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HOW TO BUILD A GOLD SUCKER STICK

Gold Suckers

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Gold Suckers

Click here Gold Pump big pix

This is a plan for a hand operated gravel sucker. The pump was designed by Alf Henderson and the plan was drawn by Chris Engel in Scotland.

The problem with this design is it gets hard to hold on to when using 2 1/2" or larger pipe. One suggestion is to get an end cap or other fitting for the size pipe being used and cut a 1/4 inch ring off the fitting and cement it to the pipe. You can see two of these rings on the right in the photo.

I made the plunger by cutting 2 disks about 1/32" smaller than the ID of the pipe with a circle cutter on a drill press. The disks are 1/4" thick aluminum. I cut a 3rd disk the same diameter as the pipe to use as a template for cutting out a 1/4" thick neoprene seal. I threaded the end of a 3/8" rod and sandwiched the seal between the 2 disks with 3/8" nuts. The seal is then adjustable by tightening the nuts.

Another suggestion is to find a rubber ball that fits tightly into the PVC pipe to use as the piston. The rod would go through the ball and still be adjustable by tightening the nuts. I haven't tried this but if I did, I would use washers between the nuts and the ball.

The only other change I made was using a PVC cap on the pipe instead of the wooden plug.

 

Gold Sucker

Another gravel sucker (left in photo) which requires fewer tools and is a little easier to build. It has a couple interesting attachment suggestions. A crevice attachment and a 45 degree angle attachment are shown in the photo.

 

Sucker Attachment

Bill Hall has a great design for an attachment to the "business end" of gravel suckers.

General notes on gold sucker use
Since the gold sucker is normally used with the bottom open, you may be asking "how do you keep the stuff from falling out the bottom while transferring material to my pan or bucket?" The short answer is "ya gotta be quick". Try to keep your bucket or pan as close to the spot you are working as possible and keep it almost submerged so you don't have to move the sucker very high or very far. It also helps if you can get into a rhythm where you are still pulling on the plunger while trasferring the material. Clean up any material that falls out between your hole and your pan or bucket every now and then. Once you use one of these devices for a while, you will be surprised at how little material you lose.

 

 

 

 

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