Your Methods, Tips, etc...

Hamfist

Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2014
255
407
SoCal
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SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
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I've been thinking about how I can be more efficient while working with a drywasher. My main machine is a 12v puffer (Whippet) and for the last two years, I would clean out after approximately five 3.5-gal buckets, depending on how the riffles looked. The area I work is absolutely loaded with black sand so it doesn't take long for them to pack up. I generally try to run a full cubic yard before noon and the constant cleanouts really slow the process down.

This year, I've been trying a different method. I dig up a large pile of material, as I have previously done, but now I'm running the whole pile of pay, without doing any cleanouts, until all that remains is a header pile and a tailings pile. Essentially, this is a classification step. Now I have most of the gold extracted and am left with a smaller pile of classified tailings that I can run through in about 1/4 the time it took to run the original pay pile. I usually run the tailings pile twice when doing this and there isn't much gold left by the second pass. This method gives me three cleanouts worth of cons per cubic yard vs approximately 10 and I seem to be getting the same amount of gold per volume of dirt moved. It's much much quicker than my old method too.

Not sure if that is of benefit to everyone but it has really allowed me to run more dirt and get more gold during the limited amount of time I have to get out and play in the hills. Comments? Criticisms? What techniques do you employ to run more dirt and increase your efficiency?
 

arizau

Bronze Member
May 2, 2014
2,329
3,540
AZ
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Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
I've been thinking about how I can be more efficient while working with a drywasher. My main machine is a 12v puffer (Whippet) and for the last two years, I would clean out after approximately five 3.5-gal buckets, depending on how the riffles looked. The area I work is absolutely loaded with black sand so it doesn't take long for them to pack up. I generally try to run a full cubic yard before noon and the constant cleanouts really slow the process down.

This year, I've been trying a different method. I dig up a large pile of material, as I have previously done, but now I'm running the whole pile of pay, without doing any cleanouts, until all that remains is a header pile and a tailings pile. Essentially, this is a classification step. Now I have most of the gold extracted and am left with a smaller pile of classified tailings that I can run through in about 1/4 the time it took to run the original pay pile. I usually run the tailings pile twice when doing this and there isn't much gold left by the second pass. This method gives me three cleanouts worth of cons per cubic yard vs approximately 10 and I seem to be getting the same amount of gold per volume of dirt moved. It's much much quicker than my old method too.

Not sure if that is of benefit to everyone but it has really allowed me to run more dirt and get more gold during the limited amount of time I have to get out and play in the hills. Comments? Criticisms? What techniques do you employ to run more dirt and increase your efficiency?

Your method makes perfect sense to me (work smarter not harder) and it is usually a good idea to rerun the tails anyway especially if there was any moisture in the original feed. Thanks for the tip.:icon_thumleft:

Good luck.

PS: Do you use the solar charger or bring along a spare battery to handle that much feed?
 
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Hamfist

Hamfist

Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2014
255
407
SoCal
Detector(s) used
SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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Your method makes perfect sense to me (work smarter not harder) and it is usually a good idea to rerun the tails anyway especially if there was any moisture in the original feed. Thanks for the tip.:icon_thumleft:

Good luck.

PS: Do you use the solar charger or bring along a spare battery to handle that much feed?
No problem! And Thanks!

I haven't had to charge or use an additional battery while running that much dirt. If I had to guess, I'd say total run time is around 1.5 - 2 hrs for a yard (plus rerunning tailings) of mostly dry dirt, give or take a half hour for sampling, messing around, not hurrying, etc. The battery is good for around three hours. I'm going to my spot on Friday so I'll try to focus on monitoring how long the switch is in the ON position. It's definitely within the capabilities of one charge of the battery.
 

KevinInColorado

Gold Member
Jan 9, 2012
7,025
11,311
Summit County, Colorado
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Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
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Awesome productivity move! Less cons to pan too. I'm going to try this for sure! I'm interested to see how much gold gets caught in each pass of paydirt thru the box. Have you measured that yet?

PS same battery experience here. The battery that comes with the Whippet is great :)
 
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Hamfist

Hamfist

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Aug 1, 2014
255
407
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SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
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Awesome productivity move! Less cons to pan too. I'm going to try this for sure! I'm interested to see how much gold gets caught in each pass of paydirt thru the box. Have you measured that yet?
Thanks! I haven't done any scientific measurements yet, but I do carefully shake most of the cons out of the riffle tray into a container and inspect the small amount left in the riffles for gold during each cleanout. Sits a bit like using the tray to dry pan. It provides some idea of how good the gold is. There usually isn't any visible gold on pass #3 but it's almost impossible to see fines in the tray. There probably would be a small amount of fines to be had by running the tailings one more time, considering the amount of black sand in my usual location, but I would rather spend that time digging up new pay.

At some point this summer when it's too hot to labor in a hole, I'll make a day out of rerunning the tailings piles one last time and see what I get.

Edit: Kevin, I'd be interested in hearing how this works for you, for better or for worse. It's one of those "why didn't I think of this before?!" moves and I can't get my only friend with a drywasher to try it, lol.
 
