OldSalt

Automatic Panners

29 posts in this topic

Gents,

I am looking for a method to speed up the panning process, i.e.: process concentrates more quickly. I realize that classification is key, but what are your thoughts on the various spiral panners available on the market? Additionally, could I use a blue bowl to process concentrates instead of a spiral wheel if the concentrates I feed into the bowl are all classified to size?

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The Blue bowl is not a sub for Panning. There for separation of fine gold from black sands only to the most parts. A over priced pain in the butt too I might add.

I have a older Gold Magic spiral wheel that works well for the most parts if set up correct for the material being run.

I need a new pan for it ($50.00) because a stupid person left it by a stream and a Cow stepped on it. Split in two it did. LOL

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I run my cons through a poop tube then pan it out... Cost to make a poop tube is about 10.00 or less.....

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I pan in a couple areas that only allow panning, so a blue-bowl or poop tube aren't allowed. To maximize my production I do a couple things. If the source of the material is not right next to where you are panning, dig out a couple 5-gal buckets of material and go pan it. Saves all the time of walking back and forth for each pan. I also only pan down till I have about a cup of material in the bottom of the pan, do a quick look for pickers, then dump it into a save bucket and get the next pan going. Save the concentrates to do at home later. It seems that getting the last 10% of the material out takes about 75% of the time. Also try classifying the material wet; it pre-wets the dirt, and washes any gold off the larger rocks.

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Ditto on the poop tube.

Also I'm liking the small sluices by angus mackirk, just remember laminar water flow is the key to running a drop riffle sluice.

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SGTFDA (Frank) has a Gold Miner and it works great. You just want to make sure you run screened materials through it. Kinda pricey, but works well for cons.

Poop chutes are great, too. I just don't know if they're as quick as the spirals.

I have a blue bowl and use it to get the superfines (-50 mesh). Works great for that purpose, but not very well unless you spet it true level and get the water running at the right speed for a given size material.

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Blue Bowl is for preclassified 50-200 mesh talcum powder. Gold Magic make great targets for tuning in scopes-run a teaspoon wait and wait,dump and repeat. Any wheel by anyone is far superior in every way. Now ifn' ya want a real auto panner this great ol'Denver Pan o matic process tons and tons a hour. Like my 4 kids the only problem I've ever seen is feeding the darn thing-- :tisk-tisk: tons a au 2 u 2-John

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The poop tube sound slike a really great idea and I have a nice small pump for somehting like that. Where can I find one? I have looked for them before and did not see them at Home Depot or Lowes.

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You can't find the large pipe at HD or Lowes. You have to go to a real plumbing store. But you can call a plumber and beg a scrap of 6" diameter pvc in the 4' range. May cost a few bucks, but cheaper than the large price from the plumbing store.

Then you get some ribbed matting from the prospecting store and some good adhesive.

Cut the tube in half, glue the matting in and build a stand and commence to gettin' the gold :)

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OR get a 4" close ribbed R.V. drain hose an cut er in half an glue er on a piece of rain gutter. El Cheapo !!!!!!!!

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I agree with the other guys here, make a poop tube. I use the 4 inch corregated that sells for about 4.50 a 10 foot piece. Thats plenty big enough. Cut the pipe right down the middle with a razor knife and make sure you dont get the piece with drain holes in it :brows: just leave it 10 foot long.

set it up at an angle in your back yard and hook a hose up at the tall end and run water as needed, doesn`t take much. You can generally tell the way its working and adjust as necessary. when your done feeding your concentrates let it run a little bit then remove hose and pick up the piece of pipe and shake all the concentrates out into a pan. the concentrates hug the pipe well and basically will funnel there way down to the pan, then pan out the concentrates left in the pan, wholla!!!!

I never clean out my black sand in the field. i always take it home and poop tube it, never seem to loose any gold either. I did make a recirculating poop tube which will continually run until i feel its okay to dump but a regular piece of that black corregated 4 inch pipe works great. I just dont like all that hose water going all over the ground is all.

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Hi Salt,

First, the blue bowl will not recover the micro and "face-powder" gold that a spiral-wheel machine will save. Second, neither will speed up the panning process, as neither is designed for PRIMARY separation. They are both for running concentrates from dredginging, sluicing, or highbanking - where concentrates are accumulated in bulk. If operated properly, a machine for running concentrates will take much MORE time than panning, for field-run use. If you are even contemplating this, you need to learn how to pan PROPERLY. A summer prospecting in Alaska taught me (and I was already a great panner) how to quickly get ALL the gold out of a spade-full of clay and gravel in the field, or a bucket of concentrate, even though no Garret pan was available - only smooth, old-school, steel pans. I also learned that a Yellowjacket trommel will recover visible gold EVERY TIME from the waste concentrates that have been run through a Knelson centerfuge concentrator. (a real eye opener) The recovery of gold lost to inferior equipment, at todays prices, PAYS FOR the run-time costs of said recovery.

