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Thread: 2" or 2 1/2" dredge - is there much of a difference?

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  1. #16
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    877
    1916 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by mikep691 View Post
    I converted a 1 1/2" Jobe combo to 2". My creek is pretty shallow and it seems to work fine. Sure, with a buttload more water, larger would be in order but for what we have, the upgrade is good enough.
    Bigger is always better...unless you have to pack it in
    russau likes this.

  2. #17

    Aug 2015
    Northeastern Sierra's
    674
    1270 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonaro View Post
    Bigger is always better...unless you have to pack it in
    And we do carry everything in. The 2" trash pump is nearly a deal killer for my old bones.

  3. #18
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    337
    642 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by mikep691 View Post
    And we do carry everything in. The 2" trash pump is nearly a deal killer for my old bones.
    Seriously! I feel your pain. (And I consider myself more "middle aged")
    I still remember a trip in Virginia where I stupidly tried to use a game/deer cart (2 wheeled thing) to haul all my gear down river about a half mile. In VA you have to stay in the river (which is not trespassing), and that's rough with all the rocks. The cart wasn't working so I started just carrying the gear, and that pump was SO hard to carry so far. I had to stop every...25 yards?... and find a dry place on the bank to set it down.
    Never again. I got a Gorilla Cart and that works wonderfully.

    OP, sorry to hijack the thread but that memory came back to me after Mike's post. But there's a lesson in that: if you can't float your dredge in and instead have to carry/transport your gear, consider that in your size decision making. I'm glad I got my 3" dredge and use a 2" outlet pump, but hauling the gear is painful sometimes.
    - Brian
    Darth Placer likes this.

  4. #19
    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
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    10838 times
    Prospecting

    2" or 2 1/2" dredge - is there much of a difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by akflyer View Post
    You might want to recheck your math and use radius and not diameter.
    Oh crap you are quite right lol! I had the right idea but still failed the math test!!!
    roconnor, russau and akflyer like this.

  5. #20

    Aug 2015
    Northeastern Sierra's
    674
    1270 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by brianc053 View Post
    Seriously! I feel your pain. (And I consider myself more "middle aged")
    I still remember a trip in Virginia where I stupidly tried to use a game/deer cart (2 wheeled thing) to haul all my gear down river about a half mile. In VA you have to stay in the river (which is not trespassing), and that's rough with all the rocks. The cart wasn't working so I started just carrying the gear, and that pump was SO hard to carry so far. I had to stop every...25 yards?... and find a dry place on the bank to set it down.
    Never again. I got a Gorilla Cart and that works wonderfully.

    OP, sorry to hijack the thread but that memory came back to me after Mike's post. But there's a lesson in that: if you can't float your dredge in and instead have to carry/transport your gear, consider that in your size decision making. I'm glad I got my 3" dredge and use a 2" outlet pump, but hauling the gear is painful sometimes.
    - Brian
    More like 25 FEET for me. And that is a lot less coming out. It's about 1/4 mile hike in, three trips getting everything down, but four or five to it all back up the hill. This season, the heavy stuff will live there once I find the best hiding place.
    brianc053 likes this.

  6. #21
    us
    Mar 2013
    53
    69 times
    Prospecting
    You can move a lot of material with a 2.5" highbanker/dredge combo .... If you shovel down to bedrock.. and detail the bedrock with the nozzle. Throw the nozzle in the hole while you are shoveling for a little added assistance.

    A nozzle guard is a must have for smaller nozzles as everything in the stream wants to jam them up.
    brianc053 likes this.

  7. #22
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
    Whites GMT Garret fully underwater
    1,002
    2445 times
    Prospecting
    Well I have had and used them all. I would definitely get a 2.5 vs the 2. There is a big difference. That said...…..There is a HUGE difference if you could go up to a 3....(if you have the water to run it). I would never buy a 2 or even a 2.5.....I would go with a 3. If you want to have easy pack in with a 3 you can build a PVC frame ( I used wood or aluminum dowel inside some spots) and a couple of inner tubes for floats...(blow them up with a small hand pump or?. A 3 will move a lot more material than a 2 or 2.5. All us dredgers know that each size difference is a dramatic change in process capability.

    Bejay
    roconnor, russau and Clay Diggins like this.

  8. #23

    Aug 2015
    Northeastern Sierra's
    674
    1270 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Bejay View Post
    Well I have had and used them all. I would definitely get a 2.5 vs the 2. There is a big difference. That said...…..There is a HUGE difference if you could go up to a 3....(if you have the water to run it). I would never buy a 2 or even a 2.5.....I would go with a 3. If you want to have easy pack in with a 3 you can build a PVC frame ( I used wood or aluminum dowel inside some spots) and a couple of inner tubes for floats...(blow them up with a small hand pump or?. A 3 will move a lot more material than a 2 or 2.5. All us dredgers know that each size difference is a dramatic change in process capability.

