What are your favorite non-standard prospecting and mining tools?
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  1. #1
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting

    What are your favorite non-standard prospecting and mining tools?

    We all know we can buy our gold collection equipment from people who specialize in it, and so naturally most of us probably do buy a lot of it from vendors catering to the trade.

    But what innovations, improvisations, hacks, cheap substitutes, and common objects go with you when you prospect, or do you use back home once you've brought your cons and gold back to the house?

    Asking, cause I'm heading to the Dollar store shortly..... LOL!

  2. #2
    us
    Mar 2012
    Idaho
    Gold Hog Stream Sluice
    431
    989 times
    Prospecting
    Some of mine are hardware store items & some are home made, while some are prospecting store purchases.
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    Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    Visit my Idaho Gold Prospecting Blog at Bedrock or Bust
    US Army Pacific 1969-1971
    2015 Stroke Survivor
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    Every Day Is A Beautiful Day

  3. #3
    us
    Jan 2012
    Oregon Coast
    White's V3i, White's MXT, and White's Eagle Spectrum Cleangold sluice & prospectors pan, EZ-Gold Pan, and custom cleanup sluice.
    1,422
    2093 times
    Beach mining, Metal detecting, Trading.
    A younger mans strong back....................
    We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson

    Which is also why we have the second
    amendment.

  4. #4
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting
    I like your tool kit, Underburden! Looks like you have a very pragmatic collection there. Exactly what I was asking for.

  5. #5
    us
    Mar 2013
    44
    58 times
    Prospecting
    https://www.harborfreight.com/15-1-2...-bar-2529.html

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    I use this pry bar when dredging... it seems to get in between the cracks in the bedrock the best..... it's paid for itself every time I use it.... It's freed many pickers from mother natures grip. Works well on compacted cobble too.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2012
    Blackfoot, Idaho
    White's GMT, DFX, Coinmaster, TDI-SL, GM24K, Falcon MD20, old Garrett Masterhunter BFO 'Way Too Cool' dual 18 Watt UV light
    2,606
    3171 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Placer View Post
    https://www.harborfreight.com/15-1-2...-bar-2529.html

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    I use this pry bar when dredging... it seems to get in between the cracks in the bedrock the best..... it's paid for itself every time I use it.... It's freed many pickers from mother natures grip. Works well on compacted cobble too.
    When those first came out, when I was just a kid about 60 years ago, they were called "Wonder Bars". They may even have been patented, though I'm not sure. I've been using them for 60 years, or more. I even have one of the ones I used as a kid. Great tools for some uses. All my brothers still call them Wonder Bars.
    Jim

  7. #7
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting
    I went to Dollar Tree today--don't have the picture, but I got a few things there including a turkey baster for snuffer purposes, a couple wire mesh baskets for classifiers (not very consistent sizing, but at this point I just want to strain the rocks out). Also picked up another trowel. Everything is a dollar each.
    63bkpkr and arizau like this.

  8. #8
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting
    I followed up with Walmart tonight (I'm a nocturnal animal), and bought a few things. Including my two 8-inch pans from Martin Prospecting a county away from me (shipped in 2 days with standard shipping), I've now spent $23.17 in tools and supplies. Of course I have some tools already, too, such as shovel, hammer, cat's paw (prybar), trowel, 5-gallon bucket, etc.

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    414
    579 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Underburden View Post
    Some of mine are hardware store items & some are home made, while some are prospecting store purchases.
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    Where can you buy the orange handled scraper/pry with the shiny metal?
    Back-of-the-boat likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Feb 2019
    Dawnzer Lee Light
    67
    31 times
    Prospecting

    Lightbulb

    I have 3 out of the box thinking, favorite tools, two which I've made and or modified greatly, and a third one I'm beta tester for which is a new invention using an old fluid dynamics principle. They are:

    My MEGAN'S MOTH, a backpackable DC "miller table", made with real slate. Uses 42gph DC electric water pump.
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    My SLICE, a complete, single-tray, stock Gold Cube with std Vortex Mat. Fits 5gal bucket-sized, for easy transport Uses std Johnson 1000gph Water Pump
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    And my newest exciting device built by Sluice Goose Industries of Albany OR:
    The GOLDROP
    I've named her "GOLDIE"
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    This is a sampling of what I do and how I do it differently.
    I'm called the "Queen of Small Footprint" for a reason.
    Last edited by Rosey Morgan; Jul 21, 2019 at 01:28 PM.

  11. #11
    us
    Mar 2013
    44
    58 times
    Prospecting
    Really like your idea of slicing up a single gold cube tray and making a full setup with it... pretty slick.
    Jimoutside and Rosey Morgan like this.

  12. #12
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting
    I used to be a sawmill operator, and was active on a forestry- related forum. Sawmill people are forever modifying their mills--some things just beg for customization!
    roconnor, Rosey Morgan and 63bkpkr like this.

