My new 2" back pack dredge

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My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:29 pm

Randy, I followed your lead on that fine flood gold setup you did. We have the same type of gold here just not as much as there. So here is a little video of the upgrades. So far my little setup has caught gold every time I've been out with it.


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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:25 am

AHHHH ! You got me stireing this morning with this!! I made my 2 inch light weight dredge awhile back and haven't been able to get out to try it. I agree whole - heartly about using a shorter hose. I prefer to keep mine as short as I can AND as straight as I can to prevent plugups. always use your eyes to prevent rocks that are to big to suck up from getting into the hose. I know you don't have a compressor and tha stream is to shallow for a snorkel BUT being underwater to see what your doing is the best way to prevent plugups ! I also used only S.S. fasteners with nylock nuts . A TIP for all .......you can make your own nylock nuts by using regular S.S. nuts and inserting a piece of nylon fishing line into the nut and then the screw. My sluice has 2 different ABS sluices. one with the flaired end and the other with a crashbox and I have 4 different mat types to try out. Gold Hog mat ,Veranda mat , Vortex mat (like what Gold Cube is using). you said on one of the videos that you wanted to permenatly mount the pontoons and that the bunge cord s*#ked.  Just remember that with altitude change and temperature change the air in those pontoons go up and down. so put a battery operated compressor in your truck to air them up so they wont be loose in your mounts and lose them. Im ordering the same engine you have on your dredge from Mark Keene today. that sounded a little loud . maybe Ill order a low tone muffler for it and an USFS approved spark arrestor while im at it! I posted pictures of my 2 incher somewhere on the forum awhile back and im itching to get it out now that my knee replacement is over and feels better. This dredge will be my 5th dredge and Im planning on building a 5 inch submersible dredge of a completely different design than whats out there right now. Im kinda curious on the weight of your dredge without the hoses. As a side note , you may want to look into Gold Hog mats .This is why I built this 2 incher to tryout these mats incomparrison to each other. Yep dredgeing is the only way to go!!

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:52 am

russau, you are correct! I'm not a diver for sure. Shallow water for me. You wouldn't believe how much difference five feet less of hose made a big difference in how it operates. I also have a classifier on it now and it hasn't clogged up not one time. I agree it is a little loud for a Honda engine, but it sure runs really good.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:21 pm

I hope it runs great because Im waiting on a call back from mark Keene right now to order it. Yep the shorter the hose the more suction you will have to some degree. Theres a line loss even if your pushing the water through the hose or sucking it through. the longer the hose the more resistance it has!

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:13 am

John,

Well............way to go on modifying your little 2 incher there to focus on fine, fine gold...  Wink

Mine has been working like a big time champ on the Ark here for fine flood gold, as you saw when you were here last Fall.

I am currently running a short section of Gold Hog UR matting up front, directly under the flair outlet.  I just happened to have a section of UR that my buddy Bill gave me, so it works.  Could just as easily have been a section of GH Talon or Downdraft of Scrubber.....

I really only put the GH matting up front for two reasons:

1).  To maybe catch a picker or larger piece of gold before it got to the Vortex matting and maybe wash on thru & out the back as the Vortex is only open enough to hold about 1/8th inch in size.

2).  To ride over the top of my Vortex matting and hold the vortex in place below by sort of a compression fit underneath.  I first install the UR in the aluminum rail, then ram the Vortex hard, up, underneath. This way I don't need tape, pins, a bar or anything to hold both mats in the water flow and speeds up cleanups too.

Also, as I look at your rock screen setup....

One concern.  I see the upper/front screen section immediately below the flair looks to be only about 3/8th punch plate.  Did the factory dredge come with something larger?  My 4-incher has a woven wire screen that's about 1/2 inch holes.

My 1 concern would be.....sure all the bigger rocks would wash out the back on top of the punch plates, BUT will there be enough lower level water flow to really keep that Vortex matting clean, exchanging, catching gold.............or, will it over time pack up with black sand?

Maybe keep an eye on that?

Anyways, can't wait to see it in action, out dredging on the creek!!!  Very Happy

Randy  C-17A   Smile

P.S. John, there's plus's and minus's on longer vs. shorter suction hose lengths.

