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Thread: Journey with the 15 lb Whippet Drywasher

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  1. #1
    us
    Owner/Engineer

    Jan 2015
    California Desert
    13
    42 times
    Prospecting

    Journey with the 15 lb Whippet Drywasher

    Please join us over at YouTube for a journey with the 15lb Whippet Drywasher



    Regards.

    Whippet Engineering LLC

    Whippet Engineering LLC - Home
    Last edited by Whippet Engineering LLC; Apr 03, 2015 at 01:25 PM.

  2. #2
    us
    Sep 2011
    Glendale, AZ
    TDI Pro, GMT
    259
    312 times
    Prospecting
    Nice unit.
    Aufisher likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    897
    1253 times
    Prospecting
    Looks like a great little machine but the price..............Ouch!

  4. #4
    us
    Owner/Engineer

    Jan 2015
    California Desert
    13
    42 times
    Prospecting
    Here is how I try to help folks understand the "price" of a Whippet Drywasher.

    To manufacture a 20 lb aluminum drywasher with lead-acid battery and off the shelf packframe, not so difficult, not so expensive, but will end up weighing over 30lbs.

    To manufacture a 17 lb aluminum drywasher with lithium battery and custom packpack, quite a bit harder and more expensive, still ends up over 20lbs.

    To manufacture a 15 lb Kevlar Composite/Carbon Fiber/Aluminum drywasher with lithium battery and custom backpack, much harder and even more expensive, but it weighs only 15 lbs ready to hit the trail. Now you have a true backpack drywasher that you can add a pick, a shovel, water, food, even a tent and still be less weight than the other designs.

    Many in the prospecting/mining community have not been exposed to the lightweight composite structures that are being used in aerospace, auto racing, bicycles and other high-tech sporting equipment. With the Whippet Drywasher we hope to show the benefits of light and strong for remote backpack mining.

    One of my favorite things to demonstrate to the customer is to have them pick up the drywasher without the battery or the pack. They usually can't believe it as it weighs less than 12 lbs.

    Perhaps sometime I can demo the unit for you, it would be my pleasure.

    Regards,

    Whippet Engineering LLC
    Whippet Engineering LLC - Home

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    897
    1253 times
    Prospecting
    This drywasher you've built is very impressive to say the least, the engineering and construction speak for themselves. However the machine's small size and 3 hour run time per charge leave it to very low production unless you pack in extra batteries and or a solar panel which adds substantially to the weight hauled in. It reminds me a lot of my 12 volt Thompson which although weighs a bit more is still very "backpackable" and will run well over a full day on one small 12 volt battery plus sells for about half. Personally, my interest in it would be for sampling dry placer spots out in the boonies and if I want something bad enough usually I just throw down the money and move forward but most prospectors/miners I've met are very thrifty and would consider the price too much. Pricing it around the same or may be a couple hundred more than a 12 volt Thompson or 12 volt Keene I suspect would increase sales quite a bit. Since you posted in this venue I take it as soliciting for honest opinions and that's all this is.....Rob
    Last edited by Hard Prospector; Apr 06, 2015 at 01:08 AM.
    fatman45 and mytimetoshine like this.

  6. #6
    gb
    Oct 2012
    LONDON UK
    Deus/Laser scout
    328
    236 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I like:

    -the video
    -the machine
    -the dog
    -the scenery
    -the music


    Good trekking too!



    Well done!!



    RR
    Aufisher likes this.
    IN DEUS I TRUST

  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting

    Journey with the 15 lb Whippet Drywasher

    I own a Whippet Drywasher.

    It's really quite astonishing how light and comfortable it is on your back. There simply are places you just cannot prospect/mine unless you have something this light, and that's how I justified the price. Whippet does offer a foldable solar panel, which I believe weighs less than 2 lbs. Using that during lunch breaks, I have yet to run down the battery once in the couple of months I've been using it. It has a simple ON/OFF switch so it doesn't need to be running constantly, either. It processes material as fast as I can feed it and I'm a very active person in my 30's. The thought and detail that went into this thing blows my mind. The materials used are very well thought out and it must be said that they are all very high end. Lots of Kevlar and carbon, sometimes sandwiched together where needed. The fine mesh fabric on the rifle tray, for example, is something I've never even seen before.

    One of my favorite attributes...it's QUIET! There are other good puffers out there, but none nearly as light and packable as this. The 12v Thompson, a beautiful machine in its own right, is 22 lbs without a battery or backpack. The Whippet is 15 lbs WITH a battery and backpack (both included), and 12 lbs without. That's nearly half the weight. This thing lets me get my whole operation deep into places most others can't get to in one trip, process a yard, and get out before dark.

