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DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

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DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby ece3k » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:51 am

So I have been looking at some different gold sucker tube and decided to make my own as a project for me and my son. I had a couple questions though for anyone who may have already got into that.
1. For the "plunger" I have seen everything from leather to tennis balls to pipe insulation to rubber washers to test plugs being used. Which is the best choice? I am leaning towards rubber washers (2 inch) with maybe a little marine graphite to help lubricate. But will the graphite cause problems with material?
2. Some models like "gold n sand" use a check valve on the way in so that when you push forward the water and material go out a side tube or hose to a bucket. It seems that is a better design than having to empty the unit after just a couple pulls....but is it better? What are the downsides? Are check valves reliable?
3. What is the best way to avoid clogs? I know CC has some serious gray clay that will stick to your shovel. It seems that would clog up a check valve in a hurry. Is there a nozzle design that will help with that? Should I skip the check valve and just draw and dump? I don't see much hand dredging at CC....there is probably a good reason for that, I just don't know it........
Thanks for the advice. It looks like a fun project.
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby Havilah » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:55 pm

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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby frfenner » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:24 am

I made a pretty simple one after watching some videos on you tube. I just have a straight setup, with a Y PVC piece capped that the material falls in at the bottom. Use pipe insulation as a plunger, you just cut to fit and it can be replaced easily. I tried to fit some check valves and make something like the gold n sand set up, but it failed. I should have just spent the money and bought a new unit for the parts and time spent trying to duplicate it. It's fun to make your own stuff. good luck!
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby sdbridges3 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:50 am

I prefer Deserdogs gold suckers (available on Ebay) and own 3 of them. Why?
1. He uses test plugs that can either be cheaply replaced or simply expanded by a twist of a butterfly nut.
2. After wearing out the replaceable nozzles, I buy more PVC and make my spares.

For lubrication I went to Ace Hardware and bought a tube of SuperLube synthetic grease.

Check out his design for ideas.

-Steve B
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby kruzman » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:51 am

The problem with check valves is they don't pass gravel well and even sand can prevent a good seal. If you do want to make a check valve, about the best check valve you can make that will actually work is a 2 sided flapper where there incoming current "folds" it over its retaining bar (bar across center of circular flap dividing it in 2 equal halves) and outgoing current flattens it back against a large hole grizzly grate ceiling off the pipe.
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby kruzman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:05 pm

for the plunger gasket on mine, I used a test plug and replaced the rubber ring with a foam ring cut from a noodle. if it starts to feel too loose from wear I can just tighten it further while in the field, or even unscrew and pop in a new one. I like that its adjustable.
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby ece3k » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:54 pm

I wanted to thank you all for the suggestions. I finally finished my sucker tube and now I'm ready to give it a go. Pictures will come out later. It was a lot of fun to make. I ended up making the plunger with a piece of 5/16 threaded steel. I put on two nuts (with a lock washer between them), then 3 2-inch rubber washers sandwiched between fender washers (so fender washers between each one and on ends (4 total), then another double nut. I can expand the seal by tightening the nuts by the washers but I do have to use a small wrench to do it so maybe not as convenient as the test plug idea. But I over tightened it and had trouble pulling it inside tube so I loosened it a tad. The suction is pretty strong and I drilled some extra holes in the cap in case it needed to release water that got behind the washers....none ever came out in my first test. The cap also serves to guide the plunger.
The seal seems to work well though and I don't think I need any lubrication in the pipe. Maybe I will if I tighten it any more, but for my tests it seemed to form a great seal. I put in a y joint in the pipe and a small extension to catch material so I can pump it a few times between emptying it. I chose not to mess with the check valves. I also made three "nozzles" that fit into the Y. The smallest is 1inch, but I may also make an even smaller one to get into the littlest cracks. I also made a handle for the plunger by drilling a hole in a piece of 1 inch pvc (the handle is about 6 inches long) and did the nut and washer thing to hold it in place (used a smaller washer for that.)
All the best.
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby Gold Seeker » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:03 pm

Elfy,

if you do want to put a little lubricate, don't use any kind of oil, based product, oil and gold panning don't mix, what I use on mine is a silicone lubricate, you can get it at Home Depot or Lowe's, it comes in a little tube and looks sorta like Vaseline, if you don't use a lubricate your rubber washers will wear out at some point, plus you will be able to tell the difference after pumping your sucker for a few hours!!
Seek and Yea Shall Find, and when you find it Thank GOD!!!
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby ece3k » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:31 am

photo 1.JPG
The Plunger End
photo 1.JPG (106.89 KiB) Viewed 589 times
Thanks for the advice on the lubricant. Do you just put some on the plunger washers themselves or is it better to put it on the tube? Photos attached.
Attachments
photo 3.JPG
Full Sucker
photo 3.JPG (101.93 KiB) Viewed 589 times
photo 2.JPG
Plunger Handle
photo 2.JPG (94.23 KiB) Viewed 589 times
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby sdbridges3 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:39 pm

I just lube the plunger on mine and that seems to work well.
-Steve B
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby Gold Seeker » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:22 pm

You only need a little bit on the rubber from time to time to keep the rubber from wearing out due to friction, it also keep the rubber from drying out as well.
Seek and Yea Shall Find, and when you find it Thank GOD!!!
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Re: DIY Gold Sucker tube questions......

Postby obdiah » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:09 am

great work I like your plunger design
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