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.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

New Gear

Over the winter I reduced my inventory of mining gear down to the basics. I plan on sluicing and sniping bedrock on my claims  in the Elk City area this summer.  I sold all my Bazooka and Grizzly gold trap sluices in favor of the Gold Hog Stream Sluice  I really like the rubber riffle system and the fact that he has developed a mat for fast high water situations and also for times of low water like in the fall when the creeks are extremely low. In the spring / summer when the water is ripping through the sluice, there will be no need of classifying pay material so we should be able to increase our daily throughput of material. The only mods I made were adding a handle and painting the tops of the legs a highly visible red so I don't poke an eye. Here's a few picks for your viewing pleasure. Now the long wait until spring!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hibernation mode

Winter is coming and it's time to store the mining gear until next summer. I checked Mother Nature's Sluice Box and although the water level on the Clearwater is ideal, I'm not comfortable trying to negotiate the rough, ankle breaking terrain that makes up the gold capturing features of Mother Natures Sluice Box. My time now will be spent sitting by the fire with a comforting adult beverage.
Here's a shot of the view overlooking the 18th fairway. The critters are pretty tame around the golf course.