    I have no buyer's remorse over this, like I do for a certain $600 metal detector. It's definitely aimed at the adventurous prospector. I wanted a drywasher like this before I even knew this thing existed.

    If anyone has any questions about it, I'm more than happy to answer them from an owners perspective. If you're interested, I highly recommend contacting Whippet for a demo. The designer/owner of the company is genuinely honest and nice, and thoroughly answered every question I had. It's light, micron-gold efficient, and has allowed me to get to mine some pretty remote locations.

    Here are a few photos of my recent sampling adventures. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Hamfist; Apr 08, 2015 at 09:07 PM. Reason: C+ spelling.

  8. #8

    Jan 2013
    So Cal
    44
    27 times
    Prospecting
    I met the owner and saw the unit at the Pasadena GPAA Gold Show this year. Well engineered unit. The only issue I have is the price. I would suggest evaluating an aluminum unit to see how much the price can be reduced and how much it adds to the weight. I would gladly gain some weight to make a more affordable unit.
    Aufisher likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Owner/Engineer

    Jan 2015
    California Desert
    13
    42 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks to everyone for their comments. I appreciate all of them.

    The good folks who form the prospecting community are one of the things I like best about the activity. Besides the great folks who participate in prospecting, there is all the cool equipment that is available. As an engineer and person who has spent 30 years in manufacturing I particularly like this aspect. I can tell you I have a ton of prospecting equipment and have enjoyed all of it.

    For me there is also the personal satisfaction that comes from setting an engineering goal and achieving it. It has been quite a personal journey from when first I sat down in front of the computer and started to design the Whippet Drywasher, to being able to provide a 15 lb drywasher to my customers.

    My take is there is room in prospecting for all kinds of equipment. From garage built wooden drywashers to Kevlar and Carbon Fiber drywashers. It is all good if it gets folks out having a good time. I think that is the ultimate goal anyway.

    Just to clarify one thing about the size of the Whippet Drywasher. It is only slightly smaller than the excellent Thompson drywasher, however it moves as much or more material. This is accomplished by not using any air blockers under the riffles or on the riffle tray screen. Also, the bellows air chamber is sealed very well. We use silicone rubber seals and all parts are put together wet with sealant. You can see the effect of this when you pull out the riffle tray, you will see almost no fine dust in the bellows bottom. Lastly, the Whippet Drywasher motor draws less current. This is because of the low friction linkages and the low weight of the Carbon Fiber Bellows Bottom. Bellows drywashers are like piston engines. As all hot rod guys know, if you reduce the weight of moving components and reduce friction, more power is available to move the car. In the case of a drywasher, the piston is the bellows and the dirt is the air seal. When the compressing bellows overcomes the dirt seal - "pop" the dirt moves down the riffles. The Whippet Drywasher spends more time at max motor RPM.

    I also want to help people understand the K2 energy battery. This battery is a Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery that besides being crazy light, has some very beneficial properties. Most importantly it has a flat power curve. In other words, it will run at max voltage/amps almost until it is completed dead. A lead acid battery has a much steeper power curve, dropping voltage/amps way before going dead. The other important thing about the K2 battery is that you can charge it 2000 times. This is better than twice what you can do with lead acid.

    The Whippet Drywasher is not intended to compete with Bill's Thompson drywasher. Our customers are different.

    My goal is to provide a true backpack drywasher and accessories that do not compromise, but are the lightest, highest quality and most durable I can manufacture.

    Best Regards,

    Whippet Engineering LLC
    Whippet Engineering LLC - Home
    fatman45, bobw53, Hamfist and 3 others like this.

  10. #10
    us
    Minning Tools: 12" Trommel, Royal Drywasher, Viper-Vac, Miller Table, Blue Bowl, Footprints, Google Earth, These Are Just Tools As You Still Have To Be On The Gold

    Sep 2012
    Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting in the southwest?
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
    2,033
    2184 times
    Prospecting
    I am all for quality built mining gear and the engineering and material used is outstanding, then I saw the price... WOW!!! The one thing that caught my attention was the hopper sides are very shallow and the user was very careful on placing dirt into the hopper in a few of the scenes. Nicely built though...
    Aufisher likes this.
    “He who builds their own equipment has a better understanding of what works and what does not work”



  11. #11
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    897
    1253 times
    Prospecting
    You don't miss the slightest detail in anything mechanical do you Keith, perhaps its time to ramp up your own building ops again? Hope your having a better year Bro....Rob
    Aufisher likes this.

  12. #12
    us
    Owner/Engineer

    Jan 2015
    California Desert
    13
    42 times
    Prospecting
    Hello AZViper,

    Thanks for the comments on the Whippet Drywasher.

