A hand dredge, also called a gold sucker, is basically a pump that will allow you to suck up material. They allow you to suck up material in hard to reach places, such as under rocks, and in crevices. Hand dredges work extremely well if you are prospecting for gold as they allow you to quickly move lots of material.

Parts Needed:

PVC Cement
30" 1-1/4" PVC
36" 1/2" PVC
1x 1-1/2" ABS Wye Fitting
1x 1/2" PVC Slip Cap
1x 1/2" PVC Threaded Cap
2x 2 1/4" PVC Slip Cap
3x 1-1/2" x 1-1/4" PVC Bushing
1x 1/2" Slip to Threaded Adapter
1x 1/2" Foam Pipe Insulation
1x 1/2" Elbow
1x 1-1/4" x 1/2" Reducer Coupling


I purchased all of the parts new for just under $23. I did not have to buy any of the tools.


Dremel or Sand Paper
Pipe Cutter or Hack Saw


This dredge is not my original design, it's based on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCozzarSk5A

Please note I am not responsible for anything you do, so please only use my instructions as guidelines. Use proper safety equipment and common sense. Also check with local laws to make sure you're allowed to use a dredge in your local area.

Step 1: Step 1 - Drill Cap, Sand 1/2" Adapter

Find center of 1-1/4 PVC Cap and drill a hole that is 5/8" in size. Slightly larger than the 1/2" PVC pipe. It doesn't have to fit tightly, it's really just for aesthetics, and to keep the handle from pulling all the way out.

The easiest way to find the center of the circle is to place a square over the circle, lining up the the point on the edge of the circle. Then mark the spot where the square goes outside of the circle. Draw a line between two marks. Repeat this again by moving the square part way around the circle and drawing another line. Where the two lines intersect is the center of the circle.

For more in-depth instructions:

Next you'll want to use a dremel or sand paper to sand the PVC Bushing (1/2" slip  to 1/2" threaded) so it can fit inside the 1-1/4" pipe.

Nice setup, how does it work for sniping in the cracks? Found any color?
Is the idea something like this hand pump water gun I made? I mean, does the valve system work similarly? <br><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1PljSKDjuGE" width="560"></iframe>
I didn't use any valves. Basically as you pull the plunger out, material is sucked up and goes into the pump chamber. When you release the pressure, material then falls back down, but instead of going out the end that sucked up the material, it falls down into the collection chamber due to gravity (which is why it has to be at at the bottom). <br> <br>I was thinking of using one way valves like you did, and using a hose instead of a collection chamber, so I could pump the material from the crevices directly into a sluice or gold pan but I should be able to easily modify the current system to work with valves. <br> <br>I like your idea on the valves though!
Ah! NOW I see how yours works. BTW, I need to copy your plunger design. Mine leaks a bit out the top.
When I was at the river last time my seal actually broke and I forgot to bring an extra one, so we ended up using a foam insert of an old shoe. I cut a small circle in the middle to fit onto the pipe and cut it into a round piece then screwed the cap over. When I pushed the plunger into the pipe it fit really snug and had excellent suction. Just something to think about :)
And that's how inventions are born &amp; perfected--necessity.
Also went to Shasta College in Redding and would love to see a video! I do really enjoy gold panning and intend to go back to it, once I'm retired, shortly. <br>I'll try this, even without a video. GOOD WORK!!
I didn't read the instructions, just looked at the pictures, so please bear with me in case you covered this... <br> <br>At first I was wondering why you didn't have any screening to limit the size of particles and rocks, but after thinking about it for a few seconds it makes perfect sense... the 1/2&quot; in tube prevents anything larger than ball bearing size from coming, so you're mostly just gettting sand and small flakes... <br> <br> <br>Makes me wish I were in gold country! <br>
The 1/2&quot; tube does limit the size of the material coming in, and does occasionally get blocked, but you could easily swap out the tip for a larger piece of pvc (up to 1 1/2&quot; though the actual vacuum power won't be as strong).
How about a paragraph at the top the states EXACTLY what this will do, why would I want to make one, or what you are doing with it. <br>Otherwise, looks great.
Better spray paint the end orange so some cop does not shoot you. Great design. I use the suction stick from Sam Raddings Book of Plans. This works on a similar principle. I love your design for the drop part that holds the gold. Hooray for PVC! I need one that works without water as I am working dry washes.
Cool! This looks similar to PVC dredges I've seen people use for sucking up clams on the beach or mudflats, though theirs were made with wider PVC.
Yes! This one's screaming for a video. I'd love to see it in action :)
Ditto that!!! I was definitely hoping to see a video!
I'll try to record a video next time I go to the river, I forgot my camera last time. :)
man i like ur idea i wish there could be more gold mining ideas on this website
<br> Reminds me of the Dayze up at Shasta College in Redding, we used to pan <br>up at our spot camping on weekends for beer and food money in the 90's, could not use a dredge or fish on The Sacramento from the Chem Spill (trainwreck) but could bring up black sand with SCUBA gear ( Hope I did'nt Dame My Bramage..twitcth-twicht !) Our &quot;Assayer&quot; in Redding seemed to give us let than <br>actual worth for our flake and few nuggets.(break a point off a #2 pencil, About all we found) At today's Gold value, would have lived like Kings ! ( Teriyaki Burgers for <br>the whole class at the Cafeteria !) Fun Times!
Voted high and now following,more gold finding idea please,please,pretty please,i like shiny gold.
A video? Please...

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Bio: Just your average rocket scientist
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