    Bejay
    While bigger may be better, if the water won't support it, or the creek just plain ain't big enough to float anything, then it just is what it is. This normally is my case. While flows have increased the past few years, it's just not a big enough creek for anything larger. It's tough for two people to work side by side in most areas. So, I guess the conditions you are working in really does determine the size of equipment you choose.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  9. #24
    Charter Member
    us
    Look at the Historical Gold Mining photo albums on my page

    Jan 2013
    Huntington, Or./ Stanton, AZ/ former Outlaw California Gold Dredger
    Tesoro Vaquero, Whites MXT, Vsat, GMT, 5900Di Pro, Minelab GPX 5000, GPXtreme, 2200SD, Excalibur 1000!
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    We use to start out each year by digging/ shoveling a 4' long hole 3" to 6" deep with one spot deep enough to keep the footvalve underwater. Then we would put the dredge nozzle next to the footvalve, start up, run for 30 seconds to a minute, then shut down before we ran the footvalve dry. A couple minutes later, the hole would be filled up again and we would start up and run maybe 90 seconds, till the water ran out and we would shut down again. After we had it a foot deep and maybe 6' around, we would tarp the bottom and backside of the hole, and continue until we had enough room to recirculate. You can run on next to no water with any size dredge and some shoveling. I don't recommend buying less then a 4" because it works fine with a little prep on the hole.

    russau likes this.

  10. #25
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    877
    1916 times
    Prospecting
    If you are set on getting nothing bigger than a 2.5 then getting a dredge is kinda pointless.
    Get a power sluice (high banker with a dredge attachment) and just set it up on legs instead of trying to float it.
    You wont have air so you are limited to less than 3' of water. The hassle and weight of floats dont make sense at this level
    russau likes this.

  11. #26
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    337
    642 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonaro View Post
    If you are set on getting nothing bigger than a 2.5 then getting a dredge is kinda pointless.
    Get a power sluice (high banker with a dredge attachment) and just set it up on legs instead of trying to float it.
    You wont have air so you are limited to less than 3' of water. The hassle and weight of floats dont make sense at this level
    ...And, in my opinion, thereís nothing wrong with this. My sluice is on legs and receives material from my 3Ē nozzle. I canít go deep, and that bums me out sometimes and in some places, but where I go in NH and VA I still get decent gold. Iím doing this for the experience (with my son, and more recently with my dad: )
    Darth Placer and Reed Lukens like this.

  12. #27
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
    Whites GMT Garret fully underwater
    1,002
    2445 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by mikep691 View Post
    While bigger may be better, if the water won't support it, or the creek just plain ain't big enough to float anything, then it just is what it is. This normally is my case. While flows have increased the past few years, it's just not a big enough creek for anything larger. It's tough for two people to work side by side in most areas. So, I guess the conditions you are working in really does determine the size of equipment you choose.
    I stated (if you have water to run it). That said...…..I have run a 3 where the water was more than slim. (Az). But I had to set the pump down stream of the sluice and run flat hose up to the power jet. I set the unit down in the creek on legs.....allowing the power jet to lie flat in the water...with a short piece of hose connecting it to the sluice. Sometimes where there is a will there is a way. For a "trickle creek" I use my 2 inch shrimp gun (suction gun) and have gotten a lot of gold with it. Anyone who has seen my gun method wants to do it and wants to learn how. All that said though...…….a 2.5 is much better than a 2....and all dredgers know that size makes a difference. Have fun getting the gold:

    Bejay

  13. #28
    us
    Mar 2013
    53
    69 times
    Prospecting
    LOL Brian your pops prospects the same way mine does. We have to do a trip together this spring.

    Goldndogs if you have the means to get a floating dredge it does help... It does give you more options on the water where you can setup (floating vs not). You can place a floating dredge in the shallows and on a bank but cannot place a combo without floats in the deeper water. I have done without floats for many years on my 2.5" and my 4" so I am speaking from experience. Venturing to new waters these days has been a bit of a challenge not having floats on the 4". Over that span there has been many times where I could simply not get setup were I would have really liked to prospect and had to settle for a lesser spot. I will be floating this season though.

    Added benefit of being on floats is if the spot you start in doesn't work out well you can float to another really easy.. vs having to re-set everything up just a little further away. In the heat of summer that can really burn you out quick.

    More time running and not messing around usually equals a better gold tally at the end of the day.
    brianc053 likes this.

  14. #29
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    337
    642 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Placer View Post
    LOL Brian your pops prospects the same way mine does. We have to do a trip together this spring.
    Darth Iím glad your dad still gets out there. Mine told me heíd be open to joining us again. Maybe in the Spring we can do VA; I havenít been to any of the CVGP claims yet and would like to try. Letís start kicking around some dates via PM.
    Darth Placer likes this.

  15. #30
    us
    Mar 2013
    53
    69 times
    Prospecting
    Sounds good .. yeah bring your pops. Made mine a 1.5" banker dredge last season.. he's much happier now just sitting in the water and letting the hose do the work.... LOL

    I'm open for anywhere.. sure we can get Jeff and the others in on it too.

 

 
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