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Thread: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    I posted this in a more local gold prospecting forum I use, but thought I would re-post it here since this is a good DIY project, easy to make, and cost effective.

    So the new big thing (besides that newfangled sidewinder sluice) seems to be the drop riffle design. Some sluices that use this design: Le Trap Sluice, California sluice box, and the Angus Mackirk Sluices use a variation on this as well. I'm sure there's more but that's all I could think of off the top of my head.

    I ran out of V matting and carpeting from my last couple sluices but it just so happened that I still had a three foot piece of hardwood that would serve as a decent base board for a drop riffle design.

    The pros of this design:

    You don't have to classify supposedly cause the small riffles don't let big rocks drop in them.

    Less water flow is needed because the water doesn't have to flow over riffles and other obstructions.

    Looks like its capable of some very fine gold recovery in the shallow riffles.

    Easy to clean up, just tilt it sideways and pour water in.

    Not as much black sand to go through.

    The cons:

    Might have to cleanup sooner then a conventional sluice due to less gold holding area. This is offset by how easy it is to do a cleanup.

    No inspection mat to see if your in the pay streak. However if you know an area has decent gold, I guess this doesn't matter so much.

    Not as much black sand to go through, which means you might recover less gold/black sand mix.


    I started with a 1/16 inch groove for fine recovery and gradually increased the depth till it goes to a full 1/4 inch depth on the back riffles. I also gradually made each second riffle wider, while keeping some 1/16 inch grooves for fine recovery between them.

    The board I had wasn't perfect, it had scratches and blemishes on it from using it to bear down on, but its good enough for this project.



    Here's the grooves from the side.



    Here it is with all the grooves cut in it ready to start waterproofing.



    Here's after the first urethane coating.



    Another pic of it drying.




    Since all I had to do was cut some grooves in the board to make a drop riffle sluice, this is an easy project and cost effective. I already had polyurethane and gutter sealer to make the sluice waterproof and seal the crevices between the boards.

    The dimensions are 9 1/2 inch by 33 inches, which is just wide enough once I put the sides on it, to use it in a 5 gallon bucket for a cleanup. And its short enough to be back-packable.

    Total cost for the sluice: 7.03$ for the can of Truck Bed Liner textured paint I used on it. Might put a couple reinforcement bars on it once the paint (fully) drys, a couple places for rocks to hold it down in the river.

    Oh and I tested it already yesterday (when it was unpainted) on some of my cons from Saturday, and gold didn't make it past the first riffle. I used a couple different drop angles for the preliminary test, but I cant wait to try it out on the river.

    Does anyone know the proper angle to setup these drop riffle sluices? I figure its similar to the 12 inch length = 1 inch drop that regular sluices use?

    Here's the drop riffle sluice pictures.















    Here it is next to some of my other homemade sluices.









    [youtube=425,350]<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/youtube]
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2007
    maui, hawaii
    321
    10 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    another good looking and gold catching idea. astro, man you sure do come up with some pretty good idea's i wish i had the fortitude like you. take care and be carefull out there. ron

  3. #3
    us
    Mar 2010
    58
    Prospecting

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    Looks good.

  4. #4
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    Added some structural support to it, and a shoulder strap for ease of carrying.



    This sluice next to some of my other homemade sluices.

    mytimetoshine likes this.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  5. #5
    us
    Dec 2007
    maui, hawaii
    321
    10 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    looks like it is easy to carry to your spot. nice.
    take care and be safe out there. ron

  6. #6
    us
    Endeaver to perservere

    Mar 2008
    Aloha, Orygun
    wishing stick
    1,368
    22 times
    Searching

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    Great looking job.
    I was thinking about that myself.
    Now you have shown me how to do it.
    Thank you

    Grey
    Nothing stated may be true as far as we know
    Seek professional advice. Some items are limited
    Not available in all states. Illigitimi non carborundum. Carpe oro.

  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    I did some testing on this sluice after I finished a test for my criminal law class the other day. The tests made me decide to make some changes.

    I decided to re-do my drop riffle sluice and make the drops bigger and deeper. The drop riffle sluice wasn't catching the fine gold because the fast movement of the water over the short riffles allowed the small stuff to just float on by on the top.

    With the new wider and deeper riffles, as long as I keep the angle decent, the water will be forced to fall into each lowered riffle and will create a nice swirl/vortex motion, dropping the heavy stuff.

