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Keene 6” Mini Floats

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I purchased a newer Keene 6” mini dredge last year with GX270 motors and PHP 500 pumps.  I used it quite a bit last summer but it was all in the old mine cuts that we dredge in.  Not once in a river.  The suction is unbelievable.

My question does anyone have experience with the bigger motors needing more floats because of the weight?  The motors themselves are 20 lbs more a piece and not to mention all of the weight from the water volume and hoses being bigger.  Keene makes the outriggers with floats for them.  I was going to make something similar uses two 30 gallon poly drums. 

 

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It really just depends on the stream flow. I have run a 6" with twin 9s with the float tops barely above the water and did just fine, but it was in calm water. I know it would not have done well in extremely fast water. The faster and rougher it gets, at some point you need outriggers or extensions (floats added to ends instead of sides).

steve-herschbach-6-keene-gold-dredge-crow-creek-alaska-2.jpg
Me and my old 6" dredge at Crow Creek Mine, Alaska

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I have used a 6inch PVC pipe that I had capped on both ends and installed a air fitting to it so I could put some pressure in it.

That gave me more than enough support for everything that I needed done to it.

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Here the dredge is set in faster water. I specifically had to run the rope off the leading edge up high to keep the one corner from nose-diving into the current. That should give you a decent idea of what I'm talking about - its all about the current and how rough the water is. I never needed to actually supplement the flotation myself though. Once I switched to twin 6.5 HP pumps the problem was solved.

steve-herschbach-6-keene-gold-dredge-crow-creek-alaska-3.jpg
6" suction dredge at Crow Creek Mine, Alaska

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Thank you for the info.  

Really I am just feeling it out if I need additional flotation.  I bought the dredge with the bigger motors and pumps to either place the dredge farther away while in the cut because tailings become a problem or work in deeper water.  The plan this summer is to go to a spot along a river where I know the bedrock is deep.

I another thread about anchoring I explained how I use cable and a haven grip tied up high.  This does keep the front of the dredge up.

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