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I bought my first dredge and it is an old one, have a couple questions if someone knows old Keene gear.  

It’s a pretty vintage 3” Keene suction dredge, crashbox, power jet, 14x48 sluice and frame that was strapped to inner tubes.  The old Copper BS 5hp with an old Johnson 155 air that seems to be working.  Changed the oil, gas, checked the sparkplug, removed the pump and she started right up and runs great. Everything is in suprisingly good shape.  

The pump is a Keene P-150, I assume pumping in the 200 - 250 GPM range.  It has the old paper gaskets for the pump housing, will Auto gasket maker work to replace those if needed?  I think the main pump seal is still the same as modern pumps.  

For the Sluice it has a plate in the crash box then flat red carpet under the riffles.  What would you recommend running in there?  Miners moss over carpet? Change to rubber matting? Leave as is?  Should anything go under the crash plate to help catch fine gold.  Would love some opinions. I did clean out about 20 flecks of color from the tiny bit of sand left in the sluice, so I know it can catch some fine gold.  

Anyone know anything about the Johnson 155 Air compressor?  I can’t seem to find any information on it.  Seems to be working but not sure if any spare parts are available for it. 

Last question is what to do for floats.  I would need new inner tubes but I may try to rig up something with a packraft I have.  Anyone used pool noodle floats?  I’m sure the hard floats are best for fast moving water, but curious what other options there are. Would like to keep it light to be manageable by one person and able to be hauled with an ATV.

Thanks for any info.




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10 hours ago, Sasquatch said:

Last question is what to do for floats.

I found this in some of the articles from the database. I am sure that Steve would have the best advice for you when he gets back. You might find something closer to what you are looking for in the database that I have missed.


Good luck, looks like you found something that can do the job.

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Thanks.  Will get some miners moss.  

Got her started up and looks to be running great.  Ran a small amount of rock63A5132A-06A7-4D61-B59F-DB3DDF6C9269.jpeg.d4fc3a315f9e3c9fc94177b8d847b08f.jpeg191C09DF-58F1-4417-92DE-F57EA38315A0.jpeg.8e76d20d00a7f073c10cec8b59c4b473.jpeg, gravel and sand through it, and 10 flattened split shot, recovered 7 in the crash box, a couple in the first 2 riffles and one in the 4th riffle. Put some rubber mat under the crash plate, then ribbed carpet under the riffles.  

Added a rubber flap and tried adding a piece of lexan to the tail end.  My thought is it should let me peek at the riffle action, will probably get scratched up in short order but thought it was worth a try. 

Planning on getting it out this week to try in the field.



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I had good fines recovery by putting Daisy Mat in the main riffle section. Use a black marker to show where the riffles set, then a razor knife to cut the mat fingers out so the riffles will touch the mat. Nothing fine will get out, but larger material will work on out. Also, 8" ABS pipe with end caps make good durable flotation. If you need more you can pack it with foam pellets, or foam blocks to help. Good luck, and remember that fines will pay for a lot of expenses, esp, at todays spot price.

Ausome (Norcal N. Yuba)  

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Looks like it will be a good setup for you, just get your flotation proper and your all set.

Is that your neighbors gold fish pond your using to test it in?  Just kidding

Good luck and good hunting.

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Got a response from Mark at Keene.  Thought I’d post if anyone else has an older engine pump. No parts for the old air compressor available, but the P150 pump takes the WPS2 pump seal and the paper gaskets can be replaced with part P104.

Well I recovered 3 flecks of color from the first run in the backhoe bucket.  Now the question is was that still in the dredge I had rinsed out twice already OR was it in the driveway dirt in the backhoe bucket? 🤔

Good to hear about the daisy mat, I had looked at that when searching for a miners moss type mat, local shop was out. I used a rubber mat under the crash plate and then a Walmart rubber backed ribbed carpet that seemed to work well.  Might add some daisy mat in a section.

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