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Thread: building dredge pontoons

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2013
    Northern CA
    Hand sluice, Gold bug pro
    212
    38 times
    Prospecting

    building dredge pontoons

    So I bought a 3" suction dredge and I need to build a set of pontoons, I've found a few different styles that look decent. I'm thinking of getting a few 6"pvc pipe and filling them with door jam foam then just bolting the pvc to my frame. Anyone else have any ideas/suggestions??

  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2012
    Prather CA
    Whites GMT
    2,778
    3257 times
    Finding GOLD
    Go to Reed Lukens youtube site and watch how to build a dredge. He uses inexpensive barrells and they seem to work very well.
    "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......

  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2013
    Northern CA
    Hand sluice, Gold bug pro
    212
    38 times
    Prospecting
    Yeah I saw that video I just have no clue where to buy the drums anywhere around me

  4. #4
    us
    Jun 2012
    Caldwell, Idaho
    1,017
    409 times
    Prospecting
    If your in Cali, your wasting your time/money building a dredge as dredging is banned.

    Check with car washes, carpet cleaners or any type of business that would have liquid in bulk.
    Personally I would stay away from pvc pontoons...the weight alone will be a lot.

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2013
    Northern CA
    Hand sluice, Gold bug pro
    212
    38 times
    Prospecting
    Yeah I'm not too far from the Oregon border so im not too worried about it. Thx though ill check out some place like that

  6. #6
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Murphys, CA
    Ace 250 (2)
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    Coinshooting, relic hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I suggest Google up the Cheasapeake Light Craft boat place. You can order large amounts of epoxy resin and fiberglass matting. Build exactly what you want ... to your own specks by using styrafoam cores and epoxy/glass coatings. ( www.clcboats.com ) TTC
    Alex Burke likes this.
    "At home, the ground was covered with snow and I was covered with sweat. My younger brother called me a killer and my daddy called me a vet." Still in Saigon CDB

  7. #7
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,377
    5502 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Barrels work great. Your 3 don't take much to float so 4 -15 gallon will work just fine as that flaots my 4" over/under great in creeks-just go to hotels/cleaners/[lating shops or even sportsmen warehouse as they sell'm too-but cheaper elsewhere,city dumps sell'm all the time $5 a piece. John
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8

    Dec 2012
    Murfreesboro tn
    1,021
    246 times
    Prospecting
    Check Craigslist

    You should find someone selling barrels there...
    It's better to be hated for who you are than loved for who your not!

  9. #9

    May 2012
    868
    458 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by taternut View Post
    So I bought a 3" suction dredge and I need to build a set of pontoons, I've found a few different styles that look decent. I'm thinking of getting a few 6"pvc pipe and filling them with door jam foam then just bolting the pvc to my frame. Anyone else have any ideas/suggestions??
    PVC sounds heavy. When I looked around for DIY methods, I spotted boat fenders at Cabelas

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    Sure seem like they'd take a beating. Fiberglassing is relatively easy to do, but I suspect a good whack on a rock will end up with a crack.

    They (cabela's) also had platoon floats for fishing, which seemed like they could work. They had one set on sale, but I don't see it online offhand.

    If you search craig's list for "plastic barrels" or "plastic drums" you might find someone local selling used drums.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    bill-costa rica and TerryC like this.

  10. #10
    us
    Sly banker

    Aug 2011
    Raleigh,NC
    Gold Well, dredge
    199
    141 times
    Prospecting
    There is a PVC pipe that is used for non-pressurized liquids. Usually used for drain water from downspouts. This stuff is really thin and very light, but fairly rigid/strong. Comes in 10 foot lengths at your local big box hardware.

  11. #11
    us
    Apr 2011
    Florence S.C.
    117
    69 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Filling with foam will not help floatation,it will only add weight! Wes
    Goodyguy and russau like this.
    Seen it all,Done it all,Can't remember most of it.

  12. #12

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    4,932
    3130 times
    i was going to foam fill my pontoons untill the guy told me it would add 2 lbs per foot of pontoon! i repaired my 'leak" myself. it was coming into my pontoon from the 1/4 anchor mounts on the top of the pontoon. Keene didnt have any more of that type of anchor so i went to the hardware store and bought some 1/4-20S drywall anchors and it was just about the very same thing and it worked perfect! and then i used some 1/4-20x1 stainless steel bolts with antiseize lube.
    Last edited by russau; May 30, 2013 at 02:22 PM.

  13. #13

    May 2012
    868
    458 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I was in the outlet cave at cabelas and they had something like

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks to be easy enough to mount a sluice and pump...

  14. #14

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    4,932
    3130 times
    Quote Originally Posted by ncclaymaker View Post
    There is a PVC pipe that is used for non-pressurized liquids. Usually used for drain water from downspouts. This stuff is really thin and very light, but fairly rigid/strong. Comes in 10 foot lengths at your local big box hardware.
    those pipes are called DWV pipe, drain waste vent

  15. #15

    May 2012
    868
    458 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Foam filled pvc might do the trick. Home depot & lowes have 4 or 3", I see Menards has an 8"

    Schedule 40 Cellular Core PVC DWV Pipe-8"x20' at Menards

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    We have sprinkler and irrigation places here that have large diameter pipe out in the yard. I've seen some big stuff. In addition to pvc, corrugated drainage...

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    You can get some reallly big stuff

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Of course, you have to find a way to seal the ends on any type of pipe.

 

 
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