Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

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Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:52 am

Hey Gold Adventurers...

Well, if you didn't know, I bought me an almost new used Keene 2 1/2 inch suction dredge a while back... It's pretty much a baby 4 inch Ultra mini.

My goal was to see IF I could mod the box like I did to my 4 incher to better capture super fine flood gold here on the Arkansas River and then have a 1-man operation, being it's so much smaller, lighter, easier to carry in pieces and move around than my much bigger 4 incher.

Well, I have to call my sluice box mod and 1st test run a big success! Wink

The factory box was 10 inches wide and 3 feet long. I removed the steel riffle bar assembly, green indoor/outdoor carpeting, the aluminum V-groove matting plate.

I then extended the box 2 feet with a sheet of .040 thick 3003 aluminum and cut/fit a 5 foot piece of "Vortex like" conveyor belt matting full length and only use the factory 1/2 inch square grizzle plate up front under the flair.

The Chief and I did a 1 day test run with it back on 4 October. We did about 4 good nozzle hours and ended up with a very nice 4.00 grams of gold! We did a cleanup every hour. This matting worked great and was much easier to splash out than the bigger/longer/wider one in my 4 incher.

Only problem was my factory 2 1/2 HP Honda and water pump on the dredge really didn't pump enough water thru the flair to prevent rock jams and keep the box clean. Embarassed

So, I after the first hour of frustration I switched over to an extra 2 1/2 HP engine/pump setup I had brought with me and 1 1/4 inch lay flat hose to power the dredge and then it worked great! Come to find out later at home, as I was winterizing both engines/pumps that the one on the dredge actually had a clogged impeller system with pine needles, twigs and roots. The inlet hose was so long that it obviously just laid on the riverbed bottom and sucked up a bunch of crap thru the foot valve and I had no idea at the time.

Here's a short video I made that day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb8nmJqA7dk&t=2s

So, it's all winterized and put away for now. Can't wait for next Spring!!!

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Re: Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by dickb on Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:08 am

Hi Randy:

That sounds really promising for easy access to the Ark. Good to hear that you found the clog problem. That was a nice take for 4 hrs dredging. Keep looking you'll find that nugget yet.

Dickb
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Re: Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:24 am

Dickb,

Yeah.... That mostly clogged water pump inlet was a REAL surprise... I've run dredges and high bankers a lot over the years and the screen on the foot value USUALLY gets clogged/covered over with needles, leaves, junk.......

......NOT have that stuff make its way up to the impeller.

Yeah.... Ron & I were VERY happy to basically score 1 gram per hour, even if it was super fine to nano flood gold. Wink

Come on Spring 2018!

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Re: Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by dickb on Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:03 pm

Randy:
I had it happen to me years ago. My gas pump was serviced and put away for the winter in the shed. Next spring I took it with me to SC and when I tried to use it, it would not pump any water. DUH I kept trying to prime it and each time it wouldn't prime and pump any more than a trickle. Finally in disgust, I decided to tear the pump down and have a look. Bingo, a mouse had decided to move in and set himself up house keeping for the winter. Well it was dead and I evicted him immediately. Then the pump worked. It had crawled in the intake of the pump and completely filled all the space in and around the impeller. I was surprised I could even turn the motor over and get it running. Live and learn I guess.

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Re: Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:11 pm

Dickb,

A dead mouse? Ha. Funny...

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Re: Randy's Keene 2 1/2 Inch Suction Dredge Sluice Box Mods

Post by russau on Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:39 am

This is why I close off all opening's for storage . Bee's , ant's , wasp's , mice and what not's beware!

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