Post by peterpanner on Oct 4, 2012 21:31:17 GMT 10
Hi Folks I recently bought a Gold Miner Spiral Wheel hoping to separate fine gold from concentrates. There are a few minor issues perhaps because of my inexperience. Largely I think I did not get the wheel angle and waterflow combination right. The slower waterflow that I had meant that gold in water going through the central tube went everywhere except into the cup. While it did seem to separate larger gold flakes, most of the gold missed the cup and ended up in the bottom of the esky type box. I think I needed a flatter wheel angle plus a stronger water flow but I will experiment. The "waste" still had some gold in it but once again, it could have been my inexperience.
The cup itself needs a hole below the rim so there is no surface tension at the top of the cup - perhaps a bit of a design problem. Also the cardboard angle guide is pretty budget and you would think they could afford a bit of plastic. The cardboard would last no time. Take a tip from me and cut the same shape from the plastic bottom of a Coles or Woolworths shopping bag. At least that won't dissolve if it gets wet. My jury is still about the spiral wheel.
I've got one, Takes a heck of a lot of tuning to get it right, I screen my cons down VERY fine, I added a bigger cup at the back "with holes!" water flow rate can be an issue, and the pump getting covered in silt is also a big issue, "kills water flow"
I run my cons 3-4 times then drop them in the cleanup sluice. to make sure i've got it all..
Either way i was not very impressed with the machine, my little Prospectors Choice cleanup sluice + bilge pump combo is a far better option... but hey, if you want clean gold.. the wheel does work.. kinda..
I have No experience with the gold wheel, however all gold recovery is increased when the material is really-really clean!
Sluice box run material is by far cleaner than panned material!
Trial an error unfortunately. I would suggest keeping one thing constant, whether that be angle or water flow, then only adjust one, until you get the best results! then you would slightly adjust the fixed in either direction, to see if you can better the results??
Thanks for the advice. I will play around to determine correct water flow and abgle combination. I bought some 25MM (1") clear plastic tube to extend the tube that the gold falls out of. This brings the tube much closer to the cup so less gold misses the cup. I will also get a bigger cup. I will update once I test the new arrangement.
Post by peterpanner on Oct 6, 2012 20:49:09 GMT 10
Changed the size of the cup and put a short length of 25mm tube over the tube through which the gold falls. The tube now goes below the water surface. This caught most of the gold but still had some tiny specks in the bottom of the tub. These may have been washed over the lip of the wheel. Experimented with angle and water flow to get a better outcome than my first try.
Post by peterpanner on Oct 8, 2012 18:14:25 GMT 10
4xForGold Rather than humping a spiral wheel into the bush or jungle, I suggest it stays at home (or in the caravan). Don't lug the esky sized box and battery with you as you will have enough to carry. Sluice &/or pan down to reasonable concentrates and bring these home for processing. Don't waste you time panning out much. Once you know you have gold and have reduced to a reasonable amount, the spiral wheel can process the fines for you in the comfort of your own beer fridge.
Thanks for the advice peterpanner et all. Basically All my prospecting has to be done in the field as we are way too busy with kids and work for me to have time to process at home at the moment so on the very rare occasions I get out (hopefully soon) it will be with pan and shovel.
Post by peterpanner on Oct 20, 2012 7:15:06 GMT 10
4XForGold The spiral wheel now works without losing any gold into the box and captures 99%. Here are the modifications I made: 1. Bought a long STRAIGHT 25MM clear plastic tube from Bunnings, cut off about 8cm and slid it over the metal tube at the back of the blue wheel.
2. Bought a bigger cup and put 2 small holes below the lip of the cup for water to flow out instead of over the lip of the cup. I think there is less potential to lose fine gold due to surface tension.
3. Bought a chunk of heavy rubby about the size of the white box that catches the waste from the front of the spinning blue wheel. This goes under the box to raise it about 2cm, solving the problem of the box not sitting properly in the frame. Something a bit lighter would be sensible than heavy rubber for those who carry the box with them.
4. Now add a little blue dishwasher rinse aid into the catch cup to break surface tension.Detergent is NO good - any foam in the white waste box catches particles that end up in the black box due to floatation on the suds.
My next modification will probably be the addition of a square catch "cup" hanging from the lip of the large box somehow, so it sits against the inside end wall of the large black box. I will then use a long piece of straight 25mm clear tube to direct gold into this catch cup. This will make the whole gold catching arrangement more secure than the little swinging medicine measure as supplied.
Post by donnybrook on Oct 20, 2012 20:03:13 GMT 10
peterpanner, One of the problems with gold wheels is water flow or water spray which can displace your gold from the spirals. In a previous post there was a reference to clean concentrates or alluvials which can be achieved after sluicing as it breaks it up or scrubs it. I have seen three such wheels set up in a series the first taking a larger percentage of the materials being seperated etc. I found that materials which were first run through a 16 mesh sieve went well. I used one of my long 16 mesh sluices running it into a large tub. I added detergent to the tub water to break surface tension. It sounds time consuming but it worked. They are a good device to use especially at the end of the day. Sit down and have a beer when doing this. Enjoy. They are cumbersome especially with batteries to carry. Perhaps a lightweight generator run through a battery charger would achieve the same thing as they are usually run with a small windscreen type motor. However power (electricity) near water not so good.
Last Edit: Oct 21, 2012 11:20:55 GMT 10 by donnybrook
Post by peterpanner on Oct 21, 2012 18:03:58 GMT 10
Thanks for the response Donny. I experimented a lot with combination of wheel angle and waterflow. I still get a bit of black sand in catch cup but don't lose any gold. When I used detergent I got some suds in the waste tank which trapped fine sand on top of the water which then went into the bottom of the tub. I now use dishwasher rinse aid. I only ever use the wheel for fine cons (though chunky gold is always welcome) and I do the cleanup at home mostly.
I wouldn't bother carrying the wheel to a gold area unless car is nearby. For me it's a sit at home or in a caravan with a beer or two.
I also used the black plastic bottom out of a shopping bag to relicate the cheap nasty cardboard angle "tool". I made another with the angle I like to run fines through on. Takes a bit of experimenting and by the time I bring more cons home I have to think hard how I did it the time before.