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Blue Bowl or Panning wheel?
RichDColorado
post Jul 25 2010, 02:27 PM
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Which do you prefer for final cleanup and reasons for your preference if you please. There seems to be a love/hate relationship with both products. I have quite a few cons with good color classified to -30 and -100 and manual panning takes way too long. When you feed either a bowl or wheel does it make a difference if the material is wet or dry - does hydrophobicity become a problem with dry material? Same question would apply when running material through a sluice - do you run your raw material wet or dry? Could smaller fines ride the water right out of the sluice or cleanup device if put in dry?

I also have a cleanup sluice similar to the Tom and Perry Massie "white gutter" style, but have noticed that many of the small/tiny pieces don't get trapped in the riffles, so not sure if that style of cleanup sluice is not efficient with very fine gold or maybe I'm doing something wrong in using it.

Lastly, has anyone made a homemade blue bowl? There are some plans on the 'net and some videos on youtube. Maybe it's just me, but the sellers like Keene seem to be pretty proud of those things - $70 or so for a bowl which is probably worth about $10 at most, IMO (I know - the gold recovery will pay for itself in no time). There has to be a way to build a better (and cheaper) goldtrap -

Thanks - Rich
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swizz
post Jul 25 2010, 03:03 PM
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I have not used a spiral, so I don't have a valid opinion on that.
I use the Blue Bowl religiously for cons -30 and smaller, it will not process anything larger. Once you understand the nuances of centrifuge it works brilliantly. The parts they give you with the "kit" are garbage... the only good thing is the pump which works really well. I bought a nice brass water regulator and 6ft of quality garden hose from Home Depot to replace their "kit" junk. My Blue Bowl isn't made by Keene, it's made by D.A.M. but I'll bet Keene's "kit" isn't much better. I'd buy the Bowl and pump separately then hit up Home Depot. I'm not sure you could "make" a better centrifuge bowl yourself, unless you're an armchair physicist/engineer and have access to the same plastic used to manufacture gold pans.
If run properly the Blue Bowl system is really efficient at recovering super fines, and I think it's pretty dang fun.
Check out this video. The first portion is about beach mining (which is okay), but then they go to this dude's "Gold Lab" where he has a pimped-out Blue Bowl recirculating system designed to collect stuff down to 50 microns in size. His system also utilizes the "white gutter" style recovery sluice that you mentioned. In the vid he does a really good job of explaining some of the nuances and tricks of the centrifuge. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it: Prospector Channel Beach/Gold Lab
As far as wet or dry cons - I prefer wet so that I can pre-treat with Jet Dry or similar to reduce or eliminate floating gold. I also treat the recirculating water, it makes a huge difference.
Hopefully Carl can chime in on the spiral, he was running one at our CP outing this year.
Hope this helps. 2c.gif


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RichDColorado
post Jul 25 2010, 04:22 PM
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Hi Swizz - Thanks for the input. I was re-looking at the pics from your earlier thread on your con cleanup and was impressed at yout setup, especially the small -100, etc gold which you recovered - it really does add up! I recently bought a couple sluices from a guy who threw in a 5 gal bucket of sluiced materials. It had been sitting in his garage for 10+ years. I classed it down -4, -10, -20, -30, and -100. Found some nice -20 flakes, but there is a substantial amount of color at -30 in about 3 gals worth of that material (about 1 gal @ -100). I talked with Bill at the Gold-n-Detector store and he does not like the bowl, but prefers the wheel setup, like the Gold Miser, Desert Fox, etc, which runs quite a bit higher $.

I saw the video on the Gold Lab a few weeks ago and it's quite a fancy affair - but at $1,200 it should be. Almost reminded me of a Rube Goldberg contraption.

