We are going to continue talking about placer deposits and how to recover gold from these using methods known as placer mining. We have discussed lots of ways to help you sort through giant rocks and how to move through massive amounts of soil at once. But the one thing we haven’t replaced is gold panning. Up to this point we’ve been talking about gold panning everything by hand. What a pain! Regardless how much we automate the rest of the process, we have to still pan out gold? Thank goodness for the gold wave table!
The gold wave table essentially pans out the gold for us. We can walk away and it will pan while we drink coffee and read the newspaper! So how does this thing work? Well, have you ever seen those gambling games where you drop quarters in and the machine pushes the quarters off a ledge and then off of another ledge and hopefully then you win?
How the Gold Wave Table Works
The gold wave table works much like this. Water is rushed into a bucket on top, which slowly trickles gold soil down onto the table. It is slowly washed down hill and down the ledges because it is tilted a bit.
It has riffles built at the edge of the ledges to catch the gold in dead zones of the water’s velocity. But the gold wave table is called such a thing because it vibrates back and forth creating standing waves, which slowly shake the loose dirt away from the heavier gold. It has to be tilted in just the right amount or you will wash your gold away as well.
When to Use the Gold Wave Table
The time to use the gold wave table is after dredging, after sluicing, after rocking, etc. This is the final step. The point of the gold wave table is to extract the very finest gold out of the last bit of soil. This is stuff that even hand panners miss. This is basically mechanically separated using a very sensitive process.
You get all of the fine gold out of the black sand, or alluvial material. The mixture separates the gold as it sifts its way out of the black sand and onto the edge of the alluvial dirt. Make sure you set this sucker on a firm foundation or you’ll transfer all of your vibrational energy out of the gold wave table and water and into the ground. You also need to make sure your table is tilted at the precise angle or it won’t work. The light material has to float and go down stream while the heavier material doesn’t slide. Set this up carefully to make sure you get as rich as possible!