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Detector Prospector Magazine

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Everything posted by Jim_Alaska

  1. Jim is my real name, I added the "Alaska" as a description of where I was from on forums when I lived in Alaska. I still use it only because it is what people have come to know me as, even though I no longer live in Alaska. I guess I have the "old timers" mentality that if I change it at this late date, no one will know who I am.
  2. Now I wish I had known you were in Tenn. George, I went through last November on an extended road trip. It's been way too long since we visited, last time was when you were still in Copper Center. For some reason I thought you had moved over seas permanently, must be thinking of someone else.
  3. What settings did you use for detecting the fly?
  4. Steve, just a thought. You might consider changing the subject of the thread so that it doesn't actually say "Apply Here". That would save you having to repeat that it doesn't actually mean to apply on the forum for everyone that tries it.
  5. Thanks Lanny. But if I remember you have had some great success in the past yourself. I remember some of the stories you told back then. I always thought it amazing that you found gold in some of the most unlikely places. My Alaska forum is back up once more in a new format. I'd love to have you visit once again. We need some great stories to get the forum back to what it once was.
  6. There is one other thing I have found in relation to old hydraulic pits that I have not seen anyone talk about. That one other thing is simply this: just because there may not be detectable gold in any one pit doesn't mean that there is no gold there. Two years ago I found a very small hydraulic pit close to home. My detecting efforts, as well as a friends with his GB2 turned up nothing. Normally I would have just moved on to a different location, but in this instance, because of my increasing limited ability to walk I decided to try something different. What caught my eye was that in many places in the hydraulic pit there was a lot of ancient bedrock. As I looked over this situation I saw many cracks and crevices. So I thought this might just be a good place to crevice. I came back with a whole pile of crevice tools, most of which are home made, chisels, hammers and my gas vac. Of course because I am basically lazy, I concentrated on cracks and crevices that could be easily scraped out. The exposed bedrock was not very extensive so it was not long before I had worked it to where the only method left was to hammer and chisel the lager cracks open. This was hard work and it got really hot on those rocks once it hit ten o'clock in the morning, so I usually quit about that time. This kind of mining takes a lot of time, it is not for the faint-hearted or those not willing to work hard for their gold. I even pried apart some impressive slabs of bedrock with a six foot bar and even at times a hydraulic jack. Some of the slabs I couldn't move out of the way by lifting so I had to just pry them aside with a long bar. There is no water to be had close by, so I simply dry classified what came out of the cracks and ran the remainder through a LeTrap sluice in a small creek on another day. So, all in all it was hard work, but I could see with every clean-up that I was getting good enough gold to keep working and keep me interested. I will say that I didn't get rich doing this, but did get what I consider good gold for my efforts.
  7. This is a great tip for those who think that the gold is all gone and those before us got it all. What a wonderful resource forums like this are for those who are beginners or those who are looking to better themselves. George, there is a tip that I learned from you when I was still in Alaska that I have not seen you post about. It is one that can save a lot of time in the field. Any details that I leave out I will leave to you to explain, but in short I'll just say this much that I learned. George and I were on Jack Wade Creek one time early in my detecting life. I didn't have a GB2 but he did. I only had the old Goldmaster V-Sat, which I still have. I was having more fun watching George find and dig one target right after another. His little time saving secret was this: once a target was heard he only dug to where the target was in the scoop; he didn't try to isolate the target and pick it out, he simply emptied the scoop into a small bucket he carried for that purpose. He would then run the contents of that bucket in a sluice at a later time. While it is true that this method doesn't give the instant gratification of seeing what you have recovered, it does serve to save an amazing amount of time in the field. There may be others who have used this method and it is not new to them, but for me it was a "first" and I was thankful I was there with him to see it in action.
  8. I've seen that done JW, but I had no need, my five inch was quite adequate for what I was doing. Soon after this I sold the boat and built an airboat.
