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Steve Herschbach

Digging Underwater With A Shovel

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Never been a fan of using a shovel underwater but I ordered one of those Golddigger Prospector Shovels with sides and a back welded on. Part of my summer-long non-motorized mining initiative. I am going to try and excavate a couple bedrock areas and snipe gold out of them.

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Steve,

I have a claim that is 'non-motorized' so I've accumulated the tools necessary to get the gold without the use of a suction dredge.

http://bedrockorbust.blogspot.com/2012/02/tools-of-trade-for-bedrock-sniping.html

The last tools used before the gold hits the pan are the fox tail brush and sucker tube.

Oh, unless you'll be diving, I suggest making a viewing box. Real handy for knocking the glare off the water's surface. Real cool to see the pickers laying there in situ.

 

Bob

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Hi Bob,

I have been hard core sniping for a long time, but normally with a suit. http://www.detectorprospector.com/steves-mining-journal/sniping-gold-mills-creek-alaska.htm

So I have put togther what I needed over the years, which is not much. This trip I initially am going without dive gear, and do have a viewing tube. I am going to try some locations, and if good enough come back with the dive gear later. Trying to keep it light the first time in. The shovel seems like it may come in handy but frankly not something I would normally pack while sniping. I want to try "underwater hand excavating" as an alternative to dredging.

Funny because all my years as a dredge salesman I told people what a waste of time it is to try and dig with a shovel in the water. And now I am going o go do it!

Regardless, I do thank you for taking the time to post the tip!

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I can think of only a very few times that I have used a full size long handled shovel in prospecting - mostly dry washing. I am sure there are specialized situations where that boxed in underwater shovel would be handy, but I am interested to hear, after a few months in AK, how useful you found it.

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Steve, I received the prospectors shovel as a Christmas gift last year and love it, has a old time, modern look if that is possible, it would look good hanging on my wall, but that is out of question.

Mine has a two piece break down handle. The shovel blade and handle coupler have a brass colored plating of some kind, and the wood handle is oiled not varnished.

The Prospectors Shovel works real good, if there is not to many big rocks and cobble in the material, bringing up big heaping loads from down under, that would make the operators of the Christine Rose jealous.

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Don't forget about the BucketDigger shovel, a pull action shovel designed specifically for moving gravel for sniping, it makes digging easier. Its reasonably priced and is very sturdy and durable. I've been using one for 4 years now and its not even close to wearing out. Just my 2 cents.

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viewing glass? So you become a one handed prospector with one, my remedy, When wife is out, get in her pie pan drawer and get one of those clear glass pie pans, cut the bottom of a 5 gal bucket out and up the existing bucket 4" then tape or glue it to the pan. If you wear a ball cap, float the pan in front of face and hold it their with bill! Works great and glass is extremely tough. Ive been doing this while dredging and both hands are free! Oh, one other thing, you have to be able to play really dumb or give the wife the findings if you get caught! I may have a video on youtube with one in use. look up goldminerjay

 

Steve, I am curious about the shovel, looks really heavy, is the head aluminum or steel?

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I agree Steve! Underwater shoveling has been very inefficient for me in my experience. Let me know how it goes with your new shovel. Im aways in the market for new mining tools.Thanks!

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A quick tip on using the underwater shovels. When you lift, favor a downstream motion. Material tends to stay on the shovel better when it's not fighting the current. Go with the flow. B)

 

Bob

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