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Thread: Your Methods, Tips, etc...

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  1. #1
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting

    Your Methods, Tips, etc...

    I've been thinking about how I can be more efficient while working with a drywasher. My main machine is a 12v puffer (Whippet) and for the last two years, I would clean out after approximately five 3.5-gal buckets, depending on how the riffles looked. The area I work is absolutely loaded with black sand so it doesn't take long for them to pack up. I generally try to run a full cubic yard before noon and the constant cleanouts really slow the process down.

    This year, I've been trying a different method. I dig up a large pile of material, as I have previously done, but now I'm running the whole pile of pay, without doing any cleanouts, until all that remains is a header pile and a tailings pile. Essentially, this is a classification step. Now I have most of the gold extracted and am left with a smaller pile of classified tailings that I can run through in about 1/4 the time it took to run the original pay pile. I usually run the tailings pile twice when doing this and there isn't much gold left by the second pass. This method gives me three cleanouts worth of cons per cubic yard vs approximately 10 and I seem to be getting the same amount of gold per volume of dirt moved. It's much much quicker than my old method too.

    Not sure if that is of benefit to everyone but it has really allowed me to run more dirt and get more gold during the limited amount of time I have to get out and play in the hills. Comments? Criticisms? What techniques do you employ to run more dirt and increase your efficiency?

  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,021
    2927 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamfist View Post
    I've been thinking about how I can be more efficient while working with a drywasher. My main machine is a 12v puffer (Whippet) and for the last two years, I would clean out after approximately five 3.5-gal buckets, depending on how the riffles looked. The area I work is absolutely loaded with black sand so it doesn't take long for them to pack up. I generally try to run a full cubic yard before noon and the constant cleanouts really slow the process down.

    This year, I've been trying a different method. I dig up a large pile of material, as I have previously done, but now I'm running the whole pile of pay, without doing any cleanouts, until all that remains is a header pile and a tailings pile. Essentially, this is a classification step. Now I have most of the gold extracted and am left with a smaller pile of classified tailings that I can run through in about 1/4 the time it took to run the original pay pile. I usually run the tailings pile twice when doing this and there isn't much gold left by the second pass. This method gives me three cleanouts worth of cons per cubic yard vs approximately 10 and I seem to be getting the same amount of gold per volume of dirt moved. It's much much quicker than my old method too.

    Not sure if that is of benefit to everyone but it has really allowed me to run more dirt and get more gold during the limited amount of time I have to get out and play in the hills. Comments? Criticisms? What techniques do you employ to run more dirt and increase your efficiency?
    Your method makes perfect sense to me (work smarter not harder) and it is usually a good idea to rerun the tails anyway especially if there was any moisture in the original feed. Thanks for the tip.

    Good luck.

    PS: Do you use the solar charger or bring along a spare battery to handle that much feed?
    Last edited by arizau; May 24, 2017 at 08:16 PM.
    Hamfist likes this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by arizau View Post
    Your method makes perfect sense to me (work smarter not harder) and it is usually a good idea to rerun the tails anyway especially if there was any moisture in the original feed. Thanks for the tip.

    Good luck.

    PS: Do you use the solar charger or bring along a spare battery to handle that much feed?
    No problem! And Thanks!

    I haven't had to charge or use an additional battery while running that much dirt. If I had to guess, I'd say total run time is around 1.5 - 2 hrs for a yard (plus rerunning tailings) of mostly dry dirt, give or take a half hour for sampling, messing around, not hurrying, etc. The battery is good for around three hours. I'm going to my spot on Friday so I'll try to focus on monitoring how long the switch is in the ON position. It's definitely within the capabilities of one charge of the battery.
    arizau and utah mason like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    6,750
    10535 times
    Prospecting

    Your Methods, Tips, etc...

    Awesome productivity move! Less cons to pan too. I'm going to try this for sure! I'm interested to see how much gold gets caught in each pass of paydirt thru the box. Have you measured that yet?

    PS same battery experience here. The battery that comes with the Whippet is great
    Last edited by KevinInColorado; May 25, 2017 at 12:40 AM.
    arizau, Hamfist and utah mason like this.

  5. #5
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting

    Your Methods, Tips, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinInColorado View Post
    Awesome productivity move! Less cons to pan too. I'm going to try this for sure! I'm interested to see how much gold gets caught in each pass of paydirt thru the box. Have you measured that yet?
    Thanks! I haven't done any scientific measurements yet, but I do carefully shake most of the cons out of the riffle tray into a container and inspect the small amount left in the riffles for gold during each cleanout. Sits a bit like using the tray to dry pan. It provides some idea of how good the gold is. There usually isn't any visible gold on pass #3 but it's almost impossible to see fines in the tray. There probably would be a small amount of fines to be had by running the tailings one more time, considering the amount of black sand in my usual location, but I would rather spend that time digging up new pay.

    At some point this summer when it's too hot to labor in a hole, I'll make a day out of rerunning the tailings piles one last time and see what I get.

    Edit: Kevin, I'd be interested in hearing how this works for you, for better or for worse. It's one of those "why didn't I think of this before?!" moves and I can't get my only friend with a drywasher to try it, lol.
    Last edited by Hamfist; May 25, 2017 at 01:11 AM.

