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Thread: Finally! My Sluice is up, running and catching gold!

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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting

    Finally! My Sluice is up, running and catching gold!

    Is a DIY sluice ever really done? Boy have I learned a lot about theory, practice and patience. I originally was going to use this on the bank where I would be prospecting. But as costs soared and regulations tightened, I had to adapt it for home use. My first try resulted in several obvious problems. Sprayers needed to be aimed, drop was not enough, losing water in all kinds of places, front legs out too far for the catch basin to catch the flow, back legs too long, catch basin not wide enough for sluice clean out and finally, not near enough water pressure and plugging of holes due to sediment. Fixed all those problems (except for the pump). The pump box had a list of specs I really needed to know before I bought it. Like this:
    Wire size: 16GA (I used 12)
    Fuse size 10 amp. (I installed a 20 and when I went to change the fuse to a 10, I found I couldn't. Next time buy the newer style plug in.
    Hose size max 1 1/4" (I have 1 1/2")
    Max height of lift 7" (I'm at 44"!)
    It's a wonder it works at all!

    Anyway, if I had to do it again, I would go to a 4000GPH. Since that was not an option, I fixed the following.
    Removed the check valve and the 50% flow restrictor behind it. Lowered the overall height. Trimmed the supply hose to minimum length.

    Other wastes of time and money:
    I wanted a hand held sprayer to rinse the sluice. The reality is the valve is too tight to turn (sound familiar?) and when it was shut off, it blew apart press fit stuff that I was NOT going to glue. All the plumbing is press fit or threaded. I used one 9" piece of plumbers tape to hold the assembly at head in place. That's it! Also, reducing water flow from inch and a half to 3/8? Soooo not worth it. Tossed the entire sprayer assembly aside. The shut off valve remains but is unused. The toggle on/off switch works perfect.

    Added levels front and back. Bought wood shims (for installing doors) to level the sluice. Still only one inch drop and it was loading up. Went to a five inch drop and perfect! No more loading up and had no noticeable loss of water this time. Yea! Bought and installed 2 two inch wheels and installed in the back. Note: Do NOT buy swivel wheels, only fixed wheel! Even walking slow I still managed to flip it. Those have to be replaced.

    Anyways, here is a cost list. I found out from a member here that the plans for the identical sluice are available and less than $20. I don't have the site right now, but that would have helped a great deal. Way back when, all I could find was the pics. We were using a ruler for scale on the pics because we knew the LeTrap was 4 feet long.
    LeTrap $70.00
    2200GPH $80.00
    Hose $20.00
    Stain $10.00
    2x4’s $7.00
    Tubs $25.00
    Batt Charger N/C
    Wiring $18.00
    Switch, fuse
    Hardware $30.00 (stainless steel and brass, wood shims, levels, wheels)
    Labor N/C
    PVC&Hand
    Sprayer $40.00
    $300.00

    Here are the pics and a short video. The video quality is awful, but my phone was all I had to work with at the time.
    With 2 1/2 gallons of unclassified material, I got 6 small flakes after I panned the concentrates. That wasn't bad for the spot I picked. Felt really good to add to my vile again.

    Comments and critiques are encouraged.
    Jeff

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    Last edited by Jeff95531; Nov 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM. Reason: my wife said I spelled the wrong patients. Stoopid spell checker.
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  2. #2
    us
    This isn't a hobby! It's hard work!

    Feb 2013
    Douglas, AZ
    Mk VII eyeball terrain reader. Had to return the MineLab :(
    1,349
    1224 times
    Prospecting/Mining and protecting our rights to do so.
    Well it's about time dude! Next time don't hire the Murphy Engineering Company to do your design! you KNOW about their laws. I have a feeling that there's going to be many more modifications to your system as time passes. I know there always are on mine. Between you and I, we are both in first place for the "Rube Goldberg Award" for 2013.

    I'll call ya later so you can fill me in in more detail on your trip out to the river.

    Jeff
    "Some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope!!!" I'm going to complain no matter what kind of rope they use!!!!!

