The Partnertuff 13" Rock Crusher/Hammer Mill (Part 1): by Reily Smith

(Partnertuff Rock Crusher/Hammer Mill.)

Reily Smith is a California placer miner who spends at least part of his time processing likely looking ore in his search for gold. In this post, Reily provides a general overview and some tips for using the Partnertuff 13" Rock Crusher/Hammer Mill.

Best Ore Around Here

I have an old hard-rock mine on my placer claim and numerous tailings from hydraulic operations in the immediate vicinity. I figured the placer gold here had to come from somewhere and I've had quite a bit of fun trying to identify pieces of ore containing free-milling gold. 

However, I'm beginning to think the old timers in the area may have lied to me when they said the gold here came from rose quartz. I've crushed and ground up lots of rose quartz, bull quartz, and other likely looking mineralized rocks and I've concluded that the best ore around here shows quartz contacting a lighter colored native rock.

With or Without a Motor

For my rock and ore crushing I use a Partnertuff 13" Rock Crusher/Hammer Mill. Here are a few things I've learned about this unit and some tips and suggestions:
You can buy a 13" unit directly from for $475.00 as opposed to paying nearly $800.00 for it retail. Of course, I didn't learn this until after I'd already paid retail! Despite a few concerns (which I'll discuss later), it's a decent crusher/mill for the money.

Partnertuff sells the 13" crusher/mill with or without a motor. The unit comes with pulleys, belt, pre-drilled holes, etc. for a quick set up. If you decide to buy your own motor, I've found that the inexpensive engines from Harbor Freight work just fine. Also, Partnertuff will manufacture a 13" unit specifically for the engine you plan to buy if you let them know the details. 

Tips and Suggestions

Be advised that no instruction manual is included with the Partnertuff, so here are a few things I've learned about the unit:

1) The two zerks on the mill's axle should be lubed each each day.

2) The chains wear out after processing around 500 pounds of rock or quartz (3-4 hours of operation). You can reverse the chains for additional use if you catch them before they wear out and break. I've been buying replacements for the three chain links (approximately 3/8") at Tractor Supply for a reasonable price.

(Another view of the Partnertuff.)

3) If you allow the chains to wear out completely, the chain piece at the bottom of the unit can puncture the screen. The 13" Partnertuff only comes with one replacement screen but I found the exact same pattern in stainless steel at a local supplier and I just cut a piece from the stainless I purchased when I need a new screen. However, the screens are a pain to replace because the "hammers" bend the little plates holding the screen in place and have to be pried open.

4) The hammers also have a tendency to strike the the steel braces on the outside edge and gradually deform them. For me this started happening after only about 8 hours of operation. Instead of tightening the bolts that hold the plate on as tight as you can to prevent dust from escaping (and risking a broken bolt) you should grind off the portion of the steel brace that's deformed and sticking out.

(There's more to come from Reily so please stay tuned. In the meantime you can reach him at:

(c)  Reily Smith (for Bedrock Dreams)  2013