  9. This short story doesn't have much to do with gold mining except that we were going upriver to my claims to dredge. I had my five inch triple sluice stashed far upriver. One fine summer day I was going in to my claim to dredge and had a young Russian guy with me that wanted to see what it was all about. We headed upriver in my jet boat, the trip usually took an hour and a half. My friend had never been in a jet boat and was having ball. He was really looking forward to the suction dredging part of the trip. After about an hour going upriver I decided to stop on a gravel bar and have some coffee from the thermos I always had with me. As we sat drinking coffee he was full of questions about gold and mining. Finishing up our coffee I went to start the boat. That's when I found that we had big trouble. As I turned the ignition on all I heard was ruuuh ruuuh...click click click. The battery was dead and there would be no one coming way up here to help. Walking out was not an option, a jet boat can travel a long way in an hour. I had emergency supplies in the boat, along with lots of spare parts, none of which was a battery of course. So we sat down to have a bite of lunch and think the situation over. Evidently the alternator had failed and we had been running on the battery up to this point. What to do; what to do? I racked my brain which didn't take too long since there is not much in there. I've had experience with dead or almost dead batteries before and I know that sometimes if you just let them sit, don't try to start the vehicle or run anything that ran on battery power, the battery will recover a bit. In thinking along these lines I thought, what if I could somehow help the battery by hand? Silly I know, but we were in desperate circumstances. Fortunately this boat was powered by a small four cylinder Chevy. motor and the motor was connected to the jet pump by a short drive shaft. I of course had some rope in the boat and a plan began to form. The plan went like this: Wrap the rope around the drive shaft and tie it to the universal joint. The idea was to try to help pull the motor over after letting the battery rest for an hour or so. I knew I was really reaching for it with this idea, but it was all we had to try. This little motor started easy, so it might just work. There was just not enough battery juice to turn the motor fast enough or long enough to start, when I had tried it before it turned really slow. I got the rope all wrapped around the drive shaft, and knew that if the motor did start there would be no way to get the rope off because I didn't intend to shut the motor off until we got to my truck. I told my friend that we would count to three and on three I would pull the rope as he turned the ignition. Amazingly it worked, on three he turned the key while I was mightily pulling on the rope.....YES, I knew enough to not wrap the rope around my hand to pull better, I just had to grab it. The engine came to life and we immediately left for safety and home. All the way back that rope beat the water in the bottom of the boat into a heavy spray. This gave me visions of what it would have looked like if I had wrapped that rope around my hand. :lol: We got back ok, even though the alternator was dead and we were running the ignition on the little bit of juice that the battery had. All the way back I was praying that there would be enough juice in the battery to get us back, so needless to say it was a very fast trip back. No mining that day to say the least, but it did make for an Alaskan adventure to be shared many times over.
  10. Possibly an aluminum can that got thrown in a camp fire? It looks like it melted over some rock that it sat on while melting. I found a nugget that looked just like that in Alaska, it turned out to be a melted aluminum can. I still have it.
  11. Just be aware of your surroundings. Don't stick your hands in places you can't see into. Other than that, have fun.
  12. I know what you mean JR. My legs have given out also. Mine is not just from age, but also have developed Neuropathy, which means I have no feeling in my legs and feet. It makes you extremely unsteady, which makes it dangerous on uneven ground.
  13. Your pictures are making me homesick Steve. But don't stop, this has been a great story. I just posted a link to it on my forums, so you should have more folks reading your story.
  14. JW, the gold in your pictures seems to be water worn. Is it glacial gold or was there once a river at the height you were working that slope?
  15. That is a nice, portable setup you have there John. At my age I like "portable". Thanks for posting the pictures, it's always nice to see how others are setting up their equipment.
  16. Ridge Runner, I am old enough to also remember Sgt. Preston on the radio. I was very young and remember waiting very impatiently for the next episode. Back in those days, before television, the radio was the high point of the day for family entertainment. Right after supper everyone gathered around the radio to listen, imaginations could run wild and the stories could very easily be visualized.
  17. You are right Steve, the effort those old timers went to is nothing short of unbelievable. In Alaska's Interior where I lived I found a lot of evidence of mining in the old days. Not much for flumes like you pictured, but lots of old shafts, some as deep and 100 feet. Old wooden sluice boxes are common. And old boilers for thawing perma-frost and frozen winter ground. I found a lot of this kind of evidence because I was a trapper in winter and had access to ground that was inaccessible in summer. Some of those old boilers were huge. And just thinking about how they got them into those remote locations made me weak and tired. Of course some of that heavy stuff was hauled in by sled and mules/horses in winter along the frozen rivers. Many times old mining areas could be discovered by extensive old tree cutting, with only the stumps remaining. They had to cut a lot of trees for boilers and heating cabins in winter, not to mention building of cabins and sluice boxes. At the turn of the century miners started using huge riveted pipe to bring water from distant locations. This was in place of wooden flumes and a lot of it was done by bigger mining companies. Some of the large companies around Fairbanks brought water from miles away like this for running the bucket line dredges. Some of that riveted pipe was so large a man could stand up in it stooped over a bit. That reminds me, I think I have a picture of that pipe somewhere. Will post it if I can find it.
  18. Great adventure and chronicling of it Steve. The pictures are an added bonus and really bring the narrative alive.
  19. This post brought back memories. It was probably around the same time frame, maybe a bit earlier in 1978. I bought my first dredge, a Keene 2 1/2" on an inner tube from Steve's store. Wanna hear something crazy? I still have that dredge and it is not because it was little used, I have used it to death and everything is still original, with the exception of the inner tube. I have used it as a dredge and also made temporary conversions to be used as a high banker. The old engine still runs strong.
  20. This is just for the New 49'ers board. I have to do the Alaska Gold Forums separately. I'll start working on those soon. Thanks for asking Steve. This would have been simple if I just used the cookie cutter board they supply. But both the club board and the Alaska board have lots of custom design features on them.
  21. Thank you phrunt, I didn't even know anything like that existed. I'll look into it.
  22. Thanks for this Steve, your posting this will help a lot and is very generous of you.
  23. Don't ask me to explain it, but the forums are up again. There is no way to know if or how long they will be up. So if there is anything regarding past information that you want, you should find and save it immediately. I am still working to get new forums up. I have a host and also have a provider for new forums. It just takes a lot of time to learn the new process of putting them up on the Internet. I am also working to try to migrate some, or all of the old posts into the new format.
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