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  1. Finally away from a summer season in which I did not even touch the water, the time has come for the first storms, and right now thunderstorms and threatening waves are hitting "my" coast. So all that remains is to hope for the opening of a few spots with a reduced layer. It often happens that something goes wrong and, for the purpose of removing sand, the storm brings more. At that point heavy strategies and calculations begin. Several years back I went so far as to build a dredge and test it successfully, despite not finding any interesting material in the same spot. Constant breakage due to salt water and corrosion make the equipment fragile for continuous use, and too many times the expense of repairing it does not pay off. Abandoning the massive excavation project, I went through the use of a dpv and came to the conclusion that darn it, no one operates as effectively as Mother Nature. Numbers matter, whether you are mining fine powder or nuggets in the form of rings, if you don't explore at least 100 square meters in 3 hours, you don't even have a clue what the bottom is really like. These are not exact figures, but a rough idea of what it means to prepare what is necessary and how much to expect in terms of results. No photos at the moment, I reinvested the (little) material collected in October for a setup change, hoping to improve the effort/output ratio.
  2. I found some gold in a gravel area that slopes to the creek where we can pan ok. was getting 5-10 colors a pan and not the tiny points , decent size colors. There is flat bedrock at the base of the slope and then the large creek so I thought for sure the gravel was on top of the bedrock but its not. I dug right where the gravel meets the bedrock almost but I went down a foot instead of hitting bedrock right away. The gold got a bit coarser, one piece looks like an apostrophe and chunky. So, now what? Bring my mini highbanker there and wash the gravels? How deep is this bedrock? Maybe bring a metal rod and probe in numerous spots for it? I hit one larger flat rock but it looked like a flagstone from an old stone sidewalk. There are numerous old bricks in the woods next to the slope. I do have to fill in any holes I make same day. My hole had no water in it either even tho the creek is only a few feet away. Should I wait till spring when water covers this spot, then try to dredge the gravel with my big banker. I have both my big and micro bankers on wheels so easy to move around in my old age. I haven't posted much lately as these damn old age aches and pains make it harder and harder to get out and dig. At least I am still moving and not in an old folks home yet. How to fix my heel and ankle pains now? duct tape kinda helps and lots of pain pills. Had to put padded inserts in all my boots as there were none and my feets were screaming. I also made an odd discovery in another creek.I normally run away from spiders BUT took a chance.There were a bunch of baby wolf spiders running around this one patch of creek gravels. I have rarely found any color in this creek before. So, I stick my shovel in this spider infested gravel patch , VERY hard digging and the gravels are filled with roots. Then a horde of bugs come spilling out, millipedes, centipedes, pill bugs, carpenter ants, spiders. I go pan my gravel and my load of black sands like tripled and there was very fine gold with it, like 5-20 tiny points in every pan. I need to take my mini highbanker there too. A dredge hole was in the creek next to my gravel spot.I panned the persons tailings and got more tiny gold specks. Am also needing a 6 inch coil for my Goldbug 2, used is good, and am looking for a cheap Tesoro Lobo ST that works ok.Had to trash mine as it finally croaked, sure do miss it. -Tom V.
  3. Hey all. We are recreational gold miners in Alaska. We have a small YouTube channel with some videos of our exploits. It’s been a journey. We are just getting started for the year and still waiting to access our main claims. Two Dudes One Dredge Channel https://youtube.com/channel/UCoPsZnjywJ9hQjJ9r283w5g
  4. We all think we are finding very little gold. Try dealing with these conditions! https://rtd.rt.com/films/diving-for-gold/#anchor_watch_video
  5. Big flotilla of illegal gold dredgers in Brazil A great Sunday morning read.. the pictures give an insight into the lives of Brazilian gold dredgers.. https://apnews.com/article/business-environment-and-nature-caribbean-environment-brazil-61fe580eb23761117331c10e0b7cfde8
  6. This is for real so do not be afraid of tossing your hat in the ring. Raw TV has been involved in lots of stuff, including the original Gold Rush series. Pass it along to anyone who may be interested. Alan, you listening?
