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Thread: Bellows Vs 12v Puffer and Static Charge

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  1. #1
    ca
    Jan 2012
    Lillooet, British Columbia
    Garrett AT Gold
    29
    35 times
    Prospecting

    Bellows Vs 12v Puffer and Static Charge

    Hi all, just looking for some discussion on fine gold recovery as it relates to a 12v Puffer style drywasher and blower type drywasher. I see Keene claims that their drywashers that use a gas blower create vibrostatic electricity that helps attract the fine gold. Well, I can't find anything about this when it comes to a 12v Puffer style drywasher. Does the static created by a blower keep more fines/gold dust compared to a 12V system? Thanks all. Was looking at buying the Keene 161HVS but the DW2 I could run on a battery pack and it would be quiet.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,470
    10081 times
    Prospecting
    A gas powered forced air drywasher will get more gold because you can process more material more quickly. A properly setup puffer style drywasher will recover the same or better percentage of gold of any size all else being equal.

    There is no such thing as " vibrostatic electricity" it's just a marketing gimmick. An electrostatic charge will hold more dust and minerals than it will hold gold. Mineral dust, even when it has gold in it, will wear out your equipment much faster - good for the manufacturer, bad for the miner. Leave the hocus pocus behind and rely on sorting of material according to density. Drywashers do that really well when the material is dry and properly classified.

    I prefer a puffer because I value what little hearing I have left. Not real fond of sucking mineral dust all day either. That being said if you are working a rich deposit for a living you will get more gold per day with a good gas blower setup.

    The Keene 161HVS is "extremely lightweight" to the tune of 44 pounds before it has 6 pounds of static mineral dust stuck to it and before you carry in two gallons of gas (15 pounds). Total carry in weight of the 161HVS is actually about 65 pounds. Add in shovels, picks, classifiers, buckets, pans and some drinking water and you've got nearly 100 pounds of carry weight for a system that can process 20 buckets an hour.

    The DW2 will weigh less than half as much and process about 15 buckets per hour. If you add electric motor, battery and some solar panels you will be about the same weight as the 161HVS before the mineral dust and fuel. With the electric puffer/solar combo you can mine for months without needing to get fresh gas or batteries.

    How much material you can produce ready to run in the drywasher is more a limiting factor than how much material you can run in the drywasher. Our 151 only runs an hour for every 3 hours of 5 strong guys digging and classifying uncemented gravels. It's not really all about how much material the processor can run.

    If you decide on going with a puffer I would encourage you to check out the Thompson drywashers. Well built and their puffer is quite a bit lighter than the equivalent Keene version.

    Heavy Pans

  3. #3
    ca
    Jan 2012
    Lillooet, British Columbia
    Garrett AT Gold
    29
    35 times
    Prospecting
    I was thinking Thompson, but they don't ship to Canada(I have ordered some heavy big stuff from the USA in the past and they had no problem shipping up here). Where I live its desert and all of the good ground where the water is, has been taken. Which is why I am leaning toward the drywasher. I would be working benches 2 to 500 feet above the river)
    arizau and utah mason like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Husband, father & fun seeker

    Jul 2015
    utah
    535
    929 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by bchopeful View Post
    I was thinking Thompson, but they don't ship to Canada(I have ordered some heavy big stuff from the USA in the past and they had no problem shipping up here). Where I live its desert and all of the good ground where the water is, has been taken. Which is why I am leaning toward the drywasher. I would be working benches 2 to 500 feet above the river)
    You could consider the whippet drywasher. Half the weight of the Thompson, and that's including the battery. But it's expensive, and it's one guy who builds them, on the side. I've been waiting over a year, he was hoping to have it done by the end of this month, but we shall see. As long as I get it by June I'll be happy.
    KevinInColorado and arizau like this.

  5. #5
    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.
    2,005
    2895 times
    Prospecting
    It's a shame that the whippet is not on some kind of production line basis so he/they could turn out more. Aside from the current wait time cost is an issue for many but IMO portability and weight (about 15# including battery) makes it worth it. I love it and.... I should since I waited for just over a year for mine.

