Feb 26, 2010, 10:01 AM
Just wanted to take a minute and say hello. I'm a Sgt in the Army reserves currently in Michigan. The area I'm in there isn't much gold to speak of, but I am thinking of buying a yellowjacket sluice and I already have a pan I've been tinkering with. I do a little detecting, but haven't found anything much to speak of, just a couple of dollars in change at the beach. Any tips or suggestions as to my choice of sluice would be great. I don't have a ton of $ to spend on one and don't feel comfortable building one yet.
Feb 26, 2010 10:01 AM
Feb 26, 2010, 10:40 AM
Re: new guy
My opinion would be that for the money, and the type of gold found in Michigan (fine to superfine), you would be best suited with a drop riffle design such as an Angus Mac Kirk or a Le Trap.
Take a look at what they have to offer. I own the grubstake sluice which is great for slow moving streams or just sampling around. You can't process tons of material, but they sure are faster than a pan. The best part is, no carpet, no cage, no riffles, no screwing around. The best part is, its the most simple sluice to set up correctly. I also own a RDH aluminum sluice (36" x 10") which is great, but you have to get it set up just right, and clean up isn't near as fast as the drop riffle design. There is also the obvious advantage which is the Angus Mac Kirk is very light weight, and easy to transport in and out of the sticks.
Hope this helps. I'm sure others will chime in to help as well. Good luck with your purchase and go get some GOLD!
Feb 26, 2010, 11:02 AM
Re: new guy
Hi, welcome to the site. & a big thank you for serving our country!! I have no experience with sluicing, or panning, but just wanted to say hi. how much snow do y'all have up that way?
Feb 26, 2010, 06:20 PM
Re: new guy
Right now we have anywhere between 8-10 inches on the ground, and more coming. Its been weird this winter, we'll get a bunch of snow, thenn it all melts off, then the next week, a bunch of snow, then it all melts off. I did end up buying a new sluice today, I bought a 10"x36" aluminum Keene. Paid $77 for it plus shipping. I figure it'll do since a buddy and I are planning a trip to the east coast in May.
Mar 02, 2010, 11:28 AM
Re: new guy
i like my wolf trap sluice, it breaks down to pack it and the riffles can be flipped for slow or fast water.
Jun 06, 2010, 07:26 PM
Re: new guy
Just wanted to say Hello.....
I have on Angus M sluice,and love it.......
It real picks up fine Gold..........Sometimes the Gold is so fine,that I Ned to look at it at a magnification.I classify my material,with a 1/4 mesh,than its much easier to work with it....
You can se the Angus sluice on the photo.....Go to Home Depot,and by a Masonry Mixing Tub,(about 5 bucks. ),than I built a 1/4 mass box,that you also see in the photo,on the right....1 Mixing Tub,holds 2 full buckets of material....I run the 2 buckets,than I clean up in the Tub.It usually takes me about on hr,to run the 2 buckets out.
Good luck in prospecting.
Jun 06, 2010, 10:31 PM
Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!
Re: new guy
Welcome home Sgt, and thank you for your service and sacrifice to this great country. My war was 40 years ago. TTC
God, gold, and guns! Glenn Beck
Jun 07, 2010, 08:10 PM
Re: new guy
Hello Sgt, thanks for your service, and a hearty welcome to treasure net.
I recommend building your own sluice, for several reasons:
You can build one much cheaper then any of the 'name brand' sluices. A fraction of the cost of a 120 dollar sluice.
It might not perform as good as one you would buy on your initial design, but as you learn you can make changes or create a new sluice from what you have learned that will perform just as good as a name brand version.
Making one out of wood is painless, all you need are very simple tools, some wood of course, a tape measure, some kind of saw, some kind of waterproof sealant to seal the seams, and some kind of waterproofing for the wood. Carpeting, an inspection rubber mat to show if your catching gold, and several different types of riffles are all things you can add (or subtract) as you want. Also a flared opening to bring in more water is another option to build or not. Plus you can build the exact size sluice that will fit into your vehicle.
If you make one out of aluminum, the price will be more costly to make then wood, but you can expect years of reliable service out of the aluminum, whereas wood might become cracked and chipped with age (and transporting the sluice to the spot) not to mention expansion and possible warping if the wood is not waterproofed correct.
