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Mooch3597

Keene 151

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In December of last year I converted my Keene 151 dry washer to a 151s using the conversion kit that keene engineering manufactures. The conversion process took several hours, but was overall fairly simple. The converted unit works exceptionally well compared to the old 151, BUT... 

 

This weekend we were  continuing bulk sampling at our claim and discovered a huge problem. The first five riffles have a tiny tiny gap between the riffles and the cloth mat. This tiny cap allows small particles of dirt, black sand, and fine GOLD to run down and out of the box. For the last four months I have been finding only pickers which makes sense because the gap is not big enough for larger gold to fall through, only fines. Overall little to no gold. Processed about 35 yards of dirt since the conversion and am thinking all gold could have washed right out of the box. Come to realize we have not been finding many heavies and black sands in our concentrates and before the conversion process, we were finding gold after every run. For the last several months we were questioning our results and I think I know why now. Thinking about glueing the metal riffles to the cloth so dirt can not escape under the riffles like the original unit was. Everything was installed properly during the conversion process.

 

Any thoughts or experiences with the 151s?

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No experience with the new 151s.  I would try to seal that gap with some thin strips of weather stripping attached to the bottom of the riffles.  That is the common trick for that issue on other brands.  If not, maybe just a bead of silicone?

I thought the old model 151 worked pretty well, knowing that it wasn't the best at keeping a high percentage of fines.  I took a quick peek at the conversion kit offered for the 151.  Seems like quite an upgrade, if not expensive.  

After sealing your gap, you might consider re-running some of your old piles and see what you get.  Or, run another DW side by side with your 151s.

I'm pretty happy with my Royal Gold Large DW and would most likely buy the bigger Royal King if I felt the need for more capacity.  Not knocking the Keene 151.  Hope you can work the bugs out of your new, improved unit.

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I use rubber cement glue to hold the cloth to the bottom of the metal riffles and eliminate gaps.

Of course really fine gold recovery is not the best on dry washers of any brand - just in the nature of the beast as tiny particles of gold can adhere to rocks and work their way out of the sluice. Its why wet processing does better because the mud is washed in the sluice.

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In addition to sealing the riffles to the cloth, I seal the cloth for about 1/4 inch in front of the riffles. This creates a dead air space that gives the finer gold a place to settle. Without the dead air space the air can blow the finer gold over the riffle.

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