  13. #13
    us
    Feb 2019
    Dawnzer Lee Light
    67
    31 times
    Prospecting
    Darth, I couldn't seem to put the money together to buy "full sized one". I kept watching the YT videos GC and others posted, and one day it dawned on me, that every durned video was showing folks plopping the scoop of dirt in the middle center of the top tray. Some were faster at plopping than others. Then I watched the material spread out in a predictable "fan/delta spread" from that laminar water distribution plate on the top tray where the bilge hose insert was into the backside of that top tray. Scooped and plopped material never real hit the edges of the top tray before disappearing under the submersing gateway at the end of the top tray!!!! Just seemed like a waste of "GC real estate."

    A light-bulb went on. My thinking went something like this:

    "Well, HECK, most everybody is wasting 2/3 of the capacity of that top tray!!"
    So, I set about to find a single tray for sale, with the genuine vortex mat attached. It should have been easy. It was NOT! NO ONE at the shows wanted to sell me just one. GC didn't even want to selll me just one!! Everyone wanted to know what I was going to do with it. Wasn't just curiousity. It was like I was suspected of being up to no good or something. Strange!

    Finally talked the now shuttered D&K Detectors (Portland OR) into selling me one tray. $119 including S&H. ($99 tray/$20 S&H)

    Precisely measured, and subtracted tablesaw blade kerf (x2 kerf) from the dimensions I got it table-sawed into precise 3rds at a local cabinet shop. I kept the curlies from the cut-aparts to be able to melt and use for repair should I ever need to.

    Had some 3/16" Lexan clear sheets laying around and my Dremel router attachment, I I cut out 4 see-thru sides.

    The rest is history.

    I truly love using it. In fact, I have DC LED lit up the top end of tray 2 where Tray 1 gate dumps into Tray 2, so I can watch the lively exchange action. It is a trip to watch My SLICE work watching through the clear Lexan sides, all lit up and everything. Fun to see the gold nestle into the vortexs of that mat.

    Thank for the compliment. A "three stack" for the price of one! It's priceless to me.
    Last edited by Rosey Morgan; Jul 23, 2019 at 11:16 AM.
    Jimoutside likes this.

  14. #14
    us
    Distractable Specialist

    Jul 2019
    South Carolina
    59
    50 times
    Prospecting
    So if people are wasting 2/3 of the top tray capacity, are they not also wasting at least 2/3 of the lower tray capacities, too?

    This is how people start making sense.....

    Unless they are going to load it faster, it's too big!

    Ah--I know--it's that "cube" thing. It needs to be shaped enough like a cube to be worthy of the name, and you've made a rectangular (or trapezoidal) solid out of it--they would have to change the name. Hmmmm

    Good on ya, Rosey!
    Rosey Morgan likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Feb 2019
    Dawnzer Lee Light
    67
    31 times
    Prospecting
    It does make me wonder, also. and, thank you!! I don't know. I've no way to watch the vortex mat exchange action on a full sized cube with it's non-transparent sides. I can say this about my SLICE, however...

    Did you notice the second tray's mat is darker in the photo than the bottom tray which appears speckled in appearance?

    That's BC I only have to clean out the bottom tray basically once a season!!! I hardly ever find anything there. So, I have my theory that I'm reaping some sort of increased effeciency in gold grabbing due to my re-shaping modification. And the haul this around weight savings plus increased portability are definite advantages in quick load and dash off to dig prospecting.

    The reason I came up with the water insertion into the upper tray deck is due to how much water wasted volume was observed in the "GC game films." Now if falls harmlessly back into the My SLICE, and into the second tray to continue on to the recirc tub or back into the creek.

    The piece of miner's moss over the 90 Degree elbow fitted inlet had another unexpected benefit. Instead of the water inlet acting like a rooster tail, it now performs as a diffuser. It's restored the necessary laminar flow which is vital to the GC designed submersible gates feature per tray...with an additional advantage. The laminar flow emerges from the front edge onto the slick tray, yes that small piece of diffuser with a visible cross-hatch pattern, a phenomenon I'd only seen in one other piece of very successful sluice Eqpt formerly built by the original Angus MacKirk company over here in Boise, and was designed and built by his clever son, Joel Farmer, now owner operator of the successful U.S. Prospector brand. That crosshatch distribution water pattern from the diffuser moss, I believe is truly responsible for the increased gold grabbing distribution in Tray #2 when it first hits the vortex mat.

    Joel had discovered the beauty and utility of the cross-hatch water pattern in his S-1 sluice, still the standard I measure "ordinary" sluices by. This crosshatch pattern is so SO helpful in pulling gold from Quikcrete Sand sacks expecially in the PacNW.

    All other things remain the same, including GPH of pump.
    Last edited by Rosey Morgan; Jul 23, 2019 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Punctuation
    Jimoutside likes this.

 

 
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