1). A longer suction hose, like say 20 feet, better allows the sucked up material to "stratify" in the hose as it runs to the flair/dredge. This helps get the black sand & gold on the bottom and is ready to drop/dump into the lower section of your sluice box immediately, not need the sluice box to accomplish that... Also, the longer hose can really help clays & silts break up on the way, freeing more fine gold trapped in these materials.

2). A shorter suction hose can make the whole dredge lighter to carry, lug around and make for less twists & bends in the suction hose, allowing for a straighter hose and overall less rock jams, especially if dredging in streams with shale, flat, rough and/or "grabby" rocks. Easier to maneuver around too.

One last piece of advice.....with that Vortex matting, because it has such small holding points, probably best to error on the side of more water & less material up the nozzle to keep the matting clean/exchanging. I try to run about 10 to 20% material and 80% or better fresh water on my dredge. Less is more. I don't want to "hog" in too much material to fast. When I have done that with flow sand or easy to dredge material, invariably my lower section loads up, the back of my box starts to sink under the water and I have to wait, let the dredge pump eventually "clear" the excess sand/material before I can go back to dredging, otherwise, I know my gold just washes out the back, not get caught in my matting.
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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:56 am

VERY GOOD POINTS Randy!!! Every one of them ! the one thing that had helped me the most to prevent plug ups was to keep my hose as straight as I could to help prevent unneeded restriction in the hose that added to the things that added to the causes for plug ups.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:56 am

Russ,

Right you are!

IF you can setup your dredge the right distance from your dredge hole/spot and keep the suction hose as straight as humanly possible, no bends or twists, you'll really help prevent sharp/jagged rocks from "grabbing" the sideway in a corner and causing a rock jam.

Also, when I was in Georgia and I had my standard Keene 4-incher with the 48-inch triple stage box and 4 pontoons, I bought a brand new 20 foot section of dredge hose. I got it off a dredge builder that had a HUGE roll of it. It was clear like the normal stuff, BUT the inside was completely smooth where the outside was rippled. My original Keene hose was ridged/rippled slightly both inside & out.

This new hose was probably a little heavier overall, BUT it was so baby butt smooth on the inside I almost never got another rock jam. The original Keene hose with the little ridges/ripples inside were hell when I was dredging in shaley creeks or had long/flaky knife-like bedrock to deal with.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:57 am

Randy,
You are correct on all the above. That punch plate has 1/4 inch holes I wish they were 3/8. Yes it can with the gold one from the factory. I plan on replacing that next with the mesh like yours. I already have it just need to cut it bend it and install it.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:25 am

John,

O.K. Smaller size than I would have expected.....1/4 inch holes...

O.K. Just keep an eye on it to be sure the lower section clears well, keeps those Vortex mat holding points open, able to catch gold. You saw on mine a few times it was easy to hog the material too fast, over load the lower section...........and I had to let it clear.

If you have to go with a bigger size, I'd consider a 1/2 inch mesh screen. Wink

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:48 pm

Randy,

I plan on doing just that 1/2 mesh for sure, just using what's there for now till I can get it built. Just anxious to get out if you know what I mean. Also shorting my hose 5' for this small creek really help a bunch and I mean a bunch. Also I'm sure that classifier help just as much. If I was there I wouldn't have cut it at all.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:56 pm

Here's a peek at it in action for the first time out with new matts and screens. It really ran good and smooth and I was impressed with the speed of the cleanup and cons that I took back home with 3 little pieces of gold it recovered. For here that's lucky for sure.. I only ran one hour that day. Cant wait to really put it to work here on the creek. I just need it to stop raining so I can go play.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:39 pm

John,

Thanks for the video... Good you got it all runnin'....

One recommendation.....if you watch your dredging.........starting about 5 minutes into your video..........even though you have the "suction nozzle" setup......that pushed water from the nozzle back thru your hose to the sluice box......and it's better for shallow water ops...vs. a traditional jet nozzle...........which is best for deeper water ops.......I recommend you try as much as possible to get a dredge hole deep enough as fast as possible and then NOT let the nozzle suck air or lift the nozzle up and out of the water. If you can.

