posted on May, 11 2017 @ 12:06 PM
My son owns 2 gold claims in Alaska and I routinely buy (or he gives me more often than not) a few ounces of placer everytime he comes back down to
the lower 48.
I use this GPK microwave smelter (about half-way down linked page below) to mold the gold (about .900 +/- fine at that point) into 100 g rounds. I
use a milligram scale and a nail file (don't laugh!) to get the rounds to exactly 100 g. the smelter molds have a dent in the bottom so if you file
off too much, you can re-melt your filings and fill the cavity to your exact desired weight.
Supposedly you can get your yield to .999, but it looks like an awful lot more work, and quite frankly, I doubt it. That being said, I have never
tried. Also, this really only works for small batches. 100 g is pushing the limit in my experience.
There's a bit of a learning curve to this, you have to have a Really Big microwave, and in my case, I built a special "station" for my little
operation in a corner of my barn. I also put a HD switch on the power source to the microwave.
More than once my smelt has caught on fire (once destroying a $400 micro). This is part of the learning curve. Do you max out the time limit on the
micro cycle or stay around and do it in 10 minute phases? You have to figure that out.
There are all kinds of inexpensive ($25 +/-) graphite bar and round (coin) molds available on the interwebs. I have a few, but have never used them.
Eventually I will take what I have and get it re-smelted into .999 kilogram bars, but the guy my son uses in Anchorage charges 2.5% to do that (he
certifies it and everything), so I'm also looking at setting myself up with a proper propane kiln and do it myself.
Anyway, I saw your question and my eyes popped out. I thought I was the only crazy one out there, heh heh...
DIY Smelting Kit
edit on 11-5-2017 by SBMcG because: Correction