Monday, March 9, 2015

My New (old) Mining Rig (Now For Sale)

UPDATE: This truck is now for sale. Asking $3900
Email for more info. Located in Orofino, Idaho.

Back in July of 2014, my wife and I were in Grangeville to record some claim papers when we drove by a 1976 Ford F250 2WD, Super Cab Camper Special. I noticed the grille in my rear view mirror as we drove by and told her it looked like a mid 70's Ford. She knows I have a soft spot for mid 70's Ford Pickups as I've had a new 77 F150 4x4 back in 77, then another 77 F250 4x2 in 1991, then a 75 F150 4x2 that I drove down from Alaska to Idaho back in 07. She said, turn around and let's take a look at it. I said...Really? A week later I drove it back to Orofino and then headed back to the claim. My last 75 F150 4x2 we named Big Red. Well, this one is white and after watching Breaking Bad on DVD all summer at claim camp, we named him Walt after Walter White. I pulled him into the garage back in December since my Clearwater winter mining site was underwater and I needed something to keep me occupied for the winter. Well, Walt rolled out of the shop today for the first time this winter. I had a pretty long checklist when I pulled him into the shop. A new fan clutch, heater core, heater blower motor, heater core vacuum water valve, new carpet and misc wiring gremlins. I did mount a fire extinguisher at the driver's side B pillar. Mudflaps are custom made by Trucker Mall. I built a reasonable sound system with a Retro Sound radio and a pair of Kicker speakers with baffles inside a birch plywood box with cup holders covered in black vinyl. As of right now, everything works as Henry Ford intended. I feel guilty leaving him outside tonight as he's been in a heated garage all winter. Here's his new portfolio.
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He'll be heading to claim camp in less than 90 days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bazooka Sluice Stand

I received a package in the mail today. eBuyc from Spokane Valley sent me a sluice stand for my Bazooka Prospector. Carrying the box into the house I had my doubts that there was actually a sluice stand in the box because the box was so light. Surprise-surprise, there was actually a sluice stand in the box !
The sluice stand actually weighs less than my 36" Prospector.
This stand will fit the 30" and 36" Bazooka Prospector Fluid Bed Gold Trap Sluice. If you're running a Bazooka Prospector (30" or 36") you really should get one of these stands. Go HERE to purchase.
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Bazooka Super Scoop Add-A-Flare

For those times when you can't get enough water to keep the fluid bed operating properly in your Bazooka Fluid Bed Gold Trap Sluice, try adding a flare.
I made this one out of 1/8" ABS plastic that I had hanging around the shop. I used my metal brake and a little heat to form it. It measures 18" x 18" tapering to 14" at the water scoop portion of the sluice box.
Rather than drill more holes in the sluice box, I used small C-clamps to hold the sides in position.
I used aluminum to form two fingers that support the add-a-flare on the water scoop that feeds the tubes.

This is all theoretical right now as it's mid winter and I have no access to a working creek. For those in warmer climes, give it a try, you just may like it.
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Monday, December 22, 2014

A Christmas Gift From Mother Nature's Sluicebox

Took a trip to Mother Nature's Sluicebox this morning to find my spot completely under water. It will take a few days for the water to come down provided we don't get any heavy rain. Spent the day panning the cons from my last trip and decided to shoot a pic of the total I've retrieved from Mother Nature's Sluicebox. The pan is a 10" Garrett so don't let the pan size give the appearance that there's more gold there. Just a touch over 2 grams and I tell ya, I sure wouldn't want to have to count each piece !!! 
Got an email from Bazooka Gold Company today and my 36" Prospector sluice is in transit. I've made some optional items that will turn the fluid bed sluice into a dredge, powered by my Bottom Feeder hand pump.
Stay tuned...
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hiding Behind a Rock Riffle...continued

Third trip this week to the river. Got to hit it before it freezes solid. I brought my Pyramid Pro Pan with me this time so I could carry only super concentrates back to the truck. The area in the pic marked in yellow is what I processed. Six buckets concentrated down to 3 gallons.
This is my clean up sluice. Notice the plexiglass baffle. It's mounted with a gap at the bottom. I achieve this gap by placing a piece of deep vee mat upside down and setting the plexi on it. I then just tape it in place and pull the deep vee out.
Here's what it looks like running cons. Even though I have over 1½" of water in the dump chamber it's impossible to over feed it. The small gap under the plexi controls the feed to the sluice.
Here's the entire system. Notice the water surface...perfect! There's deep vee mat, 3/8" expanded over carpet and then ¾" expanded over carpet at the end. Sluice is only 6" wide at the discharge end.
When I see this, it's time for a clean up.
Speaking of clean ups...
Twice the weight of Wednesday's take. If only this gold had some thickness to it then maybe it would weight more than .26 gram ;^)
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hiding Behind A Rock Riffle

A short walk downstream from Mother Nature's Sluicebox put me on some interesting looking structure. The bedrock formed a vertical wall on the downstream side forming a perfect place for gold to hide. I pulled a sample from the material laying on the surface and stopped at about the 6" deep mark.
 The sample looked pretty good so I filled a bucket and then took another sample. The red colored material is always a good sign when working Mother Nature's Sluicebox and this spot was full of it. This second sample looked better than the last so I filled another bucket from the material laying on bedrock.
Here's the cavity after removing two buckets of material. I neglected to rinse the cavity to get the remaining gold that you just can't remove by scraping with a spoon but I'll be back to this spot on my next trip.
Here's the money shot ! 
I'd love to bring my Rockin Gold Grabber down to this spot and really run some yardage but the walk down and back several times hauling equipment would kick my azz.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Basalt Riffles aka Mother Nature's Sluicebox

If you drive past this area of Highway 12 between April - Sept 15th, you won't see this nearly one acre sluice box made up of basalt riffles.
Here's a close up of the high water mark. There is a bit of a back eddy on this end of the point that protrudes out into the river. During high water, the gold starts to accumulate among the basalt riffles here.
Walking among the basalt, there are multiple discoveries of black sand / garnet exposures. I scraped up a pan full of material from this spot and headed to the river's edge.
Not a bad looking sample pan. This is what I like to see before I work an area. If I only get 5-10 pieces, I move on to find better ground. Since this area had good potential, I dug 4 partial buckets of unclassified material and headed home.
Here's the money shot after processing through my clean up sluice. Lots of tiny gold that won't get me rich at just 1/10 gram but it's always nice to see color in the pan. Next trip will have me exploring new ground further downstream. (Right click >Open in New Tab to view larger pics)