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Metal going down the drain

I am looking for on technologies and just ideas on how to
save metal. I mean for instance metals going down the drain, in
powder and peice form, I could use a settling tank to catch most the
metal. I have heard about the floor mats for the floor, so the
employees are not walking the metal out of the workshop. I am
wondering where I can look for these type of items and perhaps get
info on other methods by which to save wasting metal. We have a work
force of 20 and there is alot of metal being lost through different
means. Please could somebody write back to me with some direction

There are a number of companies that make sink traps to do exactly
this – trap gold and other metald before it goes down the drain.
Your local jewelry supply company should be able to steer you to a

For more info on savings on lost metals, contact Manufacturing
Jeweler and Supplies of America. (, 800-444-MJSA) A
couple years back, they produced an entire report on the topic. There
have also been a number of articles in AJM magazine
( over the years. AJM also has ads from
companies that offer this type of product, I believe. MJSA can also
steer you to suppliers of sink traps and similar items, if your local
supplier doesn’t carry them.


Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255

Although I have a smaller studio, we use coffee filters inside
strainers to capture any small particles of metal. Then, you can
just put the filter in the scrap bin once its too crusted with metal
to drain easily.

Hope that helps!


We use a metal trap ( plastic ) that you put in place of the p-trap
and this work very well.I have been using this for about 12 years
now and you will be amazed by how much it actually traps. You wont
get rich but in 6 mo period for us it is quite a accumulation and @
today’s gold prices you be silly not to recover. Most suppliers sell
these traps.

Cecenas Jewelers
Belleville , Il

Here is a tip I learned from an Advanced Goldsmithing class at
Revere in 1987. The teacher was Jeff Fillmore Thompson, a very
talented goldsmith from Carmel California, trained by an Italian
Master Goldsmith.

To capture the filings of precious metal when washing hands in the
studio, an old fedora or felt hat was immersed it into a bucket of
water up to the brim. Hands were first rinsed in the hat full of
water before washing, to catch the gold rather than it being lost in
the sink. Eventually

the hat would be sent to the refiner to recover the precious metal.

Michael David Sturlin

Gesswein sells recovery systems for the sinks and shoe scrubbers to
clean the shoes and collect the dust. They are not the only source
but they have several choices for sinks. Also many larger companies
have the staff wear work uniforms that never leave the premises,
they launder them at the facility and capture the gold from the
clothing in the wash water. They also employ metal detectors to
control metal leaving in pockets etc. It all depends on how much
money you want to spend on recovery. You will have to do careful
analysis of the metal that comes in to the plant and the metal that
leaves as product and scrap to be able to see if you are making any
progress in recovery efforts. If you don’t track the metal carefully
you will not know if your efforts are working or how cost effective
they are.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160

Member of the Better Business Bureau