Nugget Shooter Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Rank
    Copper Member
  1. I had a nice fold up job, used a honda 2hp engine (hard to get now for reasonable rates). it was a puffer made of wood and canvas. wore it out and built another one, same setup. wore it out and built a steel framed one and put it on wheels. has a 3 hp briggs i got from Jackssmallengines.com. I use a 1/2 belt and swamp cooler pulleys. not exactly light, but still manageable. puffers are pro and con rigs, but I feel that I get better recovery using it. My grizzly is 3/4" raised expanded metal (as opposed to 1/2" flat that most commercial prefabs use). The riffle tray uses double knit about 3 layers thick, and reverse bevel riffles to catch the goods. The thing I don't like about the setup is that the engine in right near the top of the grizzly and gets dirt shovelled onto it sometimes. though I think next time I will buy an engine with gear reduction, as that should allow better speed control. With the setup now, it's a clumsy idle that runs slower or faster depending on gasoline, air filter dirt, and heat or ambient temp. I can run 6 yards a day and not kill myself, but of you want to run light, get an echo blower and a fan box of aluminum. besides these put up and take down easy. If you want to figure out tools, the normal round and sqaure point shovel, railroad pick (wood handle), gravel rake, and a few pry bars, maybe even a sledge. next step up would be a rototiller, 3/16" or thicker tines. beef up the transmission housing before taking it to the rockpile. I welded some rebar on the tines to help pick the rocks, after seeing some dude in meadview with the setup. Maybe you can find a good old craftsman or poulan tiller, if not, look at the special order catalog of Ace hardware- DR has a good stout tiller for about $4bills. Another investment would be a gasoline vacuum cleaner (you can buy one or make one out of an echo blower and a 5-gallon bucket). There are kits, but I just bought mine prefabbed, and boy howdy, did I get nuggets the first time out! You want your dirt to just trickle off the drywasher, as that will be the most efficient. AND have an adjustable gate on your grizzly hopper. Some fan rigs like the Keene electrostatics work better without the metered feed- throw a shovel full in and the static and heat of the keene blower will do its magic. You shouldn't be working so much that you are pulling a Chaplin at the Machine Works shift. shovel a bit, let the rig work while you lean on the shovel or take an occasional swig of cold beer or something. 6 cubic yards of dirt may sound like a lot, but for every hour, you are spending about 20 minutes piling the dirt or swinging a pick and working your shovel; 20-30 minutes feeding your drywasher, ten minutes cleaning out your concentrates, and ten minutes resting or goofing off. In the 20-30 minutes of feeding the goat, you're running about 1/2 of a yard, so your work load is about 6-8 hours, all told. If you set up a recirc rig, using cutiff 55gal barrels as the catch and silt rigs, you'll be running anywhere from 1/4 cy to 1/3 cy per hour, depending on the clay makeup or sand component. The advantage here is when you shut off the trash pump, you'll actually see the clean(ed) gold sitting right there in the box. The disadvantage being that you'll have to muck out the silt barrels and recharge them with clean(er) water. If you plan to set something up, plan on obtaining 6 barrels- 2 for the contraption and plumbing, and 4 for hauling recharge water. If you are getting gold with your drywasher, think about running the tailings through a recirc as a lot of gold get caught up inside of dirt or clay clods, and aren't easily broken up enough to allow peak recovery with a drywasher. This is true if you run across some typical arizona red dirt that is full of gypsum. Wherever you swing a pick in it, the impact streaks will be white. This type of dirt is all over the desert placers of Arizona, though it seems to be most prevalent in Joshua Tree areas. Swinging a pick in it is like working into something made of rubber as it is darn resilient. My recirc has a hopper that will hold a milk crate, allowing me to shake and agitate the soil and rock mix, while drenching the works with water. Once I am satisfied that anything of value has dropped into the hopper and sluice, I just pick it up and pitch the remaining contents. Gold mining will get you and keep you in shape. with most detectorists, the exercise isn't so much the problem as the stamina of continually swinging a head and concentrating on the sounds. I don't know of too many detectorists that have a buzz and still get thier target. drywashers on the other hand, problably need a buzz to keep going and working the mexican backhoe (shovel) (no offense to any mexicans out there. I could imagine that Mexicans gave us the refined shovel. They gave us the cowboy hats and cowboy boots, spurs, and lariat, maybe even many cowboy song formats. The drywasher is a mexican invention, and the best gold pans used in the motherlode came from the mexicans too. Dowsing, while not a Mexican invention, was a tool used by the Spaniards to locate key gold, silver, and copper deposits in the New World. The Mexicans did develop the way to convert silver sulphide to Silver Chloride (without that knowledge, the Comstock Lode wouldn't have played such a pivotal role in the Civil War), and about 1/3 of mining terminology has Mexican roots. So who knows, maybe I am living high on the hog, and when i come back to the next life, I will be living the life of a mexican laborer. I am certainly broken in on a few of their tricks, not the least of which is how to properly use a shovel to feed a drywasher.
  2. no matter what or how or where, we regular guys all lose. Goldfield Nevada, town of 50,000, and satellite towns of another 20,000, 7 fires and 2 floods. no municipal garbage dump (then), yet take a sifter and work some of them, and soon a ranger will show up to write a ticket. in town, out of town, on a mine dump, placer ground, below the old cabin or homestead. That's why I applauded that George W was going to allow mining in some national parks, and shrink some of those parks back to a reasonable size. Clinton closed up alot, and the feinstein and cranston shut off the western Calif desert, and what about the grand staircase (lots of gold there too). BLM has too much power, but the US voter has too much amnesia about politicians and their dirty deeds against the regular folk. We should be the ones jerking their chains, instead of the way it has gotten to be.
  3. as for blm restrictions, what you have here are layers and concepts. The blm, using endangered species act, can curtail the use of any tract by any vehicle if the 'traffic' threatens plants and animal life. It may also be a wilderness area or being studied as such. A guzzler may be nearby and your intrusion may affect wildlife and water access. there are any number of pretenses that can be used. If you have a mining claim, you have to furnish a land use summary, environmental impact statements, and how you will mitigate land damage after you are through with a given phase. BLM may require that you post a liability bond before allowing you in to make a road or move dirt. Layers in that national defense has access to land use, and that curtails safety issues with the general public (as in area 51, Nellis Bombing Range, Yuma Proving Grounds). The land may be part of another fed agency's study area, reclamation area, or forest service area off limits to what you want to use it for. Maybe the land has been bought out by a natural conservancy group, and they spend money in cooperation with the BLM to preserve the area. If the BLM area has Indian (native American) historical value, or is an old ghost town site, you may be denied access under the antiquities act. No mining claim can leaglly be used as a homesite, camping area, or seasonal use for other than mineral extracton activities, and as such, the BLM may serve as a police agency to keep the land secure until you post a bond and summary of your commercial extraction plans. there's a lot of reasons you can be kept out, and rangers can be variable in allowing some people in while others are adamantly against any incursion (access).
  4. You're going to the wrong set. go to the county commissioners and planniing commission. anyone who buys and develops vacant land has to 'donate' land to public roadways, usually along the section lines or parcel lines. Your property taxes pay for this, and easements are used by everyone. see what they say about it