  7. I was wondering if anyone might have a picture of an original Keene 2 1/2" dredge, it is the one that floated on an inner tube. I sent an email to Pat Keene, but have not got an answer. I just need the picture to see how it was set up and mounted on the inner tube. If anyone has one you can post it here or email it to me at: jfoley@sisqtel.net
  8. Gold mining underwater, offshore I have a dream ? I want to build an underwater vehicle for gold mining (washing) underwater, in the coastal area of Alaska and other places. Background: I am a former Submarine Engineer, mechanical and electrical specialist (+ electronics). I really liked the series on the Discovery Channel, about how gold is mined from the bottom of the sea in Nome (Alaska). I am impressed with the courage of these people. But ... I see that already now they have problems with mining gold from a depth of more than 5 meters. The shelf area (underwater part) extends much further than those small areas that are now being developed near Nome. To work in bad weather on the surface of the sea, and not to depend on it, you need to have an underwater manned vehicle on a caterpillar track, with a dredge and a flushing chute. This will allow you to work autonomously, for several days underwater, mining gold. In my opinion (thoughts) it should be a submarine with tracked engines, ballast tanks, which can independently float on the sea surface and sink to the bottom for work. I can design, calculate, and build this. I need money for this, and a few assistants who can work with their hands ? Extraction of gold and minerals from the bottom of the sea is my old dream ... And I know how to make a submarine without spending millions of dollars ?
  9. 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.
  10. https://www.icmj.com/magazine/article/plp-update-4454/?fbclid=IwAR3-OTlUQ3SqYmxYpp-BeaVHxKIee0IEIzY5ZlJc2kCiMhmNLq-HFTvSYq4 This effort deserves a vote of thanks from all of us.
  11. Beautiful day out on the river doing some scouting and testing of new equipment. Only got to punch one sample hole. Little too much overburden at about 4 feet. Got a little color, just need to find more easily worked ground.
  12. I'm starting a new thread (for an obvious reason -- change of topic), triggered by the following post: My question is specifically about this spinoff/version of the show. It's evolved into two related, semi-cooperative crews dredging McKinley Creek near the Northern end of the Alaska Panhandle. If somebody wants to bring up Todd Hoffman (oops, I just did), etc., well that's not what I'm hoping to read about. But it's a free world. I'm hoping some experienced dredgers will objectively critique.
  13. Hey everyone! Its been a while since i posted last. Recently i did a comparison video of the Proline and Keene full size 4 inch dredges. It think it is a great resource for those looking to buy a dredge in the near future. I go through each component and talk about my reasoning and though process behind why one is preferred over the other. This is definitely not a video for fanboys of either brand lol. The main point of it is to get potential dredge buyers thinking about there intended use of the dredge and how various features on either one may be better for there intended use. Hope yall enjoy and please leave any feed back. Discussions are the reason im here !
  14. Hello everyone on here. Im looking on upgrading my Subbie sluice box into a more efficient one. I have been looking into ideas of what others been doing on here and any suggestion of how should i design a larger Gold nugget trap. I see most sluice boxes with tiny riffles and i could just imagen a larger nugget go run straight out the back. I tested my sluice with a almost 300 gram copper nugget and i lost it. Now we are trying to upgrade the sluice because where we dredge we could find larger nuggets. Im thinking of placing a section with taller riffles like in the picture with the rails only going half way or 3/4 of the sluice and leaving the same size riffles or making it bit larger at the end of the box for the larger nuggets.
  15. Been a long time guys... Found an old 8" dredge im thinking of bringing back to life. Curious if anyone recognizes this make/model of dredge. Owner says it has keene pumps and thinks maybe tecumseh motors but not sure. Have a couple of pics but wish I took more. Motors were in a locked cabin so I didnt get to see them yet. Planning on picking this up in a couple of weeks. Will be a long trip to get. If anyone has any info it would be much appreciated. Thanks
  16. I am posting this here since there are folks on this forum from Arizona. I was wondering if anyone might have information like rules, regulations or possibly links to which agencies regulate and permit suction dredging. I know, there is not much water in AZ, but there must be places that a person might find gold in streams.
