The Essentials of Dry Washing
August 2013 by Chris RalphMost dry washers have a feed rate adjustment. It needs to be set so that the material flows evenly over the riffles and does not bury them.
As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
After removing about six inches of dirt and cobbles, the sound was a bit more recognizable. I was now confident that there was a definite target and not just a ground noise.
Anyone who has found a patch knows the difficulties involved. Those who haven’t can guess, and with any effort will soon realize it.
My wife Maureen and I spend part of our winter season in the Quartzsite, Arizona area. One fine March morning, we left our RV camping area at approximately 10am in search of that elusive yellow metal with our metal detectors.
We all love to see that first glimmer of gold when it peeks out from under the black sand in our pan, or feel the weight of a nugget in our scoop when we dig a good target. But sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
We decided to run a detector over each piece. If we got a decent signal we placed the piece into a high-grade pile and the rest went into another pile to be worked on later. This high-grade pile wasn’t that large—maybe 25 pounds...
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Common Mistakes of the New Detectorist • The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona—Part II • Mining for Gemstones and Mineral Specimens • Fighting and Winning Without a Lawyer • Fortymile, Alaska Prospecting Adventure • Court Says Emergency Rule in California Unjustified • Sampling Placer Stockpiles • Lower Prices Bring Layoffs • Prospecting Research • Buyer Beware! Counterfeit Metal Detectors • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Underground in the Original 16-1 Mine