CANADIAN GOLD PROSPECTING FORUM - Gold Prospecting Forums

Gold Prospecting Forums - General => Do It Yourself Projects => Topic started by: overtheedge on December 14, 2012, 11:26:52 AM

Title: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: overtheedge on December 14, 2012, 11:26:52 AM
I admit that over the years I have gone through a lot of 5 gallon buckets.

The last few years, I've gotten more in the mode of using buckets for what little they are good for: carrying classifieds.

I use an 18 gallon tote or a tub to classify into. I usually use a store bought classifier rather than home-made. A former lady friend uses a deep-fat fryer basket. Through-put is about 0.5X compared to regular classifier. Part of this is due to smaller capacity (volume). The advantage is that her basket is smaller than the bucket, unlike standard classifiers that only nest in the top of the bucket.

Fill the tote with 8-10 gallons of water (carried to it in the 5 gallon buckets), set classifier inside. Fill classifier and shake up and down. Toss over-size. Repeat.

The classifieds are usually -2 mesh, but I've been known to put a piece of 1/4" hardware cloth in the classifier.

I do not classify smaller than 1/4".
1. It takes far more time.
2. The reduction in volume for over-size from 1/4" to whatever is minimal.
3. If I'm panning the classifieds, smaller material increases the time spent panning.

One thing to always remember is the smaller you classify in a bucket or tub, the higher the percentage of slimes. Slimes cause lock-up in the pan. Lock-up is that phenomenon where you fill the pan and when you start to pan, the material just sits there in a big lump. So you stick your fingers in the lump to break it up. At the end of the day, your finger tips feel like you played a guitar for 4 hours after not playing for 4 months.

The time to classify to 1/4" is about 1/2-2/3rds the time for 1/8". I tried window screen (about 18 mesh) and the time to process material increased >5-6X for only a minor increase in gold recovery (<2X). In my area, this may be due to the material being severely gap-graded. Not much material between 75mm and 5mm with all the gold under 1.6mm.

Folks we are self-healing biological machines. We use energy. We also get tired from expending energy. Each excursion to gold country is time limited. Whether panning or running a sluice, every minute counts. You all need to really grasp this concept. The object is to work as little a possible and still process the maximum amount of material.

The smaller you classify, the greater the energy expenditure and time wasted. Yes, wasted. The energy and time you wasted would be roughly equivalent to the time and energy needed to pan it out.

When the material I'm panning runs a little higher in silt/clay (slimes stuff), I put a couple/three ping-pong ball size rocks in the pan to break up any possible lock-up. As soon as you start the panning motions, lock-up goes away and slimes get washed out. Time to toss the rocks. 
--------------------------------
If you are sluicing the classifieds, -4 mesh is easy on water and quick. If your sluice has trouble with -4 mesh, toss it in the dumpster or fix it. Again, no logical reason to classify smaller than 4 mesh.
------------------------------
Though I'm not in nugget country, I know it is easier to spot a 1/4" nugget than an 1/8" or smaller. When I'm in nugget country, I carry one of those children's roll-up blue plastic sleds. Dump the oversize on the blue plastic, quick look-see and dump. These are lightweight and when rolled, need little cubic (volume) in the pack.
------------------------------
I tend to be a bit gruff. I really don't care how you do things. But, I know that knowledge (real or imagined) needs to be shared. If it is real knowledge, it is easily proven by application. So try the above or not. If you do try it, keep track of time and amount of material processed. Compare to the old way. Perhaps in your area the results will be different. You won't know until you test. Remember if you don't know, you lack knowledge.

There is no logical reason to classify smaller than 4 mesh before primary concentration. Opinions tend to be based upon habits or beliefs. Do as you will. I'm not gonna argue. I know within 1ft³ how much material I process per day. I know how long it takes and what the recovery was before I eat dinner. That's the neat thing about knowledge, the outcome is predictable.
---------------------------------
Red alert, red alert, change of subject ahead. Brace for impact!
----------------------------------
I may be old (>60), but I love technology. A couple items that I use all the time is a digital camera and a digital voice recorder. I still like the Rite-in-Rain® notebooks, but hunting for a pencil or having to resharpen one takes time. I can say a lot about each picture in the same amount of time. Short-term memories are lousy at best and completely unreliable. You need to take a hint from "Alice's Restaurant": 8x10 full color, glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph about each on the back. This means after dinner, you transcribe what is on the recorder. Mine only records for 81 hours. Oh, and download the pictures to the puter.

