Can someone recommend a decent 1 man drywasher?


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I have run a puffer type for a long time, in fact it is the one I have for sale on here.

it is good for one man but can also be a 2 man machine.

I classifiy all my material first then start feeding the drywasher until I have run

what I have then do a clean-up.

most of the time I will run 2 or 3 5gal buckets of material then clean-up

so far that has worked for me.

Hope that helps

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I agree with buzzard. I use a Keene 12 volt puffer with backup hand crank. The bigest problem is the weight, it weighs 38 pounds. Thats going to be an average weight for just about any machine. Some can be carried in 2 or three pieces which makes it a little easier. Hope this helps. There are a couple companies that make all metal ones that light weight, but are viberstatic type, meaning they take a gas motor to run them. Most are at least 2-3 trips bcak to the truck. If you have a quad, then the Keene is you best bit because it can be folded down. I'm not sure if buzzard's folds down or not. He has a very nice machine that gets even the fine gold. Best of all is the price is right for getting started.

Bob

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There was an old fellow name of Dowy Critenton that worked out of 29 Palms California years ago who had a small hand crank dry washer that weighed 8 pounds and worked just dandy. I met him about 1986/7 and played with his little dry washer for a few minutes. He passed a way a few years back and rumor has it he had 40 pounds of gold in a sack that he had recovered with that little dry washer. I have some photos of the dry washer on my other computer if I can retrieve them!

RSJ

I forgot to add that you could build one yourself in a weekend like Dowie's for allmost nothing in cost.

RSJ

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There was an old fellow name of Dowy Critenton that worked out of 29 Palms California years ago who had a small hand crank dry washer that weighed 8 pounds and worked just dandy. I met him about 1986/7 and played with his little dry washer for a few minutes. He passed a way a few years back and rumor has it he had 40 pounds of gold in a sack that he had recovered with that little dry washer. I have some photos of the dry washer on my other computer if I can retrieve them!

RSJ

I forgot to add that you could build one yourself in a weekend like Dowie's for allmost nothing in cost.

RSJ

RSJ,

Good to hear from you. I figured you'd get in to this. Dign4au2, RSJ knew the gold guru and his drywashers are by far the best I've ever used. My partner, Doc, has 2 Critenton drywashers, and he has found alot of gold. Doc was Dowie's partner for several years, up until he passed away. Finding a Critenton drywasher is hard, finding one for sale, impossible. Thats why I use a Keene.

:lol: O'29 :lol:

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may not cost an arms and leg, but will work one or all to death.

I use a bellows type puffer (homemade & labor intensive to build), powered by a gas engine. it works great!

I also have a blower type (gold king queen) that is light and is easier to pack in or move around.

I'd go with a blower type, either a gold buddy or Keene. the only maintenance on them are plenty of air filters and an occasional hose replacement. 2-stroke blowers wear out, but they are easy to replace with an Echo or some other b job.

Forget the hand crank models, because you want to stand aways away from the dust devil rig contraption, not right in the thick of things.

One guy mentioned he classifies everything before running. I don't, I shovel the dirt and rocks right into the hopper, set the tray and blower so that the dirt does the steady-eddie trickle. you don't want to blow stuff right out of the rig as afast as it can because you'll lose gold that way. shovel a bit, lean on the shovel a bit, maybe sometimes lean on the shovel and swig a bit, then shovel some more.

You should work up to be able to run about 6 cubic yards of material in a day's run (10 tons), and this includes breaking the soil loose, busting clods, pick and shovel, picking out big rocks, peridical cleanups ( I run about 1/2 hour, then stop and dump the tray concentrates into a bucket, reset everything, work up a new pile of material to be run, have a beer or water, gas up the rig and go back to work.

Try to work the rig in AZ divorce weather (windy days) with the dirt and silt blowing downstream away from you. Get a decent particle mask such as a two band 3m 8210 or 8211. if you don't, the dust will cut your lungs up just as bad as silicosis, or you may also get sick from Valley Fever ( a fungus pathogen).

If you don't like yardwork, drywashing aint gonna be your thing neither.

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TXKajun

I use the Keene electric (battery) puffer. It works great, and does good on small Gold.

Always stay downwind and I shovel direct in the hopper rocks and all. AZ B)

Well AZ looks like we might be in trouble when I come over your way. I'm running the same Keene. Sure don't want to mix them up :lol::lol:, it's hard to beat the Keene puffer. It's found alot of gold for me. and still does.

Bob

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I worked a keene puffer and it does work well, prefab and all. but I have this homemade job and don't need another puffer (yet). Personally, I think the puffers work out better. The mexicans that invented the damn things probably thought so too.

Rather than spin wheels on a sampler size, just get the full blown size. they work great as samplers, and if you find a patch, can go into full blown production without any extra effort. Let the machine do the work it has to, and keep your energy to work the shovel and pick.

down the line, find a decent rototiller (as in an old craftsman or poulan, with 3/16" tines, a DR, or some other stout rig) that will take some abuse in rocky or packed ground.

If not that, I know some guys that bought an electric powered jackhammer and a generator. this takes a few more beatings and can punch through thin caliche layers, that may open up into deeper lucrative strata.

some things to think about

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AZBirdDog, ya'll got just a downright cute little puffer! LOL

You know, it doesn't look that much bigger than my little hand-made Wee Willie bellows sampling drywasher. I wonder if I hooked up a motor and pulleys if that would work??? Sure would save me a couple hundred $$ on a new one! I'd probably have to make the legs a bit longer, but that's no problem. A couple of longer lengths of 1"X2" for the back legs, use my current long back legs for the front, drill a couple of holes to attach the legs and bolt on the motor and pulley and gear. Geez! I think it'd work!!

