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Author Topic: Prototype mixer-trommel  (Read 5430 times)

Lefty

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Prototype mixer-trommel
« on: December 01, 2013, 10:47:21 PM »
Here is the large (3.5 cu feet) cement mixer we converted into a trommel today. Had a few reservations initially but have given her a test run and she definately works beers




Leaving the strengthening stays intact, we cut three large windows in the drum.




Bit late to take it back for a refund if the idea doesn't work now ;D




The mesh (6 or 7mm I think) goes over the windows. We initially thought it might be possible to tack-weld on lower power but while the drum was fine, the mesh strands just melted so we switched to using bolts. We had just enough of the right size to hold the screens in place, will get more and put at least twice that number in.




The test run - in went two twenty-litre buckets of a dirt/gravel mix very similar in texture to our wash, which is a very fine "ashy" material with little clay, very easy to wash with water. I was worried that the fines would all run to the back but the stays inside the drum - there are 6 instead of the usual 3, 3 large and three small ones close to the back wall - kept the material churning over and very quickly the fines all went through the screen. Success!! 8)




We were happy with the result. It ate up 40 litres of material very quickly so I think I should be able to shovel a fair bit of wash into it before it fills and need to be emptied into a wheelbarrow or whatever. Once the fines had stopped falling through, we actually washed the material while still inside the mixer by blasting the hose in there for a few minutes. Nice, clean gravel resulted fairly quickly. I should be able to achieve a similar result in the field by putting a large tub underneath and just bucketing the water in, recycling it back into the tub. I would probably give the washed gravel a final sprinkle with clean water from a watering can or something once it has been tipped out onto a screen.

Think I might put the wash through a 50mm or so screen first to get rid of any bigger stones, don't really want them banging around inside the drum.

So there she is. So far it's looking good, we have a machine that doubles as a trommel and a washer successfully. Of course, the real test will come in the new year when I take her out to the claim and start putting bulk material through, we'll see how it goes then.

Bluey Zarzoff

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 09:45:42 AM »
Hey Lefty. Looking good. It might just work. A bit worried about your mesh size. Thinking some smaller stones might get through. Would have thought that 3mm mesh would be more suitable.

The other suggestion is that, with the opening sizes you have, perhaps put the mesh on the inside, that way the mesh has support from the weight of the stone. As it is, the weight will be borne by just a few screws.

In regard the larger stones, perhaps a small grizzly, or if you are putting it all through a pulsator, get a largish drop area (something like mine) and then just pick out the larger stones as they are going through. Saves an extra process and washes your millionaires pile.
I started out with nothing
And still have most of it left.

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Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

moonshadow_dancer

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 09:56:51 AM »
Hi Lefty,

I think that should work a treat, But like Bluey pointed out unless you don't want the small Sapphires & Zircons I would re-think your mesh size. :)

Take Care,
Deb beers
Ron and I have an Appointment to do some Laps ;) ;D

Lefty

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 01:53:09 PM »
Quote
The other suggestion is that, with the opening sizes you have, perhaps put the mesh on the inside, that way the mesh has support from the weight of the stone. As it is, the weight will be borne by just a few screws.

That's a good point Bluey. Might do that. The mesh is pretty rigid stuff but you're right, it will be a lot of weight for only a handfull of screws to bear. Was fine yesterday but I didn't fill it anywhere near capacity either.

Quote
A bit worried about your mesh size. Thinking some smaller stones might get through. Would have thought that 3mm mesh would be more suitable.
Quote
unless you don't want the small Sapphires & Zircons I would re-think your mesh size.

Yeah, that bothered me a little as well and I did suggest to dad that a smaller mesh might be more suitable. He had already spent a few $$$ on a big sheet of the larger size (he made 2 big rectangle sieves a while ago with it). When he was digging out there around 40-odd years ago, I don't think the small stones were considered worth keeping, barring curiosity value. But I reckon stones up to 5 carats might be dropping through - a clean, 5 carat stone is certainly worth keeping!

I think I might put a chute under and take the fines down to a stockpile to be put through a smaller mesh size sieve.

Cheers guys

Aussie Sapphire

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 02:07:48 PM »
a clean, 5 carat stone is certainly worth keeping!

Absolutely - dont let those ones get away.

cheers
Leah
Aussie Sapphire - The Lapidary Warehouse

Bluey Zarzoff

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 03:16:58 PM »
Back then Lefty, anything under 10 carats went over the shoulder. Makes working the old heaps and camps well worth it
I started out with nothing
And still have most of it left.

-----------------------------------
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Lefty

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2013, 06:02:13 PM »
A poor photo of that little green that fell through the mesh - est. about 2 carats. I remembered it being a teal colour, it's not as you can see - it's a deep pea green. Probably slightly larger than that pink sapphire on the forum here that was set into a ring. Doesn't seem to have any cracks or anything but I haven't bothered to examine it really closely. If it were twice the size it would probably be a nice little stone - I wouldn't let it get away! :)



Quote
Back then Lefty, anything under 10 carats went over the shoulder. Makes working the old heaps and camps well worth it

I spent countless hours as a kid, specking over the old mullock heaps and filling little bottles - now I wish I knew where those bottles were since there might be a few small cutters among them!

Among them was the only colourless sapphire I ever found. Well, deep blue mostly, grading down to pale blue towards one end with the end completely colourless.

Jimbob

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 07:13:13 PM »
Looks like a great time saver.
Suggest keeping mesh on outside but reinforce edges with a piece flat bar to spread loading.

Lefty

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Re: Prototype mixer-trommel
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 07:44:51 PM »
Quote
Looks like a great time saver.
Suggest keeping mesh on outside but reinforce edges with a piece flat bar to spread loading.

I figure the name of the game is to be able to process as much dirt as quickly and with as little effort as possible. Plus some educated guesswork :P

Plus praying for a healthy dose of good luck ;D

Got a while to think about and play around with these ideas - wet season in QLD about starting (thunderstorms have begun at least) so it's unlikely that I'll be able to go out there for some time. I have to cross a claypan and the bed of a creek to get to my spot. Even for those people who don't get cut off by heavy rain, a hole full of water and wash turned to slurry isn't helpful.

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