Take a look. You'll notice each time the nozzle sucks air you get a small "rooster tail" and white water thru the sluice box. This allows a blast of air/bubbles thru the box and can "wash out" and "blow out" the matting and maybe lose some of your gold in the process. As much as it's possible, try to always have the water/material flow thru the box to be smooth, deep, steady, no rooster tails or turbulence. Wink

Believe me, I know it's hard to do, especially when pulling suction stuck rocks off the nozzle.....just try to keep it below the water surface. You'll lose less gold. Wink

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:08 pm

John the prospective of the view from your drone added a great deal to your video! I liked it! I cant wait for mark K. to get back with me when hes not so rushed. I want to video my 2 incher with the various mats to see which one does it better. I believe the Gold Hog mat will. I had the Veranda carpet in my 4 inch and it was really working good. I wish my back would let me do it again BUT I sold it. My post on my 2 inch with pictures is gone or I just cant find it but my 2 incher has every setup to use it.over under sluice with a flair and a single level sluice with a crashbox and Vortex mat all the way. I have 4 different mats to try in both sluices. plus it will either run with the suction nozzle like yours or a 2 inch jet of the Dave (Vortexrx) Frank design. Its on inflatable pontoons and a aluminum frame that I TIG welded. Im just bustin at the seems to get out and I might just have to use the 2 stroke engine / P90 pump that I have....

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:16 pm

Russau

I agree the drone makes things look very nice. I plan on using it a lot when I'm out this year. Summers coming and I'm ready this year. Got a good dredge now and a great La-Trap what more other than gold could a man want..

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:20 pm

A BIGGER DREDGE might help!! Cool I sure miss mine!!! Sad

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by JOHNIFLY on Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:11 pm

If I was in Colorado the high country I would go bigger. Here there is not enough gold to go bigger. Besides I couldn't get in and out of the creek by myself. I'm hitting the creek tomorrow with it and going deeper on my sand bar.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by dickb on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:34 pm

It's too bad that someone hasn't figured out a way to quiet that motor down to reasonable levels on that 2" dredge. Getting all the gold from the tailings is key. If you move twice the dirt, but only get 50% of the gold what is the point of having the bigger dredge. I see small is good if on small creeks and shallow rivers. But if you can use a 5" and move a lot of dirt, that will put a smile on your face if your on the paydirt.

Good luck.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:45 am

Well Ii just bit the bullit and bought a "new" Keene 2.5 H.P. with a P90 pump from mark Keene. he used this for a test on some new equipment he wanted to test. He has a video of this equipment and "my" pump on their facebook. itll be here soon , I hope! I bought a new replacement seal while I was at it. mark shot me a price I couldn't pass up. I decided against the WX15AX2 because of the limited PSI and Head pressure for all that I want to do with this setup! And while Im at it , Im going to take my 2 cycle pump to a shop to see if they can find a "low tone" muffler. I may have another 2 inch dredge comeing without a engine. Plus maybe a Keene 4 inch with a updated B & S engine on it. BUT Ill need to go out to Wyoming and Colorado to get them to seal the deal.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by dickb on Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:41 pm

Hi Russ:

Way to go, your back in the saddle now. Yea.

When you get it up and running maybe you can take it back up to the guy's place that you sold your 4" to or head out to Cottonwood trails for some water time.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:11 am

Dick...............to many choices , so little time ! Rolling Eyes

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:09 am

john , SORRY to kidnap your thread! Ill start another thread as soon as I get my dredge into the water.

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by dickb on Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:31 am

Lets see if we can get FOG Russ excited!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmP12k9Ra-M

There's gold in Indiana, just waiting to find a new home.

Go get it Russ

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:38 am

Good link Dick. This may happen this Summer...........

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by russau on Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:35 am

Dick you got me stired up enough that Im going out (hopefully this week) to pickup a Keene 4 inch dredge ,another 2 inch Keene dredge and a highbanker w/extra stuff. Them Ill see how my back/knees/ankles are doing when I get back! Shocked

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Re: My new 2" back pack dredge

Post by dickb on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:24 am

Russ:
I'll be in Indy the 18th to 22nd of Aug with family. Drone competition for grandson. If I have time (?) I may drive down to Cottonwood and check it out. That's a big maybe but I hope to see it. If I do, I will take photo's of the creek and post them.

Good luck with the dredges and sent me where your going so I can look it up on Google Earth.

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