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Thread: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

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  1. #1
    us
    Arizona Ames

    Dec 2008
    Michigan
    MXT, TDI, Whites Dual Field, Goldmaster VSAT, Fisher CZ 21
    508
    21 times

    Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    I just completed my homemade 2 1/2 inch dredge. I floated it in the lake to find out what the displacement was and it was almost perfect. The front was about 5 to 10 lbs light but with the water in the sluice, it should weight the front end down some. If not, I will have to add some weight to the front (the neat thing is that you just add some water balast to the front tanks). Other than that, it was perfect and the front of the sluice was about 4 inches above the water.
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    Geochemdog likes this.
    Arizona Ames

  2. #2
    us
    Jan 2009
    El Paso Texas
    Minelab X-terra 70
    332
    5 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Nice. A couple of gallon milk containers filled with water should do the trick.

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2008
    Kentucky
    White's MXT; backup - BH Pioneer 505
    573
    10 times
    Prospecting and coin shooting

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Looks great! Good job! Did you get any gold??

    It shouldn't take you long to get things balanced out. That is one advantage of buying a commercially made dredge, but I'm sure your savings of making your own is more than worth the efforts for balancing your floataion!

    Show us the gold!

    Good luck,

    Lookin
    Lookin' and pickin'!

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2008
    VALLEY ALABAMA
    GARRETT GTA 500
    3,650
    1 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    nice. did you draw plans for it? might could advertise and sell them.
    STRIPPING SILVER OUT OF BANKS AT FACE

  5. #5
    us
    Arizona Ames

    Dec 2008
    Michigan
    MXT, TDI, Whites Dual Field, Goldmaster VSAT, Fisher CZ 21
    508
    21 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    I used my old Keene Sluice, that is about 25 years old, and made the dredge and high banker around it. The frame on the dredge is all aluminum exept for the venturi (prolinemining) and the flair, that my millwright made from steel. The floats are 4 pepsi dispensers so that one can balance the dredge by adding water to one or more of the floats. I have the 1 1/4 hose and the 2 1/2 inch hose ordered and I also had my millwright make a nozzle for me too out of steel with a handle on it. Proline wanted $75 just for that! I am heade west in a few weeks and want to be prepared. I lost most of my mining stuff including a beach box when I went bust on a large nightclub in Iowa years ago.....jim
    Arizona Ames

  6. #6

    Dec 2007
    Tierra del Fuego
    Tesoro.Fisher.Garrett
    3,296
    4 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Congrats!

    You saved a whole bundle of money over a prefab rig!

    Good luck on your venture.
    rmptr
    I am a pathological liar and a functional illiterate.

  7. #7

    May 2007
    16

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Looking good James!

    I wish I knew how to weld aluminum like you. I am going to bring mine in to a shop and have the corners and other stress points welded before dredge season because I can only put so much faith in pop rivets. I like the fact that you made the frame out of box aluminum so that back shelf sits above the barrels. I used angle metal on my sides so the barrels fit real tight, but they stick up above the frame making it harder to attach a shelf for the misc gear. Looks like you have a ton of space back there. I was going to do something similar and then attach some angle aluminum at the edges so I could throw small nuts and bolts back there if needed without worrying about them falling off, but I found out that my panning tub fits in between my frame in the back just right.

    I also like the way you made those brackets so your sluice sits low on the frame. My buddy and I did a test last week to see how much small gold we are losing. I have my unbacked miners moss and green miners carpet under to catch the fines that sink though the moss. I used the stock riffles and took out the expanded metal because it would not fit. Eventually I will have ribbed v-matting under the moss and then I will do tests with and without the expanded metal. We rigged up another A52 to the end with a more shallow slope and the stock riffles, carpet and no expanded metal. I would guess that we ran maybe 15-20 3/4 filled 5 gallon buckets through for the test. When we did cleanup I noticed that the second sluice caught a whole bunch of black sand and a lot more garnets than the first sluice. I don't know if it was from less slope, the different material, or another factor. We panned out the concentrates and found only 4-5 small pieces of flour gold in the second sluice with 90-95% in the top box. I'm sure we lost some micron gold out the back, but from the test I think very little gold was lost. We are in an area that has much more flour gold than nuggets and we want to retain the 5-10% that wants to exit so we are going to attach a second sluice and your underslung design is how we will mount it. We'll lose the space in the back for the panning tub/storage tray, but I think we will have the tailing's end in the water so the tub can move to the front space where the sluice was when it was on top.