    "Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" John F. Kennedy

    When I joined the Army I took an oath to protect this country from enemies both foreign and domestic. To the best of that knowledge I've never been relieved of that oath and will continue to follow it to the best of my ability.

  3. #3
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    'South' Texas
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    2,770
    1462 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi Jeff,
    So I see now that the system is meant to be used at home after the 30 full 5 gallon buckets have been brought back from the site, OK.
    Depending on how much/often you need to move the screening/sluice section around you might care to install some 4" diameter wheels on the one end as the small diameter ones will not roll well over even small stuff. Bottom line, it works with mods to improve it. Way to go!!..................63bkpkr
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  4. #4
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks Herb. I was thinking about lawn mower wheels on threaded rod or bolts, but they don't have 2 inches of adjustment...unless....hmmmm.
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  5. #5

    Oct 2013
    Oregon
    2
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Looks great!

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting
    oops
    Last edited by Jeff95531; Nov 13, 2013 at 12:30 AM. Reason: post duplicate
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Minning Tools: 12" Trommel, Royal Drywasher, Viper-Vac, Miller Table, Blue Bowl, Footprints, Google Earth, These Are Just Tools As You Still Have To Be On The Gold

    Sep 2012
    Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting in the southwest?
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
    1,723
    1329 times
    Prospecting
    Looking good Jeff. The only thing I would add would be a triple tank system to help keep the water cleaner and put your pump in the last tank. Use a siphon method to balance the water between tanks. The sluice is outstanding. You may want a few totes as the dirt will fill the tote quickly so that you can replace and keep the sluice running. Image for my use but the same tank system would work for your sluice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by AzViper; Nov 13, 2013 at 12:17 AM.
    “He who builds their own equipment has a better understanding of what works and what does not work”

    Build Your A Crevice Vac / Blower - Build Your A Trommel - Build You A Miller Table - Build Your A Blue Bowl Recovery System

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks AZ. The water was surprisingly clear once it was dialed in. The dozen holes drilled rather than over flowing seemed to help a great deal. It was very surprising to see and will definately keep your idea on hand when it stops working. The catch tub is a 10 gal and cheap as all get out @ WM, so more will be purchased. BTW, they are wide mouths, which fit the outlet of the sluice just right
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Minning Tools: 12" Trommel, Royal Drywasher, Viper-Vac, Miller Table, Blue Bowl, Footprints, Google Earth, These Are Just Tools As You Still Have To Be On The Gold

    Sep 2012
    Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting in the southwest?
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
    1,723
    1329 times
    Prospecting
    In the drawing I did not show the bucket that the sluice dumps into having holes but that bucket we use is riddled with holes. Helps when picking it up as all the water drains out. Its always a good feeling when you build something correctly and it works. You did a fantastic job on your build. Also glad to see you are using a quality Johnson pump. Yeah they make a 4000 GPH but that pump gets pricey...
    “He who builds their own equipment has a better understanding of what works and what does not work”

    Build Your A Crevice Vac / Blower - Build Your A Trommel - Build You A Miller Table - Build Your A Blue Bowl Recovery System

  10. #10
    us
    Prepper

    Feb 2013
    Idaho
    Rock Nose and sniffer belly
    678
    328 times
    Prospecting
    Looking great Jeff!. I would recommend that you make the sides of your hopper much higher. The spray combined with material is going to splash and you could possibly lose gold and most likely get wet and muddy! I love that you are using a LeTrap as a sluice. Those things catch all the gold, but you need more flow. You can see the water surging and if you dont have enough water to keep the material in a stratified state it wont exchange, the drop riffles will pack with material and your gold will roll right on through... I know this from experience because I use a LeTrap as a final catch for dialing my setup in, If I catch it with the LeTrap I am doing it wrong above LOL. I bet just adding more holes or larger holes on your spraybar will allow the flow you need because 2200 GPH should be just barely enough flow for that sluice but you really got to open it up. This design looks GREAT! I love the wood and you have really done a fantastic job. Adding the level is a really good touch and I am sure you are going to catch lots of gold with that setup. Kudos!
    Jeff95531 likes this.
    I build my own Cuz yours isn't good enough

