How to make a “Gold Sucker” pump.


This document contains pictures with appropriate instructions.

If your pump fails to work, (or fails to work to your satisfation) it's your problem.



Experiment, maybe you can improve on it.

OK, here we go.

What you need:

1.PVC pipe 50 mm, 600 mm long

1 PVC pipe 40 mm, 600 mm long

2 PVC reducers 50 mm to 40 mm

3 PVC reducers 40 mm to 30 mm

2 PVC reducers 30 mm to 20 mm (or cut one in half)

1 PVC pipe 40 mm, 100 mm long

1 PVC 40 mm Elbow

1 PVC pipe 20 mm, 150-200 mm long

1- 30 mm Steel Ball (about $ 10)

1- 30 mm Solid Rubber Hi-Bouncing Ball (Toy stores)

PVC Glue

Suede leather off cut, enough for 4 washers.

Hot Melt Glue Gun. Don't use anything else.

Good Scissors








OK, now take one of the 40 mm reducers and cut app. 25 mm off. Be sure to be very accurate.

Keep the off cut, it's very important.














Leather Washers: You will need to get some suede. Use the 50 mm tube and mark it on the leather.

Inside this, use the 40 mm tube and mark it. Cut at least 4 washers out. The better they are the better your pump. It's ok to make the inner diameter a bit smaller then 40 mm. But not by much.




Now assemble the inner pump-part as per picture (NO GLUEING YET)



Put the “Cutoff” on the 40 mm tube push it up. Put the washers on, push them up You may want to use only 3, that's ok. Push the 40 mm. Reducer on hard up and then push the Cutoff hard against the washers.

Mark this spot with a indelible pen.

Take all apart, put some PVC glue on the 40 mm pipe (only just before the mark you made), put the offcut on and let it harden. Make sure it sits tight and solid and secure.

Glue one of the 30mm to 20 mm reducers into the medium sized reducers. Let it harden.


Press fit (ONLY, DO NOT GLUE) assembly as shown. Make sure that the washers are tightly pushed together and held firmly by the Off cut and reducer.

If not, you stuffed up. (Cut a bit off the 40 mm pipe.)


Insert the steel ball. Hold it upright and try to suck air from the bottom bit. It should be almost impossible for you to suck any air.

If not, you stuffed up. You must fix this up before you go any further.



Then assemble the top part. Make sure you follow the instructions, or you will need to buy new parts







Your steel ball is still able to fall out of the assembly. It's best to have them “captured”. What I did, I used split pin on the bottom section. Make sure the steel does not rub or interfere with the operation of the pump. You can try your own ideas, or keep spare steel balls handy :-).



For the business end: that's what it should look like.

This fits onto the 50mm outer tube.







Take one large reducer, insert the “modified” 40 mm reducer and with the Hot Glue Gun, fill in the space between them at the bottom end.






When hardend, 30 min app. Insert the 30 mm to 20 mm reducer and the 20 mm PVC Pipe. Best to PVC glue them. Sit the 30 to 20 mm Reducer at least halfway up.

When dry. Put the 30 mm rubber ball into the assembly, hold upright and try to suck air. A little bit is ok. The balls are not perfectly round. If you can suck a lot of air, you stuffed up.





Let's say all is well:

Assemble your pump, by putting the 40 mm pipe into the 50 mm pipe. Wont go: That's ok. Use your scissors to trim the washers, but be careful, don't overdue it. Once it fits in easily, give it a bit of light oil. It will help the leather to be more pliant. Don't forget, when the leather gets wet, it will increase and seal up more (and make it harder to pump).


Your pump should be looking like this



Use a flexible hose about 3 meters and a bucket and get your gold bearing mother lode from your favourite creek/river.


This pump can be taken apart very easily, when you do, you may lose your balls (Steel and Rubber, that is). You can do some mods to “capture those balls, split pins etc to retain them, but make sure that they have enough movement, because the sand/gravel must be able to get past them.

Use the pump in an upright position, that's when the balls act as a check valve.


Another suggestion. In order to stop the larger particles (5- 18 mm) to be sucked up, put 2 split pins

in a cross fashion on the very bottom of the suction. This will help tremendously.




If it does not work, you stuffed up.

Have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKDaGuK_cJA&feature=related

To see what you got to do.


Have fun and if you find a good spot, be sure to tell me.