    Good luck to you bchopeful.
    Last edited by arizau; Mar 26, 2018 at 01:22 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  6. #6
    ca
    Jan 2012
    Lillooet, British Columbia
    Garrett AT Gold
    29
    35 times
    Prospecting
    I was thinking Thompson, but they don't ship to Canada(I have ordered some heavy big stuff from the USA in the past and they had no problem shipping up here). Where I live its desert and all of the good ground where the water is, has been taken. Which is why I am leaning toward the drywasher. I would be working benches 2 to 500 feet above the river)
    I have heard great things about the Whippet, but the price is what gets me. All the gold that I am looking at getting is fine almost dust. Would take years to pay for that and at the end of the day, my wife, although small, would likely think of terrible ways to harm me if I paid that much for my hobby. I was trying to find other companies aside from Keene that make a 12v model. Would be interesting to see both the keene bellows and the 12v model side by side running the same material and first run the material through the bellows or forced air, with a specific number of buckets of dirt. Take that and pan it, count the gold flecks. Then take the same materials and all the gold found in the bellows and through it through the 12v puffer type model and see what the comparison is.
    From what I am seeing the forced air model has the following positive:

    1) Runs more material
    2) Can help dry the material somewhat

    Negatives

    1) Uses gas so there is an added expense
    2)Noisy

    Puffer Positives

    1) Possibly captures more fines then forced air
    2) Quiet
    3) cheaper to buy

    Negative

    1) Runs less material
    2) Doesn't have a significant impact on drying material
    3) because it runs less material, it possibly doesn't capture as much gold


    Anything else users of drywashers can add?

  7. #7
    us
    Mike

    Dec 2014
    Bodfish and Marin county CA
    Garrett , Whites keene puffer drywasher , Keene A51 Sluice
    351
    936 times
    Drywashing , Sluicing , Panning
    Mr.Clay Diggins summed it up in my opinion about as good as you'll get.
    I will 2nd the fact there is no such thing as "vibrostatic electricity".
    And if there was The abrasion from the other material would cancel it out in quick order.
    I have a Keene 12v and like it but the last few times I have been using my homemade hand
    lever powered one -- no battery or gas to hike in with.
    Have you looked into making a home built one?
    home built one
    arizau likes this.
    Stay thirsty my friends

  8. #8
    ca
    Jan 2012
    Lillooet, British Columbia
    Garrett AT Gold
    29
    35 times
    Prospecting
    Hi Bodfish, I am a little handy, but probably not to the extent of being able to build one. My claim that I have up here is maybe 100 yards from the road and being young still, I don;t mind packing in the gear. My test sample is all fine and from what I have read, if its visible to the naked eye, then its 125 mesh and larger, which makes me think that the black sands must be full of the smaller gold. If everyone thinks that the electric 12v would do the job, then I am leaning toward that.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,470
    10081 times
    Prospecting
    "Dry" material is not a relative term.

    Around here in the desert truly effective drywashing doesn't work with higher humidity. Generally we are looking for a few months with no rain (zero) and less than 10% humidity for best results. Anything damper and the recovery rate goes down.

    I'm looking at BC humidity and I'm seeing the lower range is around 50% in most areas. That high of humidity would seriously affect recovery here. A reasonable test of soil moisture content is to grab a handful of material, squeeze it in your hand and see if it streams out between your fingers like dry sand when you relax your hand. Any clumping or sticky soil left in your hand indicates it's too damp to get good recovery with a drywasher.

    Another consideration, if the soil is dry enough, is the clay content. If you have clay clumps or balls in your material a significant percentage of your gold will go out the end of your drywasher wrapped in chunks of clay. Perfectly dry material with a significant clay content is not a good candidate for dry processing unless you preprocess the material to dust. That's expensive, slow and requires more heavy equipment.

    Recovery of -100 is possible with a good drywasher but the recovery percentages go way down as the gold particles get smaller. You've got a cloth that has to pass considerable quantities of pulsed air. There is no way to make an air board that will pass air easily but prevent particles smaller than the fabric mesh from being lost. If the smaller fractions of gold could stick to the surface of the cloth it would prevent efficient air movement.