    I found this awesome material that I put in the flair of my A52 that catches most of the larger flake gold before it even hits the riffles. It's some kind of conveyor belt material that has 1/8" deep pockets all over the place. Here is a picture:







    Did you fabricate that jet log, jet flair, and flap? If so...nice work! With my limited metal working ability I would not even attempt that.

    Do you know what the final dimensions of your frame is? Mine is 42"x64".

    Keep me posted.

    -Kevin

  8. #8
    us
    Arizona Ames

    Dec 2008
    Michigan
    MXT, TDI, Whites Dual Field, Goldmaster VSAT, Fisher CZ 21
    508
    21 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Great idea. Kevin, on the rubber mat (belt) material. I was lucky here because I have a millwright shop close to me. Many years ago, I worked as a UAW electrician for Fords and Chrysler and found it easy to work with millwrights. These guys, that normally worked for the local Lumber Mills, before they shut down because of this recession, found it easy to work with a UAW electrician. I laid out what I wanted and together, we built the thing. They normally work with steel so they were not equipped to work with aluminum. Bret use a wire feeder to weld the aluminum. They did not have heliarc equipment. He also fabricated the flair, based on the model that I made from cardboard. He did the same when I made a model of what I wanted for the Highbanker. I bet you have a ton of millwright that are idle in WA. I will be out your way come summer. I have a yahoo group, goldhunting. Perhaps we could hook up come summer to get that gold....gold...gold....I can here it calling me...come and get me...come and get me......jim
    Arizona Ames

  9. #9
    us
    DFCA

    Dec 2006
    Kansas
    Minelab E-trac
    5,903
    20 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    nice looking rig.
    just one observation, you might want to put an extra strap around your floats.
    the way it's setup, if you hit a rock or log or something, it looks like it could twist in the frame
    jmo

    Sniffer

  10. #10
    us
    Arizona Ames

    Dec 2008
    Michigan
    MXT, TDI, Whites Dual Field, Goldmaster VSAT, Fisher CZ 21
    508
    21 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    No...it is blocked in as of tomorrow am. I am going to install slats so that only one strap will be needed and that can be loose....jim
    Arizona Ames

  11. #11

    May 2007
    16

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaames
    Perhaps we could hook up come summer to get that gold....gold...gold
    I'd be up for that. I'll try to see if my source has any more of that belting material and pick up some extra. You have my e-mail address so just hit me up as it gets closer to your visit and we'll hash it out. I know of a place with relativly easy access that I'm told has some nice pickers.

    -Kevin

  12. #12
    us
    DFCA

    Dec 2006
    Kansas
    Minelab E-trac
    5,903
    20 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    then I stand corrected. looks like a nice rig. how far do you usually move it to use it?

  13. #13
    us
    Arizona Ames

    Dec 2008
    Michigan
    MXT, TDI, Whites Dual Field, Goldmaster VSAT, Fisher CZ 21
    508
    21 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    It cannot twist...it could just move backward but now with the slats to stop that, it is now secure. I also just had a 12 by 18 inch 1/4 inch diamond plate added 1 inch high on both sides of the front. That should take care of the displacement problem and give me a seat to fish off of. If I change the displacement in the future by adding a compressor or different pump and motor, I can add lead weight to the 2 platforms, that I added, if needed. This dredge is a lot more versatile than a prefab proline or Keen dredge. One has a place to put stuff on it or hang stuff from it and it has a proline venturi and a Keene (old one) sluice. ....
    Arizona Ames

  14. #14
    us
    Apr 2009
    Murrieta Ca
    Tesoro Silver Sabre, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq
    186
    13 times

    Re: Homemade 2 1/2 inch gold dredge...

    Thats a good looking dredge Ames. I just got here, this is a great forum. I plan on making myself
    a dredge soon, just wanted to say thanks for sharing that. Big thumbs up.
    www.Hamiltontileandstone.com

  15. #15

    Mar 2013
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Plastic barrel size

    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaames View Post
    I just completed my homemade 2 1/2 inch dredge. I floated it in the lake to find out what the displacement was and it was almost perfect. The front was about 5 to 10 lbs light but with the water in the sluice, it should weight the front end down some. If not, I will have to add some weight to the front (the neat thing is that you just add some water balast to the front tanks). Other than that, it was perfect and the front of the sluice was about 4 inches above the water.
    I would like to know the size of the plastic barrels that you used to make your dredge. They seem to be 20 gallon size . I will be going the same root and make my own . Thank you for your help

 

 
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