Nuff Said, Ben

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Blue bowl rock and wheels are not for micro gold ever. Throw away the instructions,only run prewetted 50- materials,move the control valve at least 10" away from the inlet as a O flow beats the half closed C flow, fill to the brim with water,run flat as can be and feed in opposite the inlet,up against the bowl wall. I've gotten many $$$MANY thousands out of my buds wheel dumpings and split with dozens of folks over 30 years of use. I do not sell anymore but did and sold many 100's and never a single complaint :miner: -John

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Gents, I'm sure the poop tube works well, but the only thing that perplexes me about a set up like the tube is how narrow the flow area is. In other words, it would seem to me that something, which allowed for material to spread out over a wider area would work better. Anywho, I will try it and first run various bits of lead through the system to determine proper angle and pressure.

In essence, I am looking for a faster method of processing my concentrates.

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Blue bowl rock and wheels are not for micro gold ever. Throw away the instructions,only run prewetted 50- materials,move the control valve at least 10" away from the inlet as a O flow beats the half closed C flow, fill to the brim with water,run flat as can be and feed in opposite the inlet,up against the bowl wall. I've gotten many $$$MANY thousands out of my buds wheel dumpings and split with dozens of folks over 30 years of use. I do not sell anymore but did and sold many 100's and never a single complaint :miner: -John

X2

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Blue bowl rock and wheels are not for micro gold ever. Throw away the instructions,only run prewetted 50- materials,move the control valve at least 10" away from the inlet as a O flow beats the half closed C flow, fill to the brim with water,run flat as can be and feed in opposite the inlet,up against the bowl wall. I've gotten many $$$MANY thousands out of my buds wheel dumpings and split with dozens of folks over 30 years of use. I do not sell anymore but did and sold many 100's and never a single complaint :miner: -John

My system:

Screen thru 1/4" screen if you have trouble panning effectively "+10 mesh" gold. Rough pan material to remove at least half the light material but not many black sands. This is a river/stream operation.

"Back on the block", set up a LeTrap with a sump pump water feed into a large storage bin. (Using recirculated water with "jet dry")

Run material twice. Assuming Le Trap will recover 80% on first pass, put aside the 2 cups of cons. Run captured tails again. (at 80% of the 20% remaining in the cons puts you at 96% recover. Dry out and store the remaining tailings with the 4% and save for the long winter "re-concentrate project". May sound silly but I made a truck payment last year re-con'ing those accumulated 4%er's. I feel confident John will concur.

Get some aluminum sheet about 1/16" thick that is 4 feet long and 10" wide. Be yourself with clamps, 2x4 as a vise, and carefully use a hammer to bend 2" high sides or better have a sheet metal shop "brake" it for you. Get ribbed rubber matting 6" x 30" long and glue to sluice bottom starting at the end. At Home Depot, they have in 6" wide rolls "gutter cover" leaf screen that is flat and with small openings. Cut a piece that will rest over the top of the glued in ribbed rubber mat and fit edge to edge without "bowing" . Acquire some aluminum angle that is about 1/16" thick and 1" wide and 90" long and aluminum flat strap that is 1-1/2" wide and 36" long. Cut the aluminum angle into three pieces - each 30" long. Cut the aluminum strap into 6 pieces - each 5-7/8" long. Place one each of the aluminum angle against the sluice sides with the horizontal edge on top (not against the flat expanded metal) and the third piece in the center with with the horizontal edge on top. Clamp the 6 straps to the front, back, and equally spaced across the flat parts of the aluminum angle. Drill at least two holes for "pop rivets" at each strap/angle junction. Secure with pop rivets. Simple clamps can be used to gently hold - not crush - the expanded metal against the ribbed matting. Using a small battery powered 750 gpm bilge pump from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, some auto supplies create a "soft flow" to run down your sluice. Just enough to move the con's, a table spoon - placed as high up on the slick plate portion of your sluice as reasonably possible. Run twice then stock pile the last run of tailings as before. Clean sluice between each run.

Now get your self a "bluebowl" with adjusters and use it per Johns instructions and using the 750 bilge pump and 'jet dry" in the recirculated water. Run tailings into a catch bucket and re-run again. Save second run tails as before for winter project.

Easy, and with a bit of imagination auto feeders can be incorporated to make it even easier.

I have only had experience evaluating 3 different "wheels" as a industrial designer for fine gold recover systems for a mining equipment manufacture. Closed circuit technical recovery evaluation of those wheels pointed us in other directions. John would have a more "colorful' way of expressing the results of those tests.

