Tag Archives: welding

2015 and we’re off – sort of

We got an early start on the season, we had very little snow this winter, which meant we didn’t have to wait for the thaw.  Armed with a couple of new toys, including a mini excavator and a sluice we had welded just for us.  The sluice  has four leveling jacks, and a nugget trap.

The excavator is the best purchase we ever made, I don’t know how we lived without it.  It loads faster, and has the ability to easily go up in the woods to dig test holes.  We run more material in a day than we used to in three, run the dirt more evenly, and are much less worn out at the end of the day.  We found a new test spot up in the woods that looks promising.

The first week we were going great until the water pump died, back to town, but we managed to rent one at a reasonable price from the folks who were repairing ours.  Next, we had a mishap with one of the controls getting caught on a piece of clothing, and rammed the bucket through the grizzly, sigh.. back to town.

We had our friend the welder weld us a new grizzly like we always wanted with a steeper angle, everything was going great.  This is a short days find.gold










The next day, I’m ready to move from the digsite to the washplant to start running material, and the excavator wont move.  Final Drive is shot.  Let me tell you, removing the track so we could take the part to town was not fun.  I knew there was a reason I bought that three ton hoist!

broken excavator









So here we are with nice weather and nothing to do, we decided to try out the hooka and dry suit we got off craigslist and do a little dredging.  There is a short window of time we are permitted to do this so as not to disturb the salmon fry, we’ve never had the conditions be right to give it a go.  If you are interested in dredging, take my advice and try on the suit you are going to buy.  It was too small, it took three people to squeeze me into it, and leaked like a sieve. In these mountain fed streams, I believe that the water temperature is somewhere approaching the liquid temperature of nitrogen.  Got about twenty minutes in before the current and the cold temperatures defeated me.  Its a whole new world under the water, I forgot how much I loved doing that, I just need a better suit.










Now we are waiting on the new final drive, a little broker, a little wiser, but still damn greatful we get to do this.



The Fix

We had visitors while we were at home trying to fix our broken tractor.  This was found down by the river were we pump water.

You will remember in our last update we decided to go home and try to fix the tractor. Our normal welder extraordinaire is out of state, but we gave it a go anyway.  We couldn’t have been happier with the result.

broken piecefixingfinished

We felt there just may have been time to save the last day this week of mining.  We rushed right back up to the claim and got to work.  We managed to get the paydirt we had stockpiled run and got a little gold to show for it.  On the way home, we almost hit a brown bear with our truck.  The sow bolted right out in front of us and the cub right behind our bumper.  Wonder if it was the same bear that visited?

A few days ago we won an auction for a little skid steer bobcat that we are hoping may be able to take over for this poor old Kubota.  It needs work, but we won it for the unbelievable price of 5600 from a local oilfield surplus company.  We may have much less down time next season.

Going back up next week to mine some more, stay tuned.


Grizzly Repair

Have spent the last two days welding on our grizzly. Got here and noticed we had a visitor. We saw these in the mud from our settling pond.


I’m guessing a black but I’m not sure.

Our grizzly got really beat up last year. We decided to reinforce it a little more. That means metal sides and cross braces. Our welder extraordinaire was able to the task. I do believe he could weld the crack of dawn.

That’s done now time to get some dirt. You won’t believe what the thaw uncovered. More for next time…

Behind every miner..

This post is dedicated to our chief mechanic, engineer, and welder extrodanar.  We couldn’t do anything without his ingenuity an hard work.  He designed and built our wash plant, grizzly, and whatever other hair brained inventions we come up with.

In this picture we see our hero working two days in the hot sun on a modification to the wash plant that we ended up removing due to safety consternation.  Some days, we let him off the hook to go on a motorcycle ride, but not too often…