The other crazy idea I had was to buy a shaker table and rent time on it - that's the only way I could see it paying for itself over time, but don't think there would be enough steady demand to make it worthwhile.
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swizz
post Jul 25 2010, 05:25 PM
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Yeah, I think that "Gold Lab" is a bit overbuilt and overpriced. I run -30, -50, and -100 in a standard Blue Bowl setup separately (using separate water marks) and yield similar results as the Lab. His trick regarding - cranking it up, counting to 5, and shutting her down is spot-on though, I've noticed this effect in the bowl before.
The bowl requires some patience during the learning curve but I'm really happy with it. Definitely let us know how the spiral works out if you get one!
I've been saving and labeling all of my dredge cons that are +30. Leaning toward the Keene Super Black Sand Concentrator, but it's pricey.


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RichDColorado
post Jul 25 2010, 07:29 PM
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Do you separate out your mags before running in the BB? I'm also curious to see just how good of a job I do at manual panning. It seems like I'm finding almost all of the small flakes/flecks and flour - but would have to believe that many more are going by the wayside. The panned out material has been kept in another bucket so that would be something to run through a BB or wheel to see just how much I missed initially.
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swizz
post Jul 25 2010, 07:32 PM
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mags?


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Coalbunny
post Jul 25 2010, 08:00 PM
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I prefer the wheel because I don't have to baby sit the machine. OTOH I have to pamper the Blue Bowl. The water level does not stay constant.


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swizz
post Jul 25 2010, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (Coalbunny @ Jul 25 2010, 10:00 PM) *
I have to pamper the Blue Bowl. The water level does not stay constant.

Yup, the bowl needs a babysitter but the process is pretty fast when the material is pre-classified.
Once I picked up a real regulator for it the water level has been much easier to keep constant.


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RichDColorado
post Jul 25 2010, 08:34 PM
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QUOTE (swizz @ Jul 25 2010, 09:32 PM) *
mags?


magnetic material
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swizz
post Jul 26 2010, 05:18 AM
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QUOTE (RichDColorado @ Jul 25 2010, 10:34 PM) *
magnetic material


No, not prior... but it wouldn't hurt to do that. I run a small rare earth magnet through the bowl periodically while I'm bowling. I stop the centrifuge when I do this.


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russau
post Jul 26 2010, 08:03 AM
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if you use a autofeeder on your bowl or any type of cleanup equipment, you wont need to babysit it! this way everything is consistant,and the more consistant you keep everything, the better your results will be!plus you can go do something else while its doing its thing! anyway, it works for me!
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swizz
post Jul 26 2010, 08:20 AM
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QUOTE (russau @ Jul 26 2010, 10:03 AM) *
if you use a autofeeder on your bowl or any type of cleanup equipment, you wont need to babysit it!

It doesn't matter how you're feeding (in terms of babysitting)... I won't turn my back on it for a second. The babysitting has more to do with water flow than feed.
Auto feeder is nice but you still need to keep an eye on things.


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russau
post Jul 28 2010, 04:53 AM
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Swizz, once you have your equipment setup with a autofeeder you can controll/eliminate the water surges. i use a battery charger to keep the volatge constant. i use the autofeeder to keep the feed and water surges consistant. the more of these variables you can keep consistant the better your results/loss will be! ANY other way, for me is a waste of my time! besides, its all self and recirculated. all my cons have been screened and run seperatly, plus the mags have been removed prior to running. i use my Blue bowl but id really like to use a original Green Bowl (without the wings in the bottom of the bowl)to compair. i have read that they are far supirior to the Blue bowl by many people that i respect. someday ill get one!
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swizz
post Jul 28 2010, 05:31 AM
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Sounds logical, I'd like to learn more about your autofeeder.
Is your autofeeder vibrating? Does anyone market one or did you fab it on your own?
I also pre-class, so I'm assuming that you have a different size feed nozzle for each class so the the feed speed stays consistent for each class and doesn't self-clog, correct?


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russau
post Jul 29 2010, 09:05 AM
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i made my own autofeeder after i saw Gats. his was the one used at the 07 Rocky Mountain Miners Rally in Idahoe Springs Co. that Dan & Mrs.CP put on. they are very simple to make, and no, mine doesent vibrate. it only uses a small spray of water to move the screened cons down the feeder and into what ever device you use for cleanups.
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