    I hope your material is suitable for drywashing and you find a model that suits your needs and deposit. It's good to keep in mind that there is usually a good reason potentially productive deposits are still available. Most often in the west that is due to a lack of water for processing or the deposit is too small for a mining company to bother with. If your deposit is the latter you may have a gem just waiting for a small drywasher operation.

    Heavy Pans
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  10. #10
    ca
    Jan 2012
    Lillooet, British Columbia
    Garrett AT Gold
    29
    35 times
    Prospecting
    Clay Diggins, thanks for the great input. I am located in Lillooet. Which enjoys the hottest place in Canada (Lytton likes to claim this title). Most of the lower areas are staked and have been worked historically since the 1850's. The benches I am targeting are old river terrace deposits that have no water and are gravel, no clay. Its the last frontier for a hobbiest prospector. Because we have such a great climate, Drywashing is something that I think would work well here. Gonna give it a go this year and see how it goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  11. #11
    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.
    2,005
    2895 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by bchopeful View Post
    Anything else users of drywashers can add?
    I've read where some users espouse running damp(ish) feed twice or more times. Extra exposure to air and sun may dry out the feed enough to allow clumped material to disintegrate somewhat and free the gold for capture by the dry washer. Running twice could be a double edged sword though since the first pass may/probably does(?) catch the majority of the gold so efforts and results may be better served by running more material one time and being done with it. If I were you I would do a test and then go with what yields the best results.*

    *I tested this once by processing first and second run concentrates separately and found virtually nothing in the second pass concentrates. My feed was pretty dry to begin with but the test gave me confidence in the efficiency of my washer especially since most of the gold recovered was at or below 50 mesh.
    Last edited by arizau; Mar 27, 2018 at 02:57 PM.
    bchopeful and Clay Diggins like this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  12. #12
    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
    6,739
    10510 times
    Prospecting

    Bellows Vs 12v Puffer and Static Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by utah mason View Post
    You could consider the whippet drywasher. Half the weight of the Thompson, and that's including the battery. But it's expensive, and it's one guy who builds them, on the side. I've been waiting over a year, he was hoping to have it done by the end of this month, but we shall see. As long as I get it by June I'll be happy.
    Very excited for you to get your new tool! Are there places around your home to run it or are you planning on heading into the desert? At some point we will have to do a joint outing with our matching drywashers.

    To the OP: I used to run a Keene 151. Itís huge and heavy, overkill as mentioned above unless you bring a whole club and do a group dig. And so much dust. And noise. Soooo, I went to the opposite extreme and got a Whippet (only a 3 month wait back then lol). It catches extremely fine -100 gold, runs smooth as silk and makes much less dust. Iím in love!
    Last edited by KevinInColorado; Mar 27, 2018 at 10:24 PM.
    utah mason and Clay Diggins like this.

  13. #13
    us
    Husband, father & fun seeker

    Jul 2015
    utah
    535
    929 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinInColorado View Post
    Very excited for you to get your new tool! Are there places around your home to run it or are you planning on heading into the desert? At some point we will have to do a joint outing with our matching drywashers.
    I was mainly thinking of heading out a little west of here, where there is less water for sluicing. There are a few places higher up off the river I would like to check out close by.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  14. #14
    us
    Oct 2008
    Fort Dick, Ca.
    534
    968 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice write-ups Barry. A lot of good info. I've actually though of using one at inland California spots. Might have to rake the material out to dry.

    Mike
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Mine President, XPBC, GIH

    Dec 2013
    Arcata, California
    Fisher 1212-x Fisher Gold Bug 2 Whites 4900/SP3 Rocker boxes, Keene sluices, Bazooka sluice, 2.5", 4" lowbankers, highbankers. Witch Sticks.
    638
    719 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by delnorter View Post
    Nice write-ups Barry. A lot of good info. I've actually though of using one at inland California spots. Might have to rake the material out to dry.

    Mike
    I built my wood puffer with that thought during the height of the drought, I had a spot I wanted to bring in my highbanker but it was a hairy spot to climb into so I thought a drywasher was the ticket no pump or can of gas to monkey with. Well dang when I got that drywasher thumping away it started raining... I just had to play with it so I ran it in the basement with some sand I picked up at home depot LOL.
    Clay Diggins and arizau like this.

 

 
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