20 posts in this topic
By EZMoney Bob
A friend gave me this little backpack dredge. It came with a nifty little "Couple Jet" nozzle made by Gold Divers, Inc., formerly of Mound House, NV, but now out of business and retired. The dredge didn't come with an engine or pump and I'm trying to figure out what would be the best pump/engine to get for it. I understand, but not for sure, that the Couple Jet or Infinity type of nozzles work best with a higher volume lower pressure pump, as opposed to suction or jet nozzles that work best with higher pressure and somewhat lower flow.
I checked with the guys who now make the Packrat 2 dredge and they didn't recognize this dredge. The overall dimensions are about 2 feet by 3 feet, the bottom is completely flat and not pontoon shaped like the Packrat dredges. Possibly Gold Divers made a backpack dredge and it's one of theirs? Sure appreciate any comments or suggestions for a pump or a picture of a complete dredge from this unknown manufacturer. Since I got the dredge for free I can afford to spend some money improving it and also on a good pump.
Ok so I live in tuolumne ca and i got a proline 6" dredge on order and will be picking it up in a few weeks. And I can't decide where to go? Looking for guidance on good out of state spots. I used to kill it arround here begore it went illegal. Not to say i ever stoped but im sick of sneaking arround! I have unfinished holes that are right off the side of the road, good half ounce a day holes! That I had to walk away from after having law enforcement chase us out. Used to be my only income. Really screwed me!!!! Any way I could botch about it all day.lol. I have some hard to get spot arround here I might go for but would like to take some vacations to somewhere legal
By Steve Herschbach
This is an interesting dredge. I was really into subsurface dredges for portability. Keene for a brief time sold a set of inflatable pontoons, so I got a pair and in 1999 put this 5" subsurface dredge together. The frame was homemade out of stock aluminum, and the pontoons were held in place with plastic drums I split in half length-wise. The tube was a standard Keene 5" subsurface dredge tube of the time. The old black marlex version was a pain because the tray clipped on at the forward end. I had to reach into the middle of the assembly to release the clips, and then the tray would drop down in front. In current this was a problem for sure as the current would want to grab the tray and knock it down. The later granite gray marlex tubes were improved with the release clips at the rear, which were easy to grab from the back of the dredge. The rear of the tray would drop down and was easily slid out to the rear. Much better. 5.5HP Honda powered Keene P-180 pump with 5" suction nozzle. Nice dredge, very compact and light-weight.
This was on the Mills Creek Cooperative claims on upper Mills Creek on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. We got a lot of nice gold in the stretch in the picture as a narrow canyon widened out at this point. Bob(AK) is a member of the forum, and he also did very well here.
Another couple photos of the dredge taken with the crappy digital cameras of the day while being built in my back yard.
I am inspired to write this post by sjmpainter and his recent dredging expedition. It looks like so much fun.
The intent is to share dredging tips, practices and modifications. Currently I am going through my equipment in preparation to move back to Alaska this summer.
So I will start with business end. I put an extension on all dredge nozzles to give leverage to maneuver. I have seen many variations but all of them that I have built are made from aerators because I liked the shape. One of these is on a 6" and the other is on a 4". When I first decided to do this it was because I was mining in an open cut where all the work is done by feel standing up. I used to take them off for river dredging but now I leave them on all of the time.