Recently I began a blog focusing mainly on linking prospective or active gold prospectors to plans for building their own equipment. To date, I have 61 posts and links to plans for sluices, shaker tables, dry washers, rock crushers, high bankers, and much more. I have interspersed the plan links with history, photographs, artwork, maps and other curiosities about gold prospecting.
If you have enjoyed my reports about gold prospecting, I think you will find this interesting. At least I hope so!
I like to do whatever I can on my own – including the manufacture of what I need. There is nothing wrong with going to a retail mining store for what you want, but if you would like to try it on your own try building a dry washer. You’ll need plans, of course. There are sites where you can pay for plans. But I have found a place on the Internet where there is an explanation of the use of the dry washer along with photos and rough plan that one could use to build a good dry washer.
Having just gotten my first dry washer I can attest to the fact that you will process more material, and hence, get more gold flake. Don’t forget to metal detect those piles of material the dry washer leaves behind. There’s nuggets in them piles! (Sometimes:) Click below to see.
This is where you shovel dirt in. At the bottom just above the metal chute, is an opening that can be closed, adjusted, or opened completely by a metal handle (can’t be seen) at the top of the photo. The dirt falls to the riffles and while the bellows is pumped by the wheel the dirt vibrates and hops over the riffles. Can’t see the riffles because they are below the hopper. The heavy stuff stays behind.The screen can be removed if something undesirable gets in the hopper.
I have published a few articles on looking for gold. The links are here: http://john000.hubpages.com/hub/Where-to-Find-Gold-if-You-are-a-Newbie-Gold-Prospecting-the-Best-Places-Using-Gold-Panning
Perhaps a little easier to see how the riffle box is removed.
The riffles here are made out of quarter rounds, flat side facing away. When you have cranked the wheel and all overburden has been shaken off, detach the riffle box, slide it out, and dump what remains in a bucket. If there is any gold, it will be in the material you dump in the bucket. Gold is 19 times denser than an equal volume of water.
Seen from the front, you get a better view of the riffle plate or I guess you could call it a box. The black bar in the middle rotates. When it is down it holds the riffle box. When you turn it up, you can pull the riffle box with the heavies at the top of the riffles out and dump the material in a bucket to later pan. Waste material piles up near the wheels on this model. There are a number of variations on the market. There are also directions on the Internet for how to build your own. This wooden model is fairly heavy. Most people want one made of aluminum so it isn’t so heavy to carry.
The wooden pulley is connected to a crank on the bottom that is similar to a crank shaft. The shaft hits the bottom of the dry washer with each turn of the wheel and causes the riffle plate to vibrate. There is a bellows below the riffles that is hitting the frame of the riffle box with each turn of the wheel. The bellows also blows air up which helps dust to blow away- the white cloth in the riffle box actually vibrates and bounces a bit.