If you want a lightweight sluice, an alternative to aluminum is ABS plastic, which you can buy from scrap lots on Ebay for pretty cheap, then put it together with ABS plastic glue. You can also use that glue if the sluice breaks or needs repairing.
There are several how to make a sluice sites and threads that you can consult for advice and directions, or you can just start a post here if you have specific questions.
There are also several alternative things you can use to keep the cost down, vs using the expensive to buy sluice materials (such as low cost alternatives for miners moss).
If you just want to buy one, then everyone has their own opinion on what works and what is best. Every sluice has both drawbacks and benefits. A popular thing nowadays seems to be the drop riffle design, which I think has a lot of potential mostly due to the fact that its so easy to clean up. My current custom sluice I made takes about 5-10 minutes to clean up and then reassemble, which feels too long when I am out shoveling gravel and want to maximize my time spent on recovery and minimize downtime.
Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...
Sep 11, 2010, 02:29 AM
Re: new guy
I've just purchased my first sluice, an A52 by Keene, I've used it for about eight consecutive days taking some small nuggets down to flour gold. I found the riffles load up quickly requiring frequent cleanups. With water running through it the box is heavy to get out of the water and then you must be careful to not tip it too much forward or back or things begin to fall out. To strip the unit down for frequent cleaning also gets to be bothersome and you are bent over. In all I am pleased with the gold I'm getting however riffle cleaning, expanded metal cleaning, carpet cleaning and cleaning the main aluminium box is just a lot of time cleaning and not sluicing. If I were to purchase another sluice and I might if I keep getting nice color I would buy an Angus McKirk either the #5 or the #9 as shown in their catalog. When I pack in my 11 pound A52 I remove the flair leaving the 36" long box to strap to the pack and then with it in the reverse direction I drop the flair back onto the sluice so the flair is over the box not sticking further out the top another 14".
The #9 McKirk is 16" wide at the output, that's out to the edges of the upper what I will call lip. This means you need a wider mouth bucket to make rinsing out the McKirk, as that is all you do for cleanup, easier or else you have to hold it at a side angle if you are using a 5 gallon bucket. Cleaning up a sluice is clumsy work to start with without having to hold it at a side angle and then dump a bucket of water down it without loosing what you've just sluiced. I looked long and hard at a Home Depot and purchased a blue plastic recycle waste basket which is made out of "low density polyethylene" LDPE instead of "poly propylene" PP as the PP is more brittle. The blue waste basket has an oval opening and my A52 goes all the way to the bottom of the waste can without forcing the side walls like it does in a 5 gallon bucket. I cracked the side wall of one of my PP 5 gallon buckets last week on a backpacking prospecting trip so I just had to work with the broken bucket.
I've given you a lot of information which boils down to - the A52 has a lot of cleanup work associated with using it while the McKirk has minimal cleanup work. Buckets or waste baskets are your best friend while you are sluicing so make sure you get them so your sluice fits into them without forcing the side walls out and try and get them made from LDPE or HDPE which is what milk cartons are made of.
My last thought is that the McKirk's start out as 1/4" thick ABS plastic sheet before they are thermoformed into a sluice box so they are sturdy especially as all of them have the rock holding braces. If you are going to use a plastic sluice in the winter the plastic might have occasion to crack but otherwise they should be fine in warm weather. One can buy ABS repair glue at most hardware stores. Also the McKirk's are lighter than the A52, A52 weighs 11lbs with the flair while the longest McKirk weighs 9 lbs. If you are backpacking in your equipment those extra pounds add up. My last pack, coming out, weighed 90 lbs and it was not fun to hump it up 3000 vertical feet. I sound like an advertisement for McKirk's when I don't even own one but they would be my next purchase if the color I'm getting continues to be there.
Picture of gold is from sluicing with the A52 on my recent 12 day's of being in the Nor-California hills. Oh, from my point of view you go out with a gold pan first to find some color and if it looks worthwhile then you buy the sluice.
Good luck with your prospecting and like others have mentioned, thank you for serving your country and that's all of us. 63bkpkr
Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm
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