Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about Getting Gold.

I have seen some rather elaborate dollies, intended to be worked with amalgamating tables, but the usual prototype of the quartz mill is set up, more or less, as follows:  A tree stump, from 9 in. to a foot diameter, is levelled off smoothly at about 2 ft. from the ground; on this is firmly fixed a circular plate of 1/2 in. iron, say 9 in. in diameter; a band of 3/16 in. iron, about 8 or 9 in. in height, fits more or less closely round the plate.  This is the battery box.  A beam of heavy wood, about 3 in. diameter and 6 ft. long, shod with iron, is vertically suspended, about 9 in. above the stump, from a flexible sapling with just sufficient spring in it to raise the pestle to the required height.  About 2 ft. from the bottom the hanging beam is pierced with an augur hole and a rounded piece of wood, 1 1/2 in. by 18 in., is driven through to serve as a handle for the man who is to do the pounding.  His mate breaks the stone to about 2 in. gauge and feeds the box, lifting the ring from time to time to sweep off the triturated gangue, which he screens through a sieve into a pan and washes off, either by means of a cradle or simply by panning.  In dollying it generally pays to burn the stone, as so much labour in crushing is thus saved.  A couple of small kilns to hold about a ton each dug out of a clay bank will be found to save fuel where firewood is scarce, and will more thoroughly burn the stone and dissipate the base metals, but it must be remembered that gold from burnt stone is liable to become so encrusted with the base metal oxides as to be difficult to amalgamate.


Make two St. Andrew’s crosses with four saplings, the upper angle being shorter than the lower; fix these upright, one at each end of the shaft; stay them together by cross pieces till you have constructed something like a “horse,” such as is used for sawing wood, the crutch being a little over 3 feet high.  Select a leg for a windlass barrel, about 6 in. diameter and a foot longer than the distance between the supports, as straight as is procurable; cut in it two circular slots about an inch deep by 2 in. wide to fit into the forks; at one end cut a straight slot 2 in. deep across the face.  Now get a crooked bough, as nearly the shape of a handle as nature has produced it, and trim it into right angular shape, fit one end into the barrel, and you have a windlass that will pull up many a ton of stuff.


This is made by excavating a circular hole about 2 ft. 9 in. deep and, say 12 ft. in diameter.  An outer and inner wall are then constructed of slabs 2 ft. 6 in. in height to ground level, the outer wall being thus 30 ft. and the inner 15 ft. in circumference.  The circular space between is floored with smooth hardwood slabs or boards, and the whole made secure and water-tight.  In the middle of the inner enclosure

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Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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