I'm back, with more questions!

ProspectorALEX

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Apr 14, 2013
292
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Clam Gulch, AK
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Hi everyone. It has been a long time since my last post, but my dad and I have finally gotten a dredge and hope to finally be serious with this prospecting thing. So, for the last few years I've been out of the loop and haven't done much prospecting besides playing around with beach sands in the springs. My summers have been taken up with commercial set net fishing, which takes up a whole summer because they only tell you when you fish a day or two beforehand. So, we got a proline 4in dredge with a compressor and regulator for $3300. It is in great condition and the guy we bought it from said he only had around 130 hours of runtime on it. So, now that we have a dredge, we are going to need wetsuits and a heater of some sort because the areas I have found are made up mainly of meltwater and runoff form the mountains. This is where my questions begin.

First, does anyone have a 7mm wetsuit in particular that they recommend? Cheaper is better, but I don't want one that will fall apart in the middle of the season.

Second, I know that there are posts and videos on building wetsuit heaters but the people making them either buy them and have no idea about them or they seem haphazard. Another forum had rough sketches on a heater, but they weren't detailed enough for me. so, can anyone help guide me through building a heater?

Third, Would it be worth it to replace thee miners moss with new moss or another type of matting? the moss in it now is several years old, but has low hours on it. I would imagine that it would be fine, but I know that stuff degrades over time and I don't know if that is one of the things that does.

Lastly, how realistic would it be for my dad and I to pack the dredge in 2-3 miles? I know it depends on how dedicated we are, and we intend on leaving it there for the summer once we get it there because it is plenty safe from people and there are few if any bears in the area according to DFG.

Also, thankyou to ya OGs for putting up with me and helping me get into prospecting. I really enjoy it and appreciate everything you have done to help me along. I know a few of those people have passed away since I have joined and I never got a chance to thank them for their help and advice and I wish I had.
 
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Reed Lukens

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Jan 1, 2013
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Packing it in a few miles isn't a big deal, use a big wheelbarrow for the motor, gas, hoses, sluice and fittings, then carry the frame and pontoons with the hoses strapped to it separate. Go 50 feet or so, set the wheelbarrow down, go back for the frame, go another 50'+-. It will take a few hours but you can travel a long way.
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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Maybe you should think about a dry suit? Building a good heater takes a good welder, or you can just use copper tubing.
Prospectors Cache Forum - Viewing topic #66590 - Flow for a suit heater?
Thank you for posting the link. I spent awhile searching for info on the heater and didn't come across that forum. From your source and other places I have read, I should be able to figure out how to build a heater. Most other reads didn't say much or anything about diameters of copper tubing or plastic tubing.

Packing it in a few miles isn't a big deal, use a big wheelbarrow for the motor, gas, hoses, sluice and fittings, then carry the frame and pontoons with the hoses strapped to it separate. Go 50 feet or so, set the wheelbarrow down, go back for the frame, go another 50'+-. It will take a few hours but you can travel a long way.

Ok, that is good to know. My dad was trying to tell me that it would be ridiculous for us to get the dredge to where we are trying to go, so it is good to hear that it shouldn't be that bad. If nothing else, we can break the dredge down even more and make 2 trips if we need to so it would be smaller, lighter loads.
 

mikep691

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Aug 6, 2015
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If the dredge was stored where there was no direct sunlight on the miners moss, it shouldn't have too much degradation and shouldn't need to be replaced. I'm not a big fan of miners moss anyway, so if it was choice, I'd replace it with ribbed carpet or matting. Again, it's an individual preference.
 

N-Lionberger

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Dec 1, 2013
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I'm not a fan of moss either, ribbed rubber under unbacked veranda carpet.
 

Reed Lukens

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IdahoGoldGettR

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Mar 13, 2014
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Cold is cold, no two ways about it when diving in frigid waters with a wet suit. Obviously a heat exchanger is a must to make such dives bearable. Since a wet suit is the possible choice in this circumstance, I’ll just give you my recommendation. I have tried many suits over the past years, some good and some just down right horrible. As with anything, whether to choose a “farmer” (aka: 2 piece) or a full body wet suit is an individual preference. My preference is a 7m full body wet suit with the zipper in back by SeaQuest. As I have said, tried many but this type does well for me here in Idaho. Kudos to you for getting involved in gold prospecting with your father. Enjoy the times and reserve the memories.
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
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Primary Interest:
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If the dredge was stored where there was no direct sunlight on the miners moss, it shouldn't have too much degradation and shouldn't need to be replaced. I'm not a big fan of miners moss anyway, so if it was choice, I'd replace it with ribbed carpet or matting. Again, it's an individual preference.