    You do indeed have a good eye for detail. Yes the Hopper flanges are a bit smaller than some drywashers, but not by much. I measured the Whippet Drywasher at 2.1" and one of my metal drywashers at 2.2" As you know being a builder yourself, it is always a trade off when you are balancing weight against function. I don't know how many parts I shrunk down and thinned down in CAD trying to save some weight without going too small or too flimsy.

    I think what you are seeing on the shoveling is a tired "actor" after a long day of video shooting. The shoveling on the Whippet Drywasher is no different than any other puffer drywasher.

    We have some more videos up on YouTube that show some fast and furious shoveling.

    BTW, I enjoyed looking at your builds, I particularly like how well you document your builds, nice example of tech writing.
    Regards,

    Whippet Engineering LLC
    Whippet Engineering LLC - Home
    Aufisher likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    897
    1253 times
    Prospecting
    You said in a previous post that the Whippet was not intended to compete with Bill's drywasher that the customer base is too different. Intended or not, respectfully I must totally disagree with that assessment. Adventurous prospectors needing a tough, quiet and lightweight 12 volt drywasher to get into steep remote desert locations found the Thompson the right tool for the job. A standard pack frame holds my Thompson, marine gel cell battery, hand tools, water and lunch which I've packed miles up into rugged desert arroyo's. Yes this set-up weighs more but not overly so and for most in average physical condition and proper boots its no issue. My point is that those that prospect in such ways would carefully evaluate the weight vs cost of both machines. Everyone around here wants to see your venture really take-off that's why the honest opinions. BTW, I will be at the Vegas GPAA Gold Show and hope to check it out.
    Last edited by Hard Prospector; Apr 11, 2015 at 02:30 PM. Reason: add to

  14. #14
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting
    I haven't used many other drywashers, but i haven't noticed the sides of the hopper being a problem. I'm mostly loading the hopper with a bucket which seems more controllable. Using a bucket doesn't require me to leave the machine running constantly and I feel like I can keep the material flowing over the riffles in a more uniform manner without racing to keep up.

    I hoped to go out this morning, but it's been a long week and sleep prevailed. Adventure postponed until tomorrow. The hike won't be very long, but it will be steep. It's hard enough to get up there with no gear at all, so I doubt it's been hit too hard in recent times. I'll post a few photos when I get back.
    Aufisher likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Owner/Engineer

    Jan 2015
    California Desert
    13
    42 times
    Prospecting
    Thank you for the comments, when someone puts thought in to what they say I respect that. It sounds like your Thompson works well for you.

    Unfortunately we will not be at the Las Vegas show. It is for a good reason in that we are running out of drywashers to sell and need to ramp up manufacturing.

    I do however extent an invitation to demo the unit to anyone who is in the Southern California area.

    Being an engineer by profession, one of the most important things for us is the engineering specification, a sort of definition.

    When we set out to design the Whippet Drywasher we laid down the spec.


    The drywasher must weigh no more than 15lbs
    It must be part of a system that integrates to pack, battery and accessories
    It will not use a separate pack frame
    Ergonomics will be built into the design
    Composites will be used to maintain durability while still being very light
    The drywasher will have longevity, seals, fabric, motor, sealant all will last for years
    The drywasher will move a lot of material for its size while still recovering fine gold
    Cost is secondary to Form, Fit, Function


    The reason I say our customer base is different than the Thompson is because of the definitions we set for our company. Our customers what to go into a remote area with drywasher, battery, pack, pick, shovel, solar charger, food, 2L water, emergency gear, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. For us that weight comes out to 30 lbs that can be carried many miles comfortably over just about anything.

    Can a metal drywasher that weighs 30 lbs with no gear and 45 lbs with gear be humped into a remote area, of course, but we don't want to do it, and neither do our customers.

    Much of the discussion about the Whippet Drywasher focuses on its crazy light weight. However there are a dozen other design elements, such as the use of silicone flaps and seals, proprietary riffle tray fabric, heat sinked motor, long life plastic hinge, dust resistant wiring and switch, polysulfide sealant and dent free Kevlar design.

    These are some of the other features that our customers are looking for and are willing to pay for.

    For myself, if I am going to make a comparison to something, say a product, I always make sure that I am not making assumptions about that product when I have never used it or even seen it. That is just due diligence.

    Adventure is really the goal of Whippet Engineering. By providing the Whippet Drywasher and accessories to our customers, we hope to give them the tools to go out and have a great time.

    Regards,

    Whippet Engineering LLC
    www.whippetengineerin.com
    Hamfist, Rockwerx, motohed and 2 others like this.

 

 
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