Kajun

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TXKajun

All you got to do is get a windshield wiper motor and adapt it with a couple of pulleys and run it with

a 12 volt motorcycle Battery. I run mine with an old 12 volt dry cell and it works great. It

will puff a way for 6 to 8 hours straight. After that I pass out. AZ B)

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AZ BirdDog, is there a "best" brand for the windshield wiper motor or will any 12V windshield wiper motor work? And as for pulleys, recommended sizes? I think this is going to work! Thanks.

I'm not exactly the greatest carpenter or builder in the world, but I think I can fabricate something that will work if I can get the right parts. I've got plans for several puffer style drywashers and think I can use them as examples to rig up my little Wee Willie.

Kajun

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Do you have the plans for this thing?

Randy,

I do not believe the plans are available for a Dowie drywasher. If you would like I can take pictures of Doc's big one. Dowie had most everything he did and built in his head. From what I have seen, I believe it can be built very easly. I just don't have that kind of expertise.

Bob

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OK, let's try to make this as simple as possible. :D I do simple REAL good! :lol:

I went out over lunch and bought a used Ford truck windshield wiper motor. I made sure it worked at the used car place using a 12v battery there. It has nice mounting brackets on the side of it so it will attach to the dry washer with no problem, I think.

Now, the simple part: it came complete with a cantilevered drive shaft on the motor. In case ya'll don't know what I mean, let's see if I can describe it. The actual motor drive shaft rotates round and round, but the "cantilevered drive shaft" is a flat piece of metal that is attached to the motor drive shaft and it goes up and down (or back and forth, whichever way ya'll can picture it). The cantilevered drive moves about 3-4" total up and down (or back and forth). Now, the big, "simple" question. Can I just go ahead and attach the cantilevered drive to the bellows and let it run like that? The motor itself has 2 speeds, slow and fast. The slow is about the slow speed on windshield wipers, but the fast speed is not really all that fast (can't tell you exactly how many rpm, but more like medium setting on windshield wipers). I was wondering how many "puffs per minute" I will need to move the dirt? I suspect the answer is going to be "It depends on your dry washer and how fine and dry the dirt is."

I need to get me some 1" X 2" pieces of wood to lengthen the legs and then figure out exactly how I'm going to mount the wiper motor, but that may be it! Like I just told one of my buddies at work, "This is way too easy. It can't possibly work!" LOLOL

Thanks for all the info, ya'll!

HH,

Kajun

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Randy,

I do not believe the plans are available for a Dowie drywasher. If you would like I can take pictures of Doc's big one. Dowie had most everything he did and built in his head. From what I have seen, I believe it can be built very easly. I just don't have that kind of expertise.

Bob

Yeah!! That would be great. I can build stuff :) djui5 at yahoo dot comm

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Yeah!! That would be great. I can build stuff :) djui5 at yahoo dot comm

Randy,

If you could build a Dowie drywasher, keep it light and make it portable. You could sell alot of thrm.

I'll try to grt pictures and measurements this week end for youas well as pictures. Are you on dial up or high speed broadband?

Bob

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Randy,

If you could build a Dowie drywasher, keep it light and make it portable. You could sell alot of thrm.

I'll try to grt pictures and measurements this week end for youas well as pictures. Are you on dial up or high speed broadband?

Bob

I got super high speed! 7Mbps cable :)

Thanks Bob!! Man, if I could build these things easily and sell them for a decent profit, I'd take up shop somewhere. I'm not doing anything right now anway (other than working the claim and hunting the lost dutchman)

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  • 2 years later...
Randy,

If you could build a Dowie drywasher, keep it light and make it portable. You could sell alot of thrm.

I'll try to grt pictures and measurements this week end for youas well as pictures. Are you on dial up or high speed broadband?

Bob

I just purchased a Dowie Drywasher From a guy named Norm here in Las Vegas. He told me he got it when he lived in 29 palms.

I am interested in the pictures of the small Dowie Unit. You can email them to brent@usry.com

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try to keep it light enough to tote around- it's too easy to make a monstrosity, then you'll have to put wheels on it. picking it up and loading it in and out of the truck can be an ordeal in itself. some units fold up.

the blower types are easy. but in both cases (blower boxes or puffers), just try not to crank the speed or blower to the max, as you'll blow the gold out with the dirt. go at a medium pace and let the rig do the work, so what if you have to sit around and watch it work for a few minutes. don't get into a really big hurry. Try to break up all the clods as best you can.

if you have extra time while the machine works, work on your stock pile.

One word about classifying. I prefer a larger opening screen than the ones that come on stock units. like 3/4" raised expanded metal. I also prefer to have some sort of gate that meters the dirt into the hopper, then onto the riffle tray. as this creates the circumstances for better recovery and efficiency.

I haven't figured it out yet, but it would be neat if I could build a plastic framed job that would allow me to swing the metal detector on the grizzly pile while working the drywasher. Don't ever forget to detect that pile, as some chunks of gold, dirty, cannot be seen or noticed by sight during the drywashing process. a gravel rake helps in this process.

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