Bucket Buddy II
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Thread: Bucket Buddy II

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  1. #1
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    1578 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Bucket Buddy II

    Just finished building Bucket Buddy II. On this version, I changed the dam angle from 90 to 60 degrees and dropped one spraybar.

    On the last version, I was loosing gold to both displacement and not having area to let the gold settle. I took a look at the diagram for a Graffe's E-tank (Keene Hydromatic Jig) and found it similar to my active fluid beds. On the E-tank, the bed has 60 degree sides that give room for the gold to settle away from the active center, and the sides force a slow subsidence of material down to the active center. In the first version, the active area was right up to the dam, and the fine gold could rise and get dumped on the spillway and be lost. The displacement was also a problem, as a spoonful of solid material would push fluid material up and over the dam. Fine gold in the active part of the bed will fly around like glitter in a hurricane, so it's constantly circulating in the bed. It's just too light to settle on the bottom of the bed and stay put. So I angled the dam away from the active area to provide a dead zone where the gold can settle without getting pushed over the dam.

    The Graffe's E-tank design has been tested and is capable of capturing 93% at #400. So we'll see what happens with this one. I'm headed out tomorrow to grab some beach sand for testing.

    Here's the Bucket Buddy II next to the original.
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    Here's a shot of the bottom.
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    And hanging on a bucket.
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    russau and NZ55 like this.

  2. #2
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    1578 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Tested it this morning with some tailings. It did work, but not quite what I wanted to see. The dam is a little too high and too close to the spraybar, the 500 GPH bilge pump has too much pressure, and the bucket slot was too wide for the bucket I was using. I think I may try one or two rows of spraybar holes aimed straight down instead of at 45 degrees. I had a couple of holes clog and the now stronger jets tunneled up the dam wall. I'll try a couple of plumbing changes first before doing the plexi changes. If the pressure stays too high, I may make a bleed system to attach to the cleanout.

    Otherwise, the sand did settle, and rode down the dam wall as intended. It didn't appear to be affected much by the displacement of new material. So the design is good, but I need to tweek things a bit.

  3. #3
    retired bumb and part time Hobo

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    4929 times
    Hey Cap , if I may make a suggestion about your device...........try adding a valve and a pressure gauge to the supply line and record your gold getting results at different settings. If I'm not mistaken as the volume of water increases from the pump the pressure goes down and vice versa and the volume decreases the pressure goes up. repeat the settings and record your results as you go so you can have repeatability . I did this with my fluid bed on my 4 inch dredge and it worked for me. regrettably I sold ALL of my equipment because of being a F.O.G. and all that goes with it!
    rodoconnor, davin and 63bkpkr like this.

  4. #4
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    1578 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I replumbed last night and tested this morning. I ran the bed full out until the bed was half full, and then throttled back. Once I got the bed full, the dam wall was locked up. I opened up the water a little and the dam wall broke free and began recirculating. I brought the throttle back to where it was, and the wall kept recirculating. Any displacement now seems to be at the back of the bed where the most fluid material is. The material on the dam wall is unaffected. All material above the dam wall is sinking properly, and all that's over the flat bottom is rising, so it's about 50/50 in the bed.

    On the new spraybar, I drilled the holes 45 degrees apart, and mounted with the dam side at a slight foreward angle. The jets now hit about 1/2" in front of the dam wall, and about 1/4" in front of the back wall.

    So it's pretty much time to rebuild the plexi to lower the dam wall about 1/2", and it's ready for some gold testing. Looks like I'll have to buy paydirt as Superior just got snow.
    russau and 63bkpkr like this.

  5. #5
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    1578 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just rebuilt the plexi and did a test run. The dam wall is a little further back as I lowered the bucket slot by 1/2" but hit the 5 1/2" depth that I planned. The action improved and could now drop the throttle down enough to lock the wall, but still give a good range of setting. You want to just keep the material sliding down the wall. After the run I dumped the bed into a pan to see how much volume it holds. It came to the second riffle on my Garrett 14". I then panned down the cons from the run, and found a speck of #200 in the pan. At least that's a good sign! Will have to strip the magnetite out of that material and try running again before final panning. Maybe I'll coax out another piece, though I hope not!

    If this design works without loosing anything, it'll be ideal for taking down all the fluid bed cons I get from my big beds.
    NZ55 and russau like this.

  6. #6
    Aug 2012
    SO CAL
    SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, the Falcon......and just as many drywashers
    1355 times
    The effective gold getting gear we all use today, was rooted in the past from miners like yourself, who saw the need then created a practical idea.........good luck!
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  7. #7
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    1578 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Bucket Buddy II seems to be hitting about 75% with my model 5 beach cons. It's an improvement over the original, but it ain't there yet! Fluid bed cons never seem to run well when bedded a second time. What I found strange is that the larger pieces were being ejected, so it seems to be a proportional force problem. I might try adding a damper screen to diffuse the flow a bit, as the active side was more active than I would have liked, but any lower setting would stop the slow subsidence at the tail.

    With the Model 5 bed, the material has 3 zones to move through. The first is full out, the second is full out with damper screen, and the third is 50% with damper screen. Plumbing is in two stages for the bed. With the beach sand, it looses about one #300 per bucket of material run, so it's an acceptable loss rate. Half of the bed is at a low simmer, while the front half is either high boil or reduced boil.

    With larger or less flat gold, the Bucket Buddy II might be good to go. She's not ready for beach sand yet.
    russau likes this.



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