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, F19 and the Falcon
    900
    1256 times
    Prospecting
    I plan on trying something similar real soon. Just bought a KEENE 191 and the plan is to work that thing like a rented mule; minimal classification and clean-outs. Every several hours , or about a yard of pay I'll stop and ......
    Run my GB2 through the header pile, THEN shovel the tailings into the puffer (staged beside the 191) to catch any fines that may have been lost in the forced air system. I'm pretty optimistic, guess we'l see.
    Hamfist likes this.

  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Prospector View Post
    THEN shovel the tailings into the puffer (staged beside the 191) to catch any fines that may have been lost in the forced air system. I'm pretty optimistic, guess we'l see.
    Hm, that's a great idea. My friend has a 151 that we're going to use tomorrow and I think I'll try the same thing with my Whippet. We usually get a decent amount of fine gold with the 151 so it should be interesting to see what's in the tailings.

  8. #8
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    6,750
    10535 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamfist View Post
    Hm, that's a great idea. My friend has a 151 that we're going to use tomorrow and I think I'll try the same thing with my Whippet. We usually get a decent amount of fine gold with the 151 so it should be interesting to see what's in the tailings.
    The Whippet definitely catches fine gold better than the big Keene 151 I used before I got the Whippet. That's my impression from my results. I'd love to see the results of you doing this to get real facts!
    Hamfist and utah mason like this.

  9. #9
    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
    5,448
    4125 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Are you saying that you get almost as much gold in the second run as you do the first?
    I was under the impression that it meant more gold in your poke for your time spent to keep running virgin buckets rather than spending time re-running tailings.


    GG~
    Last edited by Goodyguy; May 26, 2017 at 03:09 PM.
    Au-Nv likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting

    Your Methods, Tips, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodyguy View Post
    Are you saying that you get almost as much gold in the second run as you do the first?
    I was under the impression that it meant more gold in your poke for your time spent to keep running virgin buckets rather than spending time re-running tailings.


    GG~
    No, definitely not anywhere near as much gold in the second run as the first, but it takes so little time and effort to run the tailings at least once since I know I'm blowing gold out in the first run. It makes sense in an area with obscene amounts of black sand, which loads up the riffles in a matter of minutes. In areas with very little black sand, I wouldn't bother rerunning the tailings if the riffles aren't overloaded.
    Last edited by Hamfist; May 26, 2017 at 07:59 PM.
    Relichunter1 likes this.

  11. #11
    us
    Aug 2014
    SoCal
    SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
    245
    393 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinInColorado View Post
    The Whippet definitely catches fine gold better than the big Keene 151 I used before I got the Whippet. That's my impression from my results. I'd love to see the results of you doing this to get real facts!
    Good to know. My buddy forgot to bring a part of his 151 today so we just sampled around the area with my Whippet. I'm out of pre-dug dry pay dirt now, but it's supposed to be hot and windy for the next week. Hopefully I can try that method out soon.

  12. #12
    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
    5,448
    4125 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamfist View Post
    No, definitely not anywhere near as much gold in the second run as the first, but it takes so little time and effort to run the tailings at least once since I know I'm blowing gold out in the first run. It makes sense in an area with obscene amounts of black sand, which loads up the riffles in a matter of minutes. In areas with very little black sand, I wouldn't bother rerunning the tailings if the riffles aren't overloaded.
    I re-read your first post and I agree with your method.
    Good idea.

    GG~
    Hamfist likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    May 2011
    tujunga ca
    xlt mxt gmz whites
    1,031
    1126 times
    the best thing i did to my keene puffer is i put a second screen on top and off set it a little.now the holes are about 3/8 of a inch not 1/2 of a inch.it really likes the smaller holes.
    good luck to everyone brad
    Hamfist likes this.

  14. #14
    us
    Husband, father & fun seeker

    Jul 2015
    utah
    540
    931 times
    Prospecting
    Great bunch of post! This will really help me when I finally get my whippet. Mark thought he would be able to get it to me end of March, but is running behind schedule. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon, weather is finally getting better. It's been a full two weeks without snow ; )
    Hamfist and KevinInColorado like this.

  15. #15
    us
    May 2011
    11
    10 times
    Ever have your 5 gallon buckets stick together (it can be h*#$ pulling them apart). Here is a quick way to never have to have them stick again. On both sides of the bucket drill a 1/8 hole 3/4" below where the handle goes into the top of the bucket (not the part that hold the handle but the side of the bucket below the square handle holder). Put a 10/32 X 1/2 inch threaded small bolt through the hole and add a nut (add the nut on the outside of the bucket). When stacking buckets the bucket above the last bucket stacked will sit on the threads of the bucket with the bolts underneath it. I, like a lot of you, use the Home Depot 5 gallon buckets. and I add the bolts to all that I use. As I only use Home Depot bucket I can't say if it will work if you mix different makes of buckets in one stack.

    I don't know have to add pictures If somebody will tell me how I add some.


    RickSAR
    Last edited by Rick-SAR; Mar 10, 2018 at 04:22 PM.

 

 

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