredges, Hand Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Gold Pans, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4 Shaker table etc
    5,453
    4136 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    Great job Astrobouncer!

    I have also made a couple different 5 gal bucket fluid bed designs. On one I put the lid on and cut the bottom off the bucket and built the whole thing upside down to make it sit a little more stable.

    A good way to keep the lighter material flushed out is by running a shelf under the grizzly angled down and toward the back of the bucket just over the trap to wash the material into the back of the trap first. Seems to flush the lighter material out the overflow better that way. Partially because it keeps the spray from beating down on the lighter material that's already at the surface in the trap

    The shallower the trap the better. Not over 2-1/2" to 3" deep works best

    Once you start making these fluid beds it's hard to stop. Everything I see I want to turn it into one.
    Even made one out of a paint tray

    The one I'm working on now is made out of a .............Well, I may have gone too far this time........
    Can you say battery operated fluid bed gold pan

    My wife is starting to call me "prospector gadget"

    GG~

  7. #7

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    5,849
    4472 times

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    hahahaha yep i know what you mean!be carefull because before you know it, you can accumalte a lot of "stuff" and your garage will be full like mine! i gave my brother 50 5 gallon buckets to get some room and i still have a bunch of them!

  8. #8
    us
    I can dig it! "WP"

    Mar 2007
    Arizona
    Bounty Hunter's, Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Suction Dredges, Hand Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Gold Pans, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4 Shaker table etc
    5,453
    4136 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Bucket highbanker with hydraulic/fluidized bed riffles

    Quote Originally Posted by russau
    hahahaha yep i know what you mean!be carefull because before you know it, you can accumalte a lot of "stuff" and your garage will be full like mine! i gave my brother 50 5 gallon buckets to get some room and i still have a bunch of them!
    No matter how many buckets I have I will still stop and get more whenever I see some sitting out by the curb on garbage day
    I have an idea to fill one with a folding sluice, gold pan, scoop, snuffer bottle, etc. and call it "Prospector in a "Bucket"

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2009
    817
    305 times
    I finally got around to testing this some more after the last changes I made to it, and it was just not meant to be that day. Despite the many problems I still managed to get some gold for the short time it ran, and it worked great. I had a good exchange rate of the lighter tailings. Heres the video:


    Testing Fluid Bed Bucket Highbanker + Gold Recovered
    - YouTube


    This trip was a recipe in disasters of my own making and the weather was bad that day (raining hard). I topped off the water pump's gas tank before going so I would not have to fill it at the creek. But I had a couple accidents wheeling the high banker on the way in on the wet leaves (and steep hills) and tipped the pump over twice (not near the creek!). Once I got to the creek, I ran it for roughly 10 shovel fulls and it cut off. Not knowing it was out of gas since I had topped it off (you can hear it about to run out towards the end) I figured something had plugged up my intake hose since I was testing a new filter I made so I took that hose off. Seeing that wasn't the problem I checked the tank and realized the two near spills of the pump down those two hills earlier must have lost the fuel. So I hiked back to the road to get my small 1 gallon gas can out of the car (15 minute hike one way). Coming back, it was raining pretty hard and I thought I had the pump intake hose on correctly so I started screwing it in. Being a stiff hose, It turned funny and cross threaded, messing up the main seal to the highbanker. I sighed and gave up and went and got my other highbanker which luckily I had put in the trunk to test too. Despite all that, this thing did pretty well and caught some flour gold. I plan to sit it inside a cement mortar tube next time I run it so I can pan the tailings.

    I have the top water flow turned way down so the bottom chamber remains fluidized. However, as you can see, I still could use some more water up top to wash the rocks off. Its a fine line with a fluid bed to keep them fluid, especially when you are dealing with 4 mesh gangue. Its a lot easier to fluidize 8 mesh and smaller but since the grizzly is different on this one, I would never see the oversize gold like on the bazooka grizzly.

    Anyway, more testing coming soon. I think it worked great, in the short time it was running.
    Bluefrontside likes this.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  10. #10
    us
    Feb 2012
    Prather CA
    Whites GMT
    2,807
    3351 times
    Finding GOLD
    You are the king of building cool stuff. If don't mind me asking, what size pump, and is that the Harbour Freight trash pump
    "The most inspiring thing about gold, is not the value, but under magnification, the true beauty of each piece. They are truly like snowflakes that never melt." Oakview2 Fly EAGLE Fly......

  11. #11
    us
    Jun 2009
    817
    305 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Oakview2 View Post
    You are the king of building cool stuff. If don't mind me asking, what size pump, and is that the Harbour Freight trash pump
    Thanks, I love building stuff almost as much as I love using it! Almost!

    Its the harbor freight one inch clear water pump from either 2010 or 2011 I forget when I got it exactly but it was around 160$ with a 2 year warranty. I got it specifically because its so light and portable. The water flow is perfect for use with this highbanker and my other (conventional) 7-9 inch highbankers. I plan on upgrading to a high pressure 1.5 inch pump eventually for my 2 inch suction fluidized bed dredge build.

    Anyway here's some specs on that pump from my manual:

    Suction & Discharge Size 1″ NPT
    Discharge Capacity 37 GPM
    Maximum Discharge Head 105 ft.
    Maximum Suction Head 26 ft.
    Maximum Pressure 45.5 PSI

    And the pump curve:


    Can read about it more here:

    http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/68000-68999/68371.pdfpump curve
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  12. #12
    us
    Feb 2012
    Prather CA
    Whites GMT
    2,807
    3351 times
    Finding GOLD
    Thanks for the response, and continued good fortune to you. How long will it run on a tank of gas, and about how much gas does it hold. I am thinking about a California Sluicebox Highbanker, and the two inch model looks like it might work nicely...
    "The most inspiring thing about gold, is not the value, but under magnification, the true beauty of each piece. They are truly like snowflakes that never melt." Oakview2 Fly EAGLE Fly......

  13. #13

    May 2012
    899
    511 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Pretty interesting idea. I'm looking at similar things with the square cat litter buckets, but multiple levesl to act as a grizzly. Another slanted bucket above the fluidbed bucket to act as the grizzly and give the material more water contact time.

  14. #14
    us
    Nov 2010
    161
    39 times
    Astrobouncer,

    Have you given thought to just cutting the bucket halfway down so you have a 2 1/2 gallon bucket and just putting a classifier on top of it. Let the water rise up and into the classifier, shovel in, move around with hands and dump out the classifier. Basically getting rid of your grizzly design and changing it out with a bucket classifier. I have been thinking about this because I have a lot of black sands in one area that I work that just clogs up the riffles on my sluice to the point that it is useless in 15 minutes. I need like a small bucket jig or maybe this fluid bed idea.

 

 

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