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Hard Prospector

Hero Member
Aug 29, 2012
970
1,376
SO CAL
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SDC2300, Gold Monster, Sierra Gold Trac, GB2, the Falcon......and just as many drywashers
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I plan on trying something similar real soon. Just bought a KEENE 191 and the plan is to work that thing like a rented mule; minimal classification and clean-outs. Every several hours , or about a yard of pay I'll stop and ......
Run my GB2 through the header pile, THEN shovel the tailings into the puffer (staged beside the 191) to catch any fines that may have been lost in the forced air system. I'm pretty optimistic, guess we'l see.
 
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Hamfist

Hamfist

Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2014
255
407
SoCal
Detector(s) used
SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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THEN shovel the tailings into the puffer (staged beside the 191) to catch any fines that may have been lost in the forced air system. I'm pretty optimistic, guess we'l see.

Hm, that's a great idea. My friend has a 151 that we're going to use tomorrow and I think I'll try the same thing with my Whippet. We usually get a decent amount of fine gold with the 151 so it should be interesting to see what's in the tailings.
 

KevinInColorado

Gold Member
Jan 9, 2012
7,025
11,311
Summit County, Colorado
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Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
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Prospecting
Hm, that's a great idea. My friend has a 151 that we're going to use tomorrow and I think I'll try the same thing with my Whippet. We usually get a decent amount of fine gold with the 151 so it should be interesting to see what's in the tailings.

The Whippet definitely catches fine gold better than the big Keene 151 I used before I got the Whippet. That's my impression from my results. I'd love to see the results of you doing this to get real facts!
 

Goodyguy

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Mar 10, 2007
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Arizona
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Are you saying that you get almost as much gold in the second run as you do the first? :icon_scratch:
I was under the impression that it meant more gold in your poke for your time spent to keep running virgin buckets rather than spending time re-running tailings.


GG~
 
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Hamfist

Hamfist

Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2014
255
407
SoCal
Detector(s) used
SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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Are you saying that you get almost as much gold in the second run as you do the first? :icon_scratch:
I was under the impression that it meant more gold in your poke for your time spent to keep running virgin buckets rather than spending time re-running tailings.


GG~

No, definitely not anywhere near as much gold in the second run as the first, but it takes so little time and effort to run the tailings at least once since I know I'm blowing gold out in the first run. It makes sense in an area with obscene amounts of black sand, which loads up the riffles in a matter of minutes. In areas with very little black sand, I wouldn't bother rerunning the tailings if the riffles aren't overloaded.
 
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Hamfist

Hamfist

Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2014
255
407
SoCal
Detector(s) used
SDC2300, Whippet, 151, GH, shovel, brain
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
  • Thread Starter
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The Whippet definitely catches fine gold better than the big Keene 151 I used before I got the Whippet. That's my impression from my results. I'd love to see the results of you doing this to get real facts!

Good to know. My buddy forgot to bring a part of his 151 today so we just sampled around the area with my Whippet. I'm out of pre-dug dry pay dirt now, but it's supposed to be hot and windy for the next week. Hopefully I can try that method out soon.
 

Goodyguy

Gold Member
Mar 10, 2007
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6,842
Arizona
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Whites TM 808, Whites GMT, Tesoro Lobo Super Traq, Fisher Gold Bug 2, Suction Dredges, Trommels, Gold Vacs, High Bankers, Fluid bed Gold Traps, Rock Crushers, Sluices, Dry Washers, Miller Tables, Rp4
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
No, definitely not anywhere near as much gold in the second run as the first, but it takes so little time and effort to run the tailings at least once since I know I'm blowing gold out in the first run. It makes sense in an area with obscene amounts of black sand, which loads up the riffles in a matter of minutes. In areas with very little black sand, I wouldn't bother rerunning the tailings if the riffles aren't overloaded.

I re-read your first post and I agree with your method. :icon_thumleft:
Good idea.

GG~
 

1637

Bronze Member
May 26, 2011
1,579
2,004
tujunga ca
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xlt mxt gmz and now a gmt whites
the best thing i did to my keene puffer is i put a second screen on top and off set it a little.now the holes are about 3/8 of a inch not 1/2 of a inch.it really likes the smaller holes.
good luck to everyone brad
 

utah mason

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Jul 10, 2015
545
935
utah
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Great bunch of post! This will really help me when I finally get my whippet. Mark thought he would be able to get it to me end of March, but is running behind schedule. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon, weather is finally getting better. It's been a full two weeks without snow ; )
 

Rick-SAR

Greenie
May 26, 2011
19
14
Ever have your 5 gallon buckets stick together (it can be h*#$ pulling them apart). Here is a quick way to never have to have them stick again. On both sides of the bucket drill a 1/8 hole 3/4" below where the handle goes into the top of the bucket (not the part that hold the handle but the side of the bucket below the square handle holder). Put a 10/32 X 1/2 inch threaded small bolt through the hole and add a nut (add the nut on the outside of the bucket). When stacking buckets the bucket above the last bucket stacked will sit on the threads of the bucket with the bolts underneath it. I, like a lot of you, use the Home Depot 5 gallon buckets. and I add the bolts to all that I use. As I only use Home Depot bucket I can't say if it will work if you mix different makes of buckets in one stack.

I don't know have to add pictures If somebody will tell me how I add some.


RickSAR
 
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