  11. #11
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Doitlaynstyle View Post
    Looking great Jeff!. I would recommend that you make the sides of your hopper much higher. The spray combined with material is going to splash and you could possibly lose gold and most likely get wet and muddy! I love that you are using a LeTrap as a sluice. Those things catch all the gold, but you need more flow. You can see the water surging and if you dont have enough water to keep the material in a stratified state it wont exchange, the drop riffles will pack with material and your gold will roll right on through... I know this from experience because I use a LeTrap as a final catch for dialing my setup in, If I catch it with the LeTrap I am doing it wrong above LOL. I bet just adding more holes or larger holes on your spraybar will allow the flow you need because 2200 GPH should be just barely enough flow for that sluice but you really got to open it up. This design looks GREAT! I love the wood and you have really done a fantastic job. Adding the level is a really good touch and I am sure you are going to catch lots of gold with that setup. Kudos!
    Now THAT's what I'm LOOKING FOR! Thanks for the advice and tips. When I watched my own video, I noticed the water was deeper on the right (facing it)even tho it was level. When I started feeding it...THEN I noticed. I fixed that. Definitely going to experiment with holes and bars. I've heard slices have been used instead of holes with success too. You should have seen the flow before I removed that check valve...it made me sick to my stomach. I knew I needed lots of water but (originally) it barely covered the riffles. Hopefully, the changes will succeed and I won't have to go up higher on the box.
    TYVM!
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  12. #12
    us
    Oct 2012
    Southern California
    A cheap little Bounty Hunter
    450
    276 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by AzViper View Post
    Looking good Jeff. The only thing I would add would be a triple tank system to help keep the water cleaner and put your pump in the last tank. Use a siphon method to balance the water between tanks. The sluice is outstanding. You may want a few totes as the dirt will fill the tote quickly so that you can replace and keep the sluice running. Image for my use but the same tank system would work for your sluice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is like what I built for Wet Desert Mining.

    Here is some Red Chispa Gold;
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jeff95531 likes this.
    In all the advancing we can do to improve this world, the sharing of knowledge and wisdom is the most important.
    We stand on the shoulders of giants.
    I am so glad I joined this Message board.
    If I post anything that inspires anyone to do better mining then me, I did my part.
    And If anyone inspires me to try something new, or better, I thank them now.

  13. #13
    us
    Bazooka Goldtrap enthusiast

    Jan 2012
    Centennial, Colorado
    Bazooka Goldtrap Prospector, Bazooka Goldtrap Sniper, Bazooka Goldtrap SuperMini, Angus Mackirk Expedition, custom metal sluices (retired!). Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump, occasional gold cube & dredge
    3,243
    2158 times
    Prospecting
    What do you have supporting the classifying screen? Without good support, it will stretch and then fail fairly quickly.
    ...it is too about havin' the gold!

  14. #14
    us
    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    903
    603 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinInColorado View Post
    What do you have supporting the classifying screen? Without good support, it will stretch and then fail fairly quickly.
    You are right Kevin, it does have a bit of a dip in it already. I classify to 1/4" and the screen is 1/8". It is stapled and built right in to the Header box. How should it be supported without interfering with the gold? i.e. gold getting stuck in the supports.
    "Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

    This is madness! This is politics!
    Pirates of the Caribbean-Davy Jones

  15. #15
    us
    Bazooka Goldtrap enthusiast

    Jan 2012
    Centennial, Colorado
    Bazooka Goldtrap Prospector, Bazooka Goldtrap Sniper, Bazooka Goldtrap SuperMini, Angus Mackirk Expedition, custom metal sluices (retired!). Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump, occasional gold cube & dredge
    3,243
    2158 times
    Prospecting
    Basically I would say to relax about gold getting stuck in the supporting layer. You can always flush it out occasionally. Simplest option is a wider mesh, fatter gauge mesh under the 1/8 layer and then zip tie the two together every few inches in every direction. Have the zip tie binding clip on the bottom...or use twists of wire but I switched to small zip ties in my application as they last forever!

    One upside to all this, you can shift your classification up to 1/2 inch which is just easier.
    Jeff95531 likes this.
    ...it is too about havin' the gold!

 

 
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