Ted Lee's Modifications & Inventions

Copyright Ted Lee 2004

During 2003 I received an e-mail from Ted Lee and active fossicker himself. After reading my story about the Self Clearing Sieve Concentrator Ted built his own version of the concentrator.

Ted - "I have built your Rocking horse gravel sorter (Self Clearing Sieve Concentrator) and what a great idea, havn't been out to try it out yet but it quickly sorted the couple of shovels of driveway I threw into it. Built it in a couple of afternoons, I've built an adjustable stand for it, no bending backs. I spent months building an engine powered pulsater only to find there is virtually no where it can be used. http://www.steamengine.com.au/se/info/misc/tedengine.html I've also built a willaby that pumps its own water but with your machine I don't even need that. Thanks for the great idea Ted" That was in 2003.

Ted also included some photographs of that concentrator, which I have included below.

Ted's Wooden Vee (SCSC) Concentrator
Ted's Wooden Vee Sieve (Self Clearing Sieve Concentrator SCSC)

Ted in 2004 - Another trip to Inverell, this time I took my wife and dog along for company, actually this is a trial run for a much longer trip with our newly acquired caravan. Fuel economy !! with our old camping trailer about 12 lt / 100 klm behind the VN Commodore this time with a fairly small caravan we got about 18 lt / 100 klm. With room at a premium my mining kit is fairly compact and fits nicely in the back of the station wagon ( see att ) it is made from small round sieves ( see att ) I doubt if it would work very well dry and the capacity is rather small but I was able to put 2 X 10 lt buckets through it then cleanup about 4 times an hour, that is quite a lot more than bending the back in a tub with a hand sieve. I found no evidence that there was any loss of gems through the slots at the side. One modification would be to block the slots in the black ring with an L shape piece of metal leaving a flap across the screen about 25mm wide which would direct the stone toward the centre. ( see attach more shots of it ) (TED - Brilliant modification of my rectangular design using standard round aluminum sieves. Paul)

Ted's Modified (SCSC)
Ted's Sieves Expanded
Ted's Sieves in Water

This Pelican Pick ( see att ) was the only implement that I used, the only problem was to safely carry this dangerous looking thing in the car, I managed to fit it under the folded down back seat ( see att ) It was designed to work in water, you just scoop down between the rocks and tip it into a bucket, a pick and shovel in this circumstance will miss the stone as they will work down to where the shovel can't reach.

Ted's Pelican Pick
Ted's Fossicking Kit
Ted's Pulsating Willaby

The boulders came out of a hole dug on the bank of the creek by the farmer about 2 years ago, there have been about 3 floods over them since so I can only guess that the 13.8 carat stone was either stuck to a bolder or dropped off the excavator bucket, I just scooped up the tail of gravel on the down stream side of each bolder, getting the sapphire and a similar sized black spinelle in the first 2 buckets. The original wash there is hard yellow clay amongst tightly bound rocks about 2 metres deep. The 0.3 MT of creek silt/gravel on top of that under the grass roots contained aproximately 1 small stone/bucket, definitely worth another try. There is another private mine recently opened up, it is called 7 Oaks, you pays your money and they take you down to their spot on Frazer Creek and they supply water in cut off drums, toilets and picnic tables. You can sieve from their stockpile or they will show you where to dig in the creek or where the excavator couldn't reach in a myriad of old workings these guys do really look after you and it is well worth at least one days try. A 38 carat blue stone came out of there recently. I didn't do so well there but it was after a severe hailstorm ( see att ) and everything was very muddy. They told me that only 10 days before they stopped working the mine because the creek had stopped running, in that 10 days they got over 300mm of rain the creek flooded twice, the second time drowning their pumps. There are a lot of large trees to work under, it was pleasant there."