My Winter project

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My Winter project

Post by dickb on Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:59 am

Trying to add info to the forum.
I have been using a tent for my prospecting adventures, but as I get older and the body fights with me more I'm trying to win the fight.

My old Hotel with a view:





I have been using the tent for my trips for a long time and as a sidebar when we started camping back in the old days (70's) are first home was in a canvas tent. Seem to remember all those good times with the family and kids. Wow there in their 40's now, time flies.

My new hotel with a view:



This past July 2015 I was able to find this used trailer and some luxury to my traveling experience. I was able to take it on my trip up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a little beach prospecting with some GPAA folks on Lake Superior.

Here is a photo of Mike P. and friend, showing some visitors to the Lake Superior beach his gold vial with fine cold found while cubing the black sands. That's Mikes cube setup that he is toting with the hand truck. I worked really will to get the gear down to the beach. It's about a 1/4 mile trip from the campground down to the beach and most of the guys that have been there before use the same hand truck system to haul their gear. It really worked slick and I'll be using it to haul my cube next time. Live and learn, DUH.  We were up there over a two week period that mike and company was up there. I stayed for 5 of the days then moved North East to Whitefish Point, MI and stayed there for the second week. Had a super great time and hope to go back again.



Here is Mike and friends packing up after a days beach mining. There was a lot of black sand at the foot of the bank and you could dig a foot or so through the blonde sands to get to the black sand and cobbles where the fine gold was located.



Now that winter is setting in, I plan to spend some time working on the interior to add electricity, insulation, paneling and cabinets to convert it into a small Camper. I already have bought a twin mattress and bed frame for sleeping and have a porta potty for roughing it. Sorry, I'm old and don't enjoy digging cat holes! DUH. Very Happy

So, now will be a good time to get it ready for my Spring trip down to South Carolina.

Have to have something to do so I don't get into trouble. RIGHT?

Dickb


Last edited by dickb on Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:44 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: My Winter project

Post by russau on Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:53 pm

Dick after you get your 7 days in , post some pictures of your trailer when you get done! My 16 X 7 enclosed trailer don't need any more improvements! plywood interior sides and a swing out plywood bunk! It hauls more than I even need to bring! Maybe next summer ill try to go to Wyoming again or Labor Day to the Arkansas River for a few!

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Re: My Winter project

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:33 am

Dickb,

Say what? The new Forum "rules" won't let you post any pics for 7 days? A 7 day waiting period? HA! Razz Funny & sad all at the same time.

Most states that have a "waiting period" for a handgun purchase only make you wait 5 days! Double ha. Guess Forumotion.com wants you to be even safer, more composed and reflective...not fly off the handle with pictures you'll regret later!

Can't wait to see your pics!

Randy "C-17A" Smile
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Re: My Winter project

Post by dickb on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:06 am

Hi Randy:
You have seen them before on the old forum. I'm just helping to repopulate the new forum. I created all my old posts on the forum so none of that information I typed is recoverable. The photo's were on Photobucket so they were not lost. I still wonder what happened to the old forum, but I don't expect that we will ever find out what caused the forum to go dark.

I'll add the photos on Tues.

Getting the house ready for Christmas.

We lost a good friend to cancer last night. Very Sad but not surprised. We knew it was going to happen. He died peacefully. R. I. P.

Dickb
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Re: My Winter project

Post by russau on Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:40 am

Randy you didn't say his name sooo R.I.P. ole friend! A sad day for sure!

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Re: My Winter project

Post by russau on Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:48 am

As far as DIY projects , Im working with some other group of people designing / building a eventually 5 inch subbie that hopefully will catch fines. we are takeing all the better ideas and merging them into a killer dredge. our proto type will be from a 4 inch because everyone has these parts to spare BUT when it is proven up we will share the plans with each other to build our own. Hopefully I can find some young guys to haul this to the stream for me and use it while I "supervise" the operation!Smile I gotta do something while im recouperating from this knee replacement!

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Re: My Winter project

Post by dickb on Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:38 pm

Bump:

Added photos and more text to my opening post. Yea, I can add photos now.
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Re: My Winter project

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:53 pm

Dickb,

Thanks for adding in the pictures!

If you and Mike P. were there for 2 weeks washing beach sand with your Cubes.........how much fine gold did you guys "harvest"? How much a day on average?

Randy "C-17A" Smile
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Re: My Winter project

Post by dickb on Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:37 pm

Randy:

Mike and his friend got some every day. It was all flour gold and I do mean fine gold. The glaciers really rolled it into powder. The cubes would yield about a pound of cons each day and You would get a small smile at the end of clean up. Mike was using a finish pan to clean his and his friend was using a small (cookie sheet) size miller table with a rubber slate surface. I sat about an hour and a half one evening talking with them and watching them clean the cons. We didn't have a scale with us so I never got a weight, but we didn't get skunked.
I brought a ice fishing sled to haul my gear down to the beach, but it was the wrong thing to bring. The hand truck worked way better. Mike has been there many times and he had the system worked out to be efficient at moving in and pulling out each day. I had a hand truck back at home and boy did I wish I had brought it.