  17. Hi all, hope everyone is ready for dredging . I have a 2" Keene dredge, with the hard floats. Dose anyone how much air to put in the floats? Don't want to blow them up, but need them to float good. Any help would be good, I tried to look on line but could not find how much pressure to put in them. Thanks Dean
  18. I have been making Gold dredge nozzles in our business for quite a few years now and we sell them on our website and Ebay. We make them in 2", 2-1/2", and 3" OD Tube with slip on connections. Plus we give the customer the choice of a classifier or not, welded to the nozzle tip instead of charging extra for a "bolt on" accessory when they should be included. We always have made them with 1-1/2" OD tubing either slip on hose or threaded hose to the water pressure line with a reducer to increase the pressure to the nozzle. Are there any people who use 3.5" or 4" or even 5" nozzles? If so, what sized water pressure tube do you run for those? I am thinking about making a bigger product line for our customers and am all ears in your input. What would be your best nozzle? Short and stubby? with or without side handles? Different nozzle sizes? Water inlet tubes? I am also thinking about making them out of 316L stainless for the salt water people's. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Steve Stabler-Owner GBE Mandrel Bending Inc.- GBEMANDREL.COM We make them with OUR made parts, no someone else's.
  19. 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.
  20. Been messing with this project on and off for a few years now. Finally got it where it was ready to be tested this past weekend. Was originally a keene 3 inch with 4 hp motor and p160 pump i believe. I sold off most of the 3 inch parts and started building the components need to turn it into a 4 inch. From the 3 inch all that remains is the frame, floats and motor and pump combo. I bought a 4 inch flare from keene, since i have no good way to fabricate a lightweight flare. Everything else i have been working on fabricating, primarily being the sluice (16x40), riffle trays, and the power jet. The power jet is were i diverged from most of the current designs that are widely used. I wanted to build a 4 inch as light as possible while still using the 4hp motor and pump combo, as most the streams i work are shallow and dont require huge amounts of suction for dredging at great depth. The problem was that the 4hp motor and p160 pump struggled in my mind to provide adequate suction to the 3 inch even when near full throttle. Based on this i decided to build a copy of a dahlke tri-jet which should allow a 4 inch to be run off of a smaller motor and pump when compared to a normal 4 inch, due to increased efficiency over a standard style of power-jet. Pictures of the tri-jet in various stages of completion: Picture of the sluice and riffle tray, first iteration with woven wire: Testing day! Couple of issues were noticed while testing. There were a few leaks in the power jet, the woven wire was too open and large rocks would get stuck on it, the high pressure hose was way too long and since it was inch and quarter and so is the pump output , it was constricted to less than inch and quarter at the coupling areas, and the long high pressure hose probably caused a loss in pressure due to friction. The power jet should also be mounted not right at the flare but a few feet from it, so that the hose acts as a longer jet tube and helps increase suction, a 20 ft suction hose also didnt help. But regardless i was able to dredge with moderate suction, with it. So the test was a success, and with the various refinements it should have greater suction and water flow. Then the next day, the various refinements and fixes from the problems noted during testing. Replaced the woven wire with 3/8 inch 40% open punch plate, moved the jet so it is mounted about 3 feet from the flare, shortened the high pressure line and increased it to 1.5 inch so there are no restrictions, patched the holes in the power jet, and painted it. I do have a question or everyone, would increasing the size of the footvalve and intake hose from 2 inch to 2.5 inch help increase the gpm of the pump at all? The footvalve cage that came with the keene pump seems small to me. I have some pictures below showing the difference. I look forward to hearing from everyone! It was a fun project!
  21. To start with I think the Keene over size jets and couplers are great. Over the last few weeks of dredging I can count on one hand how many plugs I had had in the jet. People had told me in the past they have had trouble with them sucking air. What I do is double up the gasket with a cam lock gasket to make a good seal. The problem I am having is getting the coupler on to a new hose. I have put a few of the couplers on the years but it is always so difficult to get it to go all the way on. I was wondering if anyone had a good technique or procedure to make it easier?
