Fill Sandbags to create small dam?
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Thread: Fill Sandbags to create small dam?

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  1. #1
    Oct 2017
    34 times

    Fill Sandbags to create small dam?

    I was wondering if anybody has tried using sandbags to create a small dam for sluice set-up?

    My spot does not have many big rocks so I usually have to shovel clay chunks to make a dam. I usually try to sluice in shallow waters running next to or ontop of sandbars. Problem with shoveling clay/sand, is material starts to wash away as you get closer to completing the dam because of faster water flow. Its like a tractor pull...the closer you get, the more water will wash away.

    I was thinking it would be easier to bring empty sandbags out and fill them on site and arrange them as needed.

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    1637, 63bkpkr, HardHatMatt and 2 others like this.

  2. #2
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    10719 times
    Good idea. In a similar situation I used a row of buckets filled with water. Itíll work.
    63bkpkr and GoldpannerDave like this.

  3. #3

    Mar 2016
    208 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    You could also use a couple of tarps - wouldn’t add much weight to your pack - to amplify the effect of the bags, in situations where the flow is particularly weak.

  4. #4
    Jan 2011
    Bakersfield, CA
    128 times
    I frequently use sheets of thin aluminum to do this. I've got a few pieces about 18"x36" or so and they are quick and easy to stand up and divert water.

  5. #5

    Jan 2019
    5 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Top of the evening to you River Walker. I use sandbags wherever possible. Provides a relatively level surface with minimal work. Makes it super easy to get the right slope without having to submerge half your sluice underneath water and lose all that head pressure. Also provides a place for some steady footing and a nice seat that won't poke you in the ass while you're feeding the sluice. Here in California we have sandbag stations for when it rains heavily to help prevent property damage where you can fill your own sandbags for free and sandbags are even provided. Excellent source of free sandbags. Only problem I've had is sand being so light it's usually the last thing to fall out of the current and usually doesn't deposit itself in the place where I have enough drop in The stream bed. Cobble and gravel can be used but don't provide as level of a working surface. I usually build the damn wall up and place my sluice down so that water is flowing over both sides the damn wall as well as through the sluice then take two more sandbags one on each side of the sluice if you have a flair make sure it doesn't stick up too far off the same bag as this can cause shifting and lift the front of your sluice up during water surges. Good luck out there hope this helps

  6. #6
    Commercial Diving Company Owner

    Feb 2005
    Eastern PA
    Garrett At Pro, MX500 Proton Mag fisher gold bug, whites PI, Garrett gold scorpion
    158 times
    i use blue tarps , put a couple rocks down on the tarp to hold it and as a base and lay the tarp over top and fold it back and forth over layers of rock like an accordian if you need more height, then put some sand and gravel on the upstream side edge and it makes an instant dam, used it many times when theres not enough water for my small 3" and create a pool where i need it



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