Ok. that is good to know. it was stored in his garage so the moss should be fine. when I was looking at it the moss didn't show signs of degrading, but I wasn't sure if it was like other plastics where it just begins to get brittle and crumble or if it would just weaken and tear while using it.
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
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Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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I have heard good things about the unbacked carpet you are talking about, but I have also heard that proline dredges don't run as well with it. I was reading that someone was testing it in their box and that miners moss got better results in the proline, where the veranda carpet with ribbed rubber did better in keene boxes. However, I am sure it will also depend on the material that the dredge is processing and how the box is set up.
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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Cold is cold, no two ways about it when diving in frigid waters with a wet suit. Obviously a heat exchanger is a must to make such dives bearable. Since a wet suit is the possible choice in this circumstance, I’ll just give you my recommendation. I have tried many suits over the past years, some good and some just down right horrible. As with anything, whether to choose a “farmer” (aka: 2 piece) or a full body wet suit is an individual preference. My preference is a 7m full body wet suit with the zipper in back by SeaQuest. As I have said, tried many but this type does well for me here in Idaho. Kudos to you for getting involved in gold prospecting with your father. Enjoy the times and reserve the memories.

Ok, so I searched for seaquest, and it seems that they are owned by aqualung. I wasn't able to find any seaquest suits except for on ebay, so they might have been bought out or that line isn't in production anymore. I understand that you get what you pay for, but are the aqualung suits worth the $400+ that they are asking?
 

Reed Lukens

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Jan 1, 2013
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Congres, AZ/ former California Outlawed Gold Miner
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Call pioneer mining in Auburn california. They have their dredging wetsuits made with the arms up in the air. Normal driving suits are made with their arms at the sides. The suits from pioneer are made for dredging.

https://www.pioneermining.com/
 

N-Lionberger

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Dec 1, 2013
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The purpose of the mats are to seal the riffles to the prevent scouring, anything will do it but I like the carpet over rubber as it retains fines while running faily clean, the moss can fill space behind the riffles reducing riffle action and in changes in flow can compact it with sand, it quits exchanging. I'm pretty sure my wetsuit is a Seaquest I don't think they make them anymore. I like the farmer john style, its nice to be able to take the jacket part off when you're working up top. Wearing some mechanics coveralls over your wetsuit really extends its life, the gravels tear up the neoprene pretty good.
 

russau

Gold Member
May 29, 2005
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St. Louis, missouri
Alex the first thing I'd do if I were in your position wold be to take the sluice and flair apart and clean it out of all the "stuff" that is in the cracks and crevices where anything is bolted together !I did this from a friends 4 inch Keene and I found a lot of fine gold stuck in there. I returned all that gold to the original owner (a friend) and he was all smiles ! I felt pretty good myself for doing this for him! This "may" help you get some good diving gear for your self !:icon_thumleft:
 

mikep691

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Aug 6, 2015
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The purpose of the mats are to seal the riffles to the prevent scouring, anything will do it but I like the carpet over rubber as it retains fines while running faily clean, the moss can fill space behind the riffles reducing riffle action and in changes in flow can compact it with sand, it quits exchanging. I'm pretty sure my wetsuit is a Seaquest I don't think they make them anymore. I like the farmer john style, its nice to be able to take the jacket part off when you're working up top. Wearing some mechanics coveralls over your wetsuit really extends its life, the gravels tear up the neoprene pretty good.

I agree. moss collects and holds the lighter fine material and disrupt the vorticies of the riffles. Carpet holds more of the heavy blacks and gold. Just my opinion though
 

mikep691

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Aug 6, 2015
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Northeastern Sierra's
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I have heard good things about the unbacked carpet you are talking about, but I have also heard that proline dredges don't run as well with it. I was reading that someone was testing it in their box and that miners moss got better results in the proline, where the veranda carpet with ribbed rubber did better in keene boxes. However, I am sure it will also depend on the material that the dredge is processing and how the box is set up.

A thought... Call Keene for their green ribbed carpet. Easy to clean, holds the heavies, and passes the light stuff out. This carpet under raised expanded is a good combo IMO
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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Alex the first thing I'd do if I were in your position wold be to take the sluice and flair apart and clean it out of all the "stuff" that is in the cracks and crevices where anything is bolted together !I did this from a friends 4 inch Keene and I found a lot of fine gold stuck in there. I returned all that gold to the original owner (a friend) and he was all smiles ! I felt pretty good myself for doing this for him! This "may" help you get some good diving gear for your self !:icon_thumleft:

Actually, I did that and the previous owner did a pretty good job of keeping it cleaned out lol. I think there was only 5 small flakes from all of the sand and gravel I managed to shake out.
 
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ProspectorALEX

ProspectorALEX

Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2013
292
184
Clam Gulch, AK
Detector(s) used
Whites GMT E-series
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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  • #18
I agree. moss collects and holds the lighter fine material and disrupt the vorticies of the riffles. Carpet holds more of the heavy blacks and gold. Just my opinion though

A thought... Call Keene for their green ribbed carpet. Easy to clean, holds the heavies, and passes the light stuff out. This carpet under raised expanded is a good combo IMO

I will talk to my dad about it, but right now he just wants to get some gold for as cheap as possible right now to prove that buying a dredge was worth it to my mom.
 

Reed Lukens

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Jan 1, 2013
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The only thing that I would do to the box is put vmat under the moss that it came with, it works fine, run the motor maxed out. What motor/ pump is it?
 

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