  22. After much research and mapping, I believe I have narrowed down the area where the old timers found ounce sized nuggets back when my creek was actively being mined. Two areas in the creek fit the description. I had to piece together info from multiple reports and geologic descriptions, then use property boundaries, court house, records, geologic maps, lidar maps and lots of hiking and scouting to find these two areas seem to match. Only time and lots of dredging will tell if i got it right or not. Hope you all enjoy the video and stay tuned for more.
  23. Last night I read a very interesting (IMO) article by Chris Ralph in the June, 2019 issue of the ICMJ (https://www.icmj.com/) titled "How Long Does It Take to Find and Recover an Ounce of Gold". There are a lot of caveats Chris lists, which makes it dangerous for me to summarize what was written. Further, there is a fine line between showing results from a magazine/journal which needs money to stay afloat and requiring interested parties to simply pay for a subscription. IMO, anyone halfway serious about searching for native gold (and there's more there than just gold) should be a subscriber. Most importantly, his estimates certainly depend upon the ground you are covering -- this should be obvious to everyone and I hope simply mentioning it will squelch any attempt to quibble at his results. Basically there is a lot of uncertainty around Chris's numbers, which he is well aware of, but it's still interesting to hear from an expert who has used all of these methods countless times. I was surprised at some of his estimates. In order longest (least efficient) to shortest: Panning: 42 hrs, Metal Detecting: 40 hrs, Sluicing/Highbanking: 30 hrs, Dry Washing: 30 hrs, Dredging: 20 hrs, Hard Rock Mining: 8 hrs. I think it's worth emphasizing that this is a time efficiency, not a cost efficiency. Panning is clearly the least expensive with hard rock mining by far the most. Chris also points out that the leadup time/research/preparation & cost are vastly different -- hard rock mining being the obvious extreme.
  24. Had a great weekend out prospecting and dredging a club property in Virginia. Got to meet some new people and have an overall great time camping and dredging. So i just started prospecting this creek and club property this year. Ive panned and dredged it a few times, all was basically sampling activities. From research of old workings and looking geologic and lidar maps i choose a specific area to focus on, and the last time out sampling with the dredge started to sniff on decent gold in a 1 hour sample hole with a 4 inch dredge. The area consists of a spot about 100 yards wide in which the creek has always had to cross since sheer cliff walls bound the stretch on each opposite bank. A gold bearing feeder also comes in within the stretch which is an added bonus. The thought is, is that since the creek has always had to cross that 100 yard stretch then an old paystreak should cross it somewhere was well, from back in the days when this area had more conducive climate to being able to transport gold. From what ive heard and seen within the club most people avoid prospecting this creek, due to difficult access, deep overburden and generally not finding much gold once they get in there. So i have not heard of decent gold coming from it. But the old history reports say otherwise and state that it is one of the few creeks in this area that was never placer mined due to difficulties that the old timers in the 1800s couldnt overcome. Sounds like my type of area, if im going to prospect a club property. Sample dredging the creek a few weeks before Memorial day weekend. Notice the 15 foot tall silt bank behind the dredge, its all alluvial flood plain material. Gold from the 1 hour sample hole with the 4 inch dredge. Not fantastic but far above the back ground gold count for this creek. Camp all set up and the dogs are happy with it. Getting the dredges set up. I decided to bring the 5 inch since the ability to move more material out weighed the extra weight in my opinion. Dredging away. Luckily the overburden depth was only about 2 feet at most, so i was able to cover some ground with the 5 inch. Got about 2 full good days of dredging in. Found some Indian pottery while dredging. Always awesome to find Indian artifacts. And the best part, Success! Good gold with some nice pickers. 2.4 grams on Saturday and 1 gram on Sunday. I love when research, sampling and hard work culminates into some great cleanups in new areas. Got a new spot to continue to work know, and i know there are more pickers and possibly nuggets nearby, just gotta get my dredge nozzle over them. Hope everyone else had a great memorial day weekend. Heavy pans!
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