A hand-held suction pump can be used to suction gold and gold particles out of hard to reach crevices, such as under rocks and along water banks. Used much like a hypodermic needle, the pump can suck water and gold-containing debris particles into a tube and then be released into a sifting pan to separate the gold from the rocks. A hand-held suction pump for gold can be made by converting a bicycle pump into a suction device and installing tubing.
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Things you need
- Hand-held bicycle pump without a pressure gauge
- 120 cm (4 feet) of quarter inch PVC hose
- Check valve with quarter inch barb end
- Hose clamp
Unscrew the top cylinder portion of your bicycle pump so that the pump handle comes all the way out. Locate the piston disk, a small cup with a lip on the end of the pump.
Unscrew the nut that secures the piston disk and pull both the rubber and metal portions of the disk off the end of the shaft. Turn them around so that they are facing the opposite direction, and then put them back on the shaft. Secure the piston disk with the nut.
Pinch the piston disc into a small semi circle then gently push the shaft and handle back into the pump cylinder. Be careful not to scratch or damage the discs when you are pushing them back in. Once the shaft and handle are about halfway in, replace the top of the cylinder and screw it back into place.
Unscrew the attached hose from the pump using a wrench. Then, remove the attached hose fitting from the hose by sawing it off.
Locate the ball inside the hose fitting that serves as a seal when air is sucked into the pump. Most of these metal balls are held in the fitting by two small, bent pieces of metal. Insert a screw into the fitting and bend the small pieces of metal back towards the sides of the fitting, allowing the ball to be removed. Screw the fitting back onto the pump and tighten it with a wrench.
Attach a small piece of PVC tubing to the check valve. The tubing should fit securely over the valve, but you can add a clamp to guarantee the security. Place the other end of the tubing over the hose fitting so that the arrow on the check valve is pointing towards the pump.
Attach the remainder of the PVC tubing to the free end of the check valve.
Place the open end of the tubing into the water and pull on the pump handle to begin suctioning.
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