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I use a auto feeder too--it runs on brown beer and brown women,cranky in the morning but after a few cups a coffe it purrs like a kitten as ounces a that micro gold show up,and it is good- :P John

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Ok ... I have been reading all the replies serious and funny alike. :) :) :) The serious question here from me is that if I did want to buy a new wheel for removing fines from black sand which bowl is the best? All the adds say they are the first or the best or the gold standard ... or something indicating they are the best. So for those of you more experienced than I with fines separation please weigh in ... going to add drywashing to my detecting for a little variation from my detecting to keep the attention a little keener for each method.To date I have just been an extremely patient panner and 'repanner' using the 14" pan to get a lot of the fines and then the little black 10" pan to painfully recover the remaining visable flour. Looking for a little variation

Mike F

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Mike. I have many years under my belt for doing this. Pan everything over 30 mesh. Next screen the -30 to 50 . Now take the 30 and the -50 in separate runs through a blue bowl. You will get all the gold possible. If the place has it and your drywasher can keep ultra fines of 100 mesh or smaller do another screen of 100 before the blus bowl...... OR if that is just too much trouble for you and you don't care about ultra fines, then just make a poop tube and run all the 30- mesh, that will get most of the gold. If the area you are drywashing does not have a load of fines... then screw it and just pan it out.......

How many miles on the new machine?

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Hi Steve... only have about 500 miles on it so far. I really haven't had a lot of time on it lately do to home needs ... but as of sunday I will be batching it until the end of the month while Carol visits family in Denver and NH. I have the dog duties ... 3 Labs ... while she is gone so just day trips ... but the day trips will definitely put a few more miles on the Rzr. Do you know off hand if they make a metal (aluminum preferred for the weight factor over steel) skid plate for this beast ... already have a couple of really good scraps on the stock plastic one ... probably putting the machine where it shouldn't go! :yikes: NO ... that can't be it! Or could it? :)

As for the fines recovery ... as I stated I am a very patient and thorough panner ... at least in my own mind! :rolleyes::olddude::inocent: My reason for the spiral bowl rig is that real small stuff that I can barely see but not willing to waste if you know what I mean. So Blue Bowl is the way to go for this stuff then. Thanks.

Mike F

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Way off topic but... Mike dont get aluminum skid plates!!!!!(my opinion of course) UHMW skids are the way to go. They take more abuse and will slide over stuff the aluminum skids wont.(aluminum is so soft its.. grabby... on rocks in particular) I've owned both on my last couple SxS's. I'm currrently running a Commander and UHMW skids are next on the list, then long travel, then....

Wheels suck at recovering very fines!!! at least mine does :P I use a Mackirk minisluice and then pan out the cons from that.

102_4151.jpg

I would love to have a blue bowl to clean up after the mini sluice.

If you have alot of fines the you might want to look into a popandson sluice...just google it, they've given their plans out for free. Its popular back home(Nome beach gold) They claim recovery of 300 mesh...can you even see gold that size?

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Mike, I agree with Dave on the skid plates.

If you get aluminum that is hard enough to take some abuse, it's not only considerably more $$$ but also becomes brittle with hardness and will actually crack if hit hard.

What we do for our desert and rock race (and some customer) vehicles at the shop is use Titanium oxide coated aluminum (very hard outside, still manageable underneath the coating) in the 3/16ths variety underneath a 1/2" thick UHMW sheet. The aluminum was once described to me as airplane skin by an old pilot, so that's just what I started calling it... And is what Champion Metals delivers to me :)

UHMW - Ultra-High Molecular Weight - plastic is often (mistakenly) referred to as "oil impregnated" or "self lubricating" plastic. It doesn't have any free oil in it. It is just like Au... Very dense it will last an entire season or more underneath our cars and years underneath most customer rigs (likely longer than your Rzr, seeing as it's so light).

It's also able to be cut with a standard circular and or jigsaw, can be ground back to smooth for any serious gouges and is easy to work with.

Downsides? It ain't cheap. A 4x8 sheet can be upwards of several hundred or more depending on several factors (I've seen prices over $1000/sheet for certain brands and make ups) And it is impossible to carry around without it slipping out of your hands! And I'm not joking. It takes a couple or few folks with nitrile coated gloves and STRONG grips to carry a sheet LOL

Message me if you are interested, I believe we have some rem pieces, or will be getting a couple more sheets in soon.

Sorry to hijack, but I saw somewhere I could add value.

I still agree that a spiral is good for the 50+ mesh if set up right.

Below that you need a slow and patient hand with a pan, a blue bowl or possibly what Dave described with the popandson sluice.

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Dave and Glenn ... Thanks for the comments about the aluminum. Thankfully when I was talking to my dealer he also said no to the aluminum same reasons of cracking on hard hits and "stickiness" on the rocks. Everyone seems to be on the UHMW skids. Got to save a few bucks or find a few more nuggets to make the change-over. Hopefully the stock plate will continue to work for a few mor weeks.

After more investigation on various spiral pans I am going to wait until I can get to a gold show and see some of them in action with a very strong leaning to the blue bowl. The Mackirk looks interesting but I like to pan and consider myself a good panner ... I think with patience I may be able to pan as well as the Mackirk will run it ... and then maybe the blue bowl ... or maybe work up something along the lines of the popandson sluice ... that sluice looks real simple to make and appears to work pretty good.

Thanks

Mike F

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This works good for me!

http://www.lowes.com...ollow&cId=PDIO1

Putting the End caps on helps take out some of the wiggle . Cut the down hill side for flow.

http://www.lowes.com...ollow&cId=PDIO1

Do you line it with ribbed matting?

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