Oct 04, 2012, 11:35 AM
Sluice Box Help
Hello out there,
I live in Northern California and stumbled across this site while looking for sluice box ideas. I was so impressed with the ideas and knowledge I wanted to be a part of this. I was wondering if I could get some in site to a problem from all of you, your input is more than welcome.
I have a sluice box that is 5 ft long and almost 6 inches wide. I have the rubber matting and the mesh on top, but I don't know what to do for riffles. The riffles in the picture are just an idea. If anyone has any critique or ideas please let me know.
Last edited by dekemadsen; Oct 04, 2012 at 10:54 PM.
Reason: spelling correction
Oct 04, 2012 11:35 AM
Oct 04, 2012, 01:37 PM
6 Feet wide
Oct 04, 2012, 01:42 PM
Are u planning on attaching this to an enormous wash plant??
Oct 04, 2012, 05:16 PM
I presume you meant 6 INCHES wide. So, from other sluice designs I have seen, and the fact that this appears to be an all wood sluice, you might think about cutting dados in the inside of each sluice side board, at an angle of 30 degrees (or so - not sure it's critical) and then slide some small riffle blocks that would sit on the bottom of the dado, slanting back toward the top of the sluice. Make the riffles about 1 inch high (again, probably not too critical). This will create a small concave place for the material sliding down the sluice to be caught, and as the water continues to run, the lighter material will swirl around and eventually rise up and go over the top of the riffle board.
Alternatively, the riffles could be slanted "downstream", leaving a place for the water to swirl after it crosses the riffles. The heavier material (i.e. gold, etc) would settle in the areas behind the riffles. Either way, it seems to me that you will need a way to keep the riffles (presumably made from wood like the box as a whole) pressed down toward the bottom of the sluice box, so as to not rise up from the water flow, allowing material to pass under the riffles.
As I think about it, perhaps you could simply nail the riffles permanently in place (stainless steel nails) , and cutting the rubber matting and screening material to the size of hte areas between the riffles.
Also, I'm certainly no expert on these things, but a 5 foot long sluice seems like a HEAVY sluice , especially made from wood as your picture shows. If those sides are 2x6 material, I would think this would be quite heavy. Might I suggest you try some lighter material?
Oct 04, 2012, 05:38 PM
Welcome to the forums!
What part of Nor-Cal do you live in?
There are a bunch of us around here, I am in Redding.
Man that thing looks heavy!
You could add some drop riffles to help catch more and expanded mesh instead of the square wire stuff.
All I can say is try to copy the design of other sluice box's out there, Keene makes some wonderful sluice box's.
Head in the water, butt in the air.
Now I know why ducks do it!
Underwater Sniper n00b
Oct 04, 2012, 07:25 PM
Yours will work, but as noted its heavy. Looks like you used Trex. If someone gave it to me I'd cut the sides down by half, open the ends, remove some of the closley spaced riffles and pin the loose mesh down. If you find there is no 'shine' in the last 18" or so cut it off.
Trex might be a good material to make a drop riffle sluice.
Just get out there.
Oct 04, 2012, 11:04 PM
I apologize for my typo, yes it is 6 INCHES lol. It is a little heavy and I think shortening it up will be a good Idea. How far apart should the riffles be ?
Would having individual sections of matting and mesh in between each riffle be an issue ?
I really appreciate the input and I will take these into thought to make adjustments. I have a circulating water set up that isn't shown, the idea was that this would be a stationary sluice at home. I would go out, bring materials home, sluice, then pan my findings. Any thought on this as well ?
Oct 04, 2012, 11:29 PM
Also can I do drop riffles along with the regular ? and if yes what is the spacing ?
Oct 05, 2012, 09:20 AM
You would be bringing quite a bit of material home, you would also need to figure out where to dispose of your tailings?. On a typical trip, I go through 10-15 five gallon buckets of material. If your prospecting near a river, sluicing in the river would make life easier in my opinion...
Originally Posted by dekemadsen
Oct 10, 2012, 07:15 PM
Uh... Have you found any gold yet ? Before i carried that monster anywhere, i'd have to see some gold in a small, portable test sluice. You can make one that weighs nuthing out of three or four inch plastic sewer pipe for about $3 dollars a foot. The ribs in the flexible sewer pipe (which you're gonna cut in half with a sharp knife), actually doe a fine job of catching gold. If you like your sluice a little more rigid, drop it into some thin wall PVC pipe cut in half as well. Should be able to bring the whole thing in for less than $25 dollars, unless you buy everything at ACE Hardware. I met a young fella at Lynx Creek, Arizona with one of these and challeged him to a contest against my $145 dollar KEEN Sluice. His cleanout (using the exact same dirt) beat mine hands down. In fact, the all important "V" water configuration landing on my indicator pad was not present just ONCE in his devise, but i counted at least nine "V"'s over the course of his eight foot pipe.
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