    Basically, the sluice was too straight before in how the water flowed, it didn't agitate the water well. Also the smaller riffles weren't wide enough or deep enough to get that 'dancing' action going inside them, but the new ones should be perfect, because the last riffles of my old design did swirl and dance. Its not so much that the riffles have to be super deep, its more they need width with a little drop so the water will fall into them and create that vortex/swirl. The deeper the riffle (coupled with a good angle or drop) the greater the swirl effect though.

    The new waterproofing, black rough coating, and the yellow weatherstripping material I used to seal the sides are all drying today, tomorrow I can test it out and hopefully the changes worked.













    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  8. #8
    us
    Apr 2010
    Fogelsville,Pa
    64
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    Astrobouncer
    Nice job on the sluices....Thai look great......Looks like you spent lots of time on them.
    Is that dry material that your running true the sluice,in the video??
    Don't know why,I prefer running all my materials wet.....When I classified the material,I allway's trow a bucket of water on the screen.
    It seemes to work better on the Angus sluice.....Perhaps I will have a chance to run dry sand true it,in a few weeks....
    N
    Feed me-Feed me

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    It wasn't dry, those were some cons from my carpet sluice and it had the consistency of mud. Usually I run my cons wet also. It does appear dry from the video, but I think that's just from the blond sand that was mixed in there with the heavier black sand.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  10. #10

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    3,090
    699 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    i like your concept on this! i think you may want to add a rubber dampner to the head of your sluice. notice the cheveron shape of the water at the head of your box. you need to get rid of that disturbance and flaten the water to make the small stuff drop out of suspension faster. and makeing yourself a autofeeder will save you a lot of effort/time to do other things as the cons get fed into your sluice. i originally made one but it was to small.(it didnt hold enough screened cons) i made another to hold about 10/20 pounds of cons and i think it maybe to small also. i hate spooning cons into a peice of cleanup equipment. you just cant beat someone that likes to tinker!

  11. #11
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    Thanks for the idea russau, I will try that. It does need an auto feeder, but it was kind of fun feeding 3 sluices today when I was at the river. This thing feeds so well that I barely have to wait for it to clean off like my other 2 sluices.

    I was super impressed with this sluice today, it performed like a champ with the new changes. I had 3 layers of cons in every riffle, the monzanite/titanium colored sand first, then black sand, then the garnets that were dancing. Occasionally a piece of gold would sink in one of the riffles and disappear under the dancing stuff, but when I did a clean up the gold was there at the bottom of the riffle. And the cleanup was so easy. I wish I had made this thing last year!
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  12. #12
    us
    Endeaver to perservere

    Mar 2008
    Aloha, Orygun
    wishing stick
    1,368
    22 times
    Searching

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    How deep/wide are the new slots?

    Grey
    Nothing stated may be true as far as we know
    Seek professional advice. Some items are limited
    Not available in all states. Illigitimi non carborundum. Carpe oro.

  13. #13
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    I believe some of the shallower riffles are half an inch and the wider ones, up to an inch. Depth is anywhere from 1/2 an inch to 3/4ths of an inch. You can see in my video how fast this thing can be fed and you can also see the riffles dancing toward the middle there. You can also make out the three stratified layers that the riffles did to themselves as I fed the material through (actually 4 layers if you count the gold on the bottom). The heavy stuff would sink and push out the lighter material, which would then get caught in the next riffle and repeat the process. Leaving only the heavies in each riffle.

    My camera work was pretty bad because I couldnt see the LCD screen due to glare, so the video turned out worse then I was hoping. Next week I am bringing the tripod so the video will be better.



    Edit: I made some changes to the sluice.

    Here's some pics of the changes. This thing looks less like a drop riffle sluice now and more like some kind of hybrid.

    Here's the 45 degree cuts to the back riffles to help flow.



    Here's the new front section that helps break up clay with its turbulence. I needed this since the pay dirt I been working is found on the top of a clay layer that acts like a false bedrock. There's also an eight inch skid plate between the turbulent area and the v matting to further break up the clay.






    And then just random pictures of the sluice from different angles. You can see I added a couple deep V grooves further down the sluice just to help catch heavies.







    I will test it this weekend, hopefully the new changes will help it. 45 degree cuts is the limit of what my table saw can do, I really need one that can do much wider angles so I can replicate the Le Trap and Angus Mckirck sluices.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  14. #14
    us
    Jun 2009
    Blue Ridge, South Carolina
    818
    292 times

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    New video is up here:



    Sluice worked good, especially for the price.
    Sample till you find the hot spot, then mine it till its gone! Then start over...

  15. #15
    us
    Jun 2010
    Midtown Sac
    46

    Re: Drop riffle sluice (updated with video at the bottom).

    So, what did you capture that you hadn't before fixing it?

 

 
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