This is Mike in the lead and his friend following heading back to camp the second day that I was there. I had stopped at a bench to take a rest with my gear when I took that photo.
You see the parking lot ahead of Mike and that is about half way back from the beach to the camp ground. There is about a 50' drop from this elevation behind me dowm to the beach on Lake Superior. I'm sitting at the end of a set of steps and board walk going down to the beach. You go up a couple steps then walk about 50' to 6 sets of steps and board walks to get to the high water line of the beach. I was at the end of the steps when I took the photo of Mike showing his vial to some folks waking the beach. There were many folks that came down to the beach and just walked the sands looking for rocks and drift wood. A lot of them were curious of what the nuts were doing digging holes in the sand! Some stopped and talked other, just shook their heads and kept walking.

I hauled my gear down to the beach the second day I was there and dug that day only. Brought a five gallon bucket with my cons and filled it with black sand from my hole. That's the only time I used the cube. After that I had a small bucket dolly with me and I hauled screened cons back up to the truck each day and will clean them over the winter. Live and learn. I'll be using the hand truck next time and as soon as I got back home I ordered another tray for my cube. I have a 4 stack now. I did use the topper on the cube, but it isn't necessary.

Both Mike and his friend just used four stacks with the small pump and a car battery along with 2 mortar tubs coupled together with Mike's new tube and flange system. They worked very efficiently and they used 5 gal buckets to carry water back to the bank where the cube was set up right next to their dig hole.

I spent the next 3 days hauling half buckets of black sand back to the Durango and loading it into 6 - 5 gal buckets that I brought back home with me. I did sample pans of it up there and did find fine gold in it. I'm going to say -100 mesh for size. On the other hand I had a great time both prospecting and photographing the area, along with meeting all the folks that came to the meet ( about 8 cubes in all) and Mike brought one for one of the customers and sold another while he was there.

After a week there I packed up and went up to Whitefish Point Light house and museum for a day and stayed 5 days at a nearby campground that had two sets of waterfalls in the park. Small drop one about 30' and one about 15'. I did some hiking and took lots of photo's. I guess about 400  in all. They are in the computer but I haven't even started to look at them yet, except for the few that I uploaded to photobucket and posted on the forum.

It's about a nine hour drive for me to get there, mostly all interstate except for the last leg from Greenbay on up.

I would sure like to go back in 16' if it works out. I really and a great time and the weather was perfect the whole time.

Dickb
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Re: My Winter project

Post by russau on Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:58 am

Good post Dick! sounds like everyone had a great time! Im assumeing that you cant use a gas engine there???

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Re: My Winter project

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:11 am

Dickb,

Well..............I have to agree.............looks like you timed it perfectly as to weather. Hope the bugs weren't too bad.

Wow..............I am impressed just how far you have to cart your equipment each day, back and forth. No wonder an hand truck with wheels is needed! Shocked

Well, glad to hear the black sands give up a little color for all the "hard fun"...

I have used my 3-stack deluxe Cube here on the Arkansas River of a friend's claims and it's always hit or miss....but I have never, ever gotten "skunked". Never a bonanza when you're going for fine flood gold that's usually 80% minus 50-mesh, with nano specks down to 200.

This guy beach dredging in Alaska, close to Juneau, got 14+ grams in one day with his 5 inch dredge! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D01vtAIOL0k

Cheers,

Randy "C-17A Smile
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Re: My Winter project

Post by dickb on Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:18 pm

Hi Russ:

Your right about the gas engines. Pan only or they allow the use of the gold cube away from the water powered by battery pump. Actually, a high banker or sluice would be overkill and there is no real way to run a sluice except as a re-circulator and I expect that would be allowed. I have my AM battery powered Predator 2 and that would work I think. Only real problem you would face is failing to fill your holes and leave trash on the beach.

When you dig down you have about 1' of blonde sand then black sand and cobbles. They are covered with water so your in hip boots or kneeling in the sand as shoveling sand from the hole. You can get down about 3' and then the sand is caving in faster than you can get it out. I have wondered if Red's hand dredge would work well at this. I don't think you could pump it up to the top of the cube, but if it was sitting right at the water table, the heavy black sands may pump through the hose into the 2 gal bucket. Then you could change bucket and have somebody running the black sands through the cube while you filled a second bucket. You would still have to had deal with the cobbles, but it might work well as a team effort. All the folks that were there were shoveling the black sands into a mortar tub and when the sands would fill the tub they would stop and run them through the cube. They were filling the tub for the cube by carrying water in 5 gal buckets from the shore to the cube and it would last for about a hour before you needed to get more water. If you look close at the hand trucks Mike and friend were using, the battery was at the bottom with the cube above it and the tub's were strapped to the front of the cube to hold the load together while they hauled it to the beach. Both had backpacks for small stuff and lunch and the hip boots were on top of the cube tied in. I bet the whole load on the hand truck didn't weigh more that 100 lbs. and the battery was the heaviest thing. Those big tires on the hand truck really went over the grass, gravel and wet beach sand way better than I thought it would. The hand trucks were those blue ones from Harbor Freight. Something for you to think about toting you gear down to the river. The blue one with the 12" tires for about $70.00. Really light duty for real hand truck work, but they are great for this job.

When I get my hand truck fixed up for next year, I'll send you a photo. I'm going to add some more photo's to this thread so I'll bump it back to the top when I do.

Dickb
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Re: My Winter project

Post by russau on Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:01 am

I give my son my hand truck a couple of years ago BUT I made a light weight 3/4 inch square tubeing cart with wheelbarrow tires to haul it on! it should do the trick!

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