Should the day ever come that you decide to sell your cell/claim, the copious notes and photos can really help make the sale. Or expose you as a fraud. Again, do as you will.

eric
Title: Re: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: ebuyc on December 14, 2012, 02:01:23 PM
Eric I totally agree with you and 90% of the time I only classify to minus #4 also. I do classify the cons smaller before panning, speeds things up!


But I do have one place I classify to 1/8" in the field and that is on the Clearwater river. I have found some +20 flakes but seriously doubt there are any bigger then #8.
The ONLY reason I am able to do this is because of my hand trommel classifier which is so light I can pack it all day long on my shoulder. I wrap the 1/4" barrel with 1/8" hardware cloth and works very well for me. I can dump water into it and use it as 'only mechanical' hand equipment too.

The material being process does not have much cobbles in it, mostly sand. Any larger material is usually wood debris.
Now the logic of maximizing your time is very important for sure, but also has other limiting factors. One for example is volume of gold bearing material in the bucket for transporting. If you move the buckets very far then QUICK classification to minus #8 saves a lot of wasted energy in moving the material.

So sorry not trying to argue but for me at the beach I could see classifying to minus #8 quickly, especially if you had a gold cube set up. In this instance I even think the Gold Cube Topper would work well here, but I prefer my hand trommel because I can rewash a bucket of tailings if I want.


Just saying some conditions might allow minus #8 but as you say it is slower to classify to, but might still make sense.
Title: Re: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: overtheedge on December 14, 2012, 03:39:26 PM
Did you argue? Must have missed it.

I was only referring to hand classifying and each situation is different. Though I have no beach mining experience, the beaches I've been on have fairly small material to process. I would imagine that on some, a person could feed a sluice without classifying because most of it already is -8 mesh.

Probably should have mentioned that I rarely put more than 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket for transporting. I try to stay at 2.5 gallons, but you know how it is. I learned long ago to carry two to prevent back injury. A balanced 80 pound load is easier for me to pack than a single 40 pound bucket. Good handles on the bucket helps a lot. I've used plastic garden hose sections to build up the handle because it seems the factory handles fall apart awful quick.

If it weren't so far to pack in and out, I would sure consider a hand-powered trommel such as your design. Got to be careful what I leave at the river due to bears and porcupines (love shovel handles).

eric
Title: Re: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: Former Guest on December 14, 2012, 03:56:19 PM
Like your trommel Idea cool set up that looks like would be nice in B.C but maybe not for here. You use what for a pump? and whats the end pail for? I see dumping into a pail seems easy way to fill some pails up. Looks like a awsom set up, l like it thumbs up for it. Where you get it? or home mad jobby either way cool set up Cheers Ray
Title: Re: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: ebuyc on December 14, 2012, 05:51:30 PM
Like your trommel Idea cool set up that looks like would be nice in B.C but maybe not for here. You use what for a pump? and whats the end pail for? I see dumping into a pail seems easy way to fill some pails up. Looks like a awsom set up, l like it thumbs up for it. Where you get it? or home mad jobby either way cool set up Cheers Ray

This hand trommel classifier is made by casluicebox.com (http://www.casluicebox.com/TROMMEL-CLASSIFIER.html)

In this picture the area was closed to motorized equipment so I was hand dipping a pan and bucket to get water into the hopper. I don't use the spray bar except as a place to lash my tie downs and feed hoses when I do use a pump.

When I do use a pump I use a 1100gph for just classifying and a 2200gph + a 1100gph pump and run it over a low water drop riffle sluice box (G2.)

(http://gpex.ca/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9125.0;attach=15821;image) (http://gpex.ca/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9125.0;attach=15820;image)

I went to this setup because as you can see in this picture, I deal with some serious clay at times!

I have a bunch of video of this thing in action, eventually I will edit it together and put it on youtube.

My 2 bits...

Title: Re: 5 gallon buckets and jig classifying
Post by: Former Guest on December 14, 2012, 06:28:17 PM
I will let you in on a secret i have found that in a clay area you need more water to it. So if you notice on my hopper box the spray bar goes 1 foot past the box so even as it hits the grizzlies its still being pounded by water spray. I found this to be the answer in a clay area. This extra 2 feet of spray bar sure makes a difference in clay and not even noticable when no clay, seemed to solve my problem here cheers Ray