Saturday, September 14, 2019

Milwaukee gold

We took the Milwaukee 18 volt vac back to our previous diggings and cleaned the crevices. Sorry for the shadows filling the crevice but it was still early morning.
We had left this gold previously by using only hand tools so the Milwaukee got it all.
Yup, it's small but there's  lot of pieces for such a small area cleaned. 
This next picture is the bigger gold a few hundred yards downstream at mother Nature's Sluicebox.
Check out my last visit to Mother Nature's Sluicebox back in September 2016. I was working the water's edge and found some interesting looking basalt structure.I can't believe it's been 3 years.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Clearwater Fly Specks

Wife & I hit a spot just upstream from Mother Nature's sluicebox the other day. The sluicebox is still underwater so we were forced to work high up on the shore line.

The gold is really tiny way up there but we did find some decent bedrock.
We scraped one gallon of material from the crevice for testing purposes and then headed home before the temps reached triple digits. I classified the material through a 20 mesh classifier and ran the material through my recirculating clean up sluice in the comforts of my garage.
This is a 10 inch pan so you see what I mean by "tiny" gold. Heck I could have classified down to 50 mesh. Next trip to this bedrock will have us with pry bars in hand so we can wiggle & pull the basalt chunks like bad teeth. I've always had good results doing that. Will also bring my Milwaukee 18 volt shop vac for pulling the pay from the deep cracks. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bottom Feeder (update)

Back in 2014 I built a hand pump I called the Bottom Feeder. It's got a 2" PVC pump body. 
The piston rod is 1" PVC with a 2" plumber's 
adjustable rubber test plug as a piston.The cap at 
the top of the pump body has 4 holes drilled into 
it to allow air to vent on the upstroke.
From the 2" PVC Tee at the bottom of the body I placed  "2-1½" reducers
on each end. Into these reducers, I added the 
1½" True Union Swing Check Valves.
These valves have screw on / off ends for easy 
cleaning so I secured 7' of  1½" suction hose and
4' of discharge hoses to each valve end. I have a 45 on the tip of the suction hose and a straight tip on the discharge end.

 I fabricated a header / spreader for pumping directly to a sluice box.
from 2" PVC. I cut and glued two 5" pieces of PVC pipe into 
the ends of a 2" PVC Tee. That gave me 15" total width.
I cut an 1½" wide x 12" slot into PVC then glued the end 
caps in place.This header spreader is supported over 
the sluice legs with aluminum brackets and eye bolts..
Into the other end of the 2" Tee, I placed a 2-1½" reducer.
I did not glue this in, since there is no pressure. I then glued 
a 45 in place. With the reducer not glued, I can swing it into
any position.  A quick test with some ¼" to 1"
tailings I had around the garage proved my design idea.
The header / spreader dumped material across the entire
12" wide sluice flare. The pump volume is right around .4 gallon per stroke.
here's a short video of the bottom feeder last used in 2015.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

New Digs

Last fall, my mining partner (wife) and I sampled  a little creek and small river with plans to file a couple 10 acre claims this year. Two twenty acre claims would have been overkill since a majority of each 20 acre claim would have been mostly forested and not placer ground. One 10 acre claim covers over 1300' of river and 75' of creek and the other 10 acre claim takes in over 900' of river. Plenty of placer ground for a couple in their late 60's to sluice and worry the bedrock.

This is a Google Earth capture of an interesting curve on the upstream claim.
The following pic was taken this week downstream of the above Google Earth capture. We walked both claims to study the low pressure areas during the spring's flood stage. I took lots of pics that will help during the low water mining season. 

This is where we want to see the water level on the river in order to mine.

This a July pic of the small creek that feeds into the river. We will hit this creek some time in June when there is more flow for sluicing with my new Gold Hog Stream Sluice. Now we suffer the long wait for the high water to subside.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The sound of gold

An ounce of chunky gold sure makes a nice sound. Shot this back in 2015.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Bedrock Crevice Sniping Tools

This is my arsenal of tools for worrying the bedrock. I added several smaller pry bars and also a magic fingers scraper. I will be adding a sheet of flexible plastic that I can sweep material onto in case my scoop & spoons are too large.That bulb snuffer has a ½" nozzle and works very good for sucking up material from the bottom of those tight spots and is handy for flushing material off the sides of a crevice. The Garrett pin pointer is more of a novelty item. The lack of a response from the pin pointer won't keep me from working a good looking crevice.
After I've gathered as much material as possible using the above tools, I'll be breaking out the Ol' Milwaukee wet/dry vac. It's powered by a Lithium Ion battery. I have two 5 amp hour batteries and a rapid charger. I believe two batteries will suffice for a day on the claims since this will be used just to vacuum the bedrock clean enough to eat off of.
The hose is 6' long when pulled to the full extent.
The hose and crevice nozzle store neatly inside the unit.
The collection tub holds two gallons of wet or dry material. The large HEPA filter is removable. for wet use. The entire unit with battery weighs in at only 10 pounds and measures 18" long x 8" wide x 12" tall.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Easing into it

90+ degrees hot? I guess so. This little creek will cool you with just a glance.
A coyote hole that usually shows color offered up some good looking material so we ran a few pans.

We brought a few buckets back to camp for future panning. The hike in is a little rough but I made it just fine, even with my limited vision.
After running a few buckets of coyote hole mud through my sluice, a little bit of color was saved to a glass vial. 

We stopped along the Southfork Clearwater to check out the dredgers working their 30 day window of opportunity. Got a pic of AMRA President Shannon Poe modeling his new pair of skivvies.
Some 'Good Ol Boys' from Texas (John & Dave) were giving it a good show a little further downstream. They are parked a few spots from us at the RV park.
This is our camp that we are renting from the RV park owner. With 3 slide-outs. It is quite spacious.
When the owner heard of my medical & vision limitations, he moved a nice deck up to the entry door which made it so easy for me to gain access & egress. The guy is all right.