Sluice Boxes Riffle-less Systems Part 1

The Swiss Brothers and Friend Prospecting in New Zeland on the Arrow River

The Swiss Brothers and Friend Prospecting in New Zealand on the Arrow River

Fifteen years ago I bought a Fold Up Sluice Box to take with me on a trip to New Zealand. It was going to be my first attempt at using a so-called Standard Sluice arrangement in the field. Up to that point my Prospecting experience had been done with a 2” Dredge, a device called a Roto Pan and a Le Trap Gold Pan. Upon reaching the gold fields in South Island, New Zealand, I found myself teamed up with two Brothers from Switzerland. To make a long story short, one of the Brothers built a simple Sluice Box out of wood with small square pieces of wood for Riffles. Many times we used both my store bought Sluice and his home built Wooden Sluice Box next to each other.

Folding Sluice Box

Folding Sluice Box

One of my observations made at that time was that both Sluice Boxes seem to perform about the same. It never occurred to me to check the Tailings of these Sluice Boxes; I just assumed that all Sluice Boxes catch the gold put through them. That experience was a long time ago and since then my education and experience with gold recovery equipment went into high gear. Much of this was driven by one of my jobs, which was working for International Prospecting Supply of Seattle owned by now deceased, Eddie Barrett. Most of my job for some time was training customers in the use of Metal Detectors which I knew very well and had taught since 1991 for Eddie.

Wood Sluice Box

Wood Sluice Box

Since the store sold more than Metal Detectors, I took interest in other types of equipment that is used for gold recovery. Even though I had access to most pieces of gold recovery equipment I, like many of us, assumed that most of these worked more or less, well. This had to be true as all of the books and magazines I read seemed to back this thought up. All of this came to an end when one day while panning for gold with a new designed pan, I decided to check my tailings since I was working in a tub at that time. To my surprise I found that I was losing almost half of the gold! This event made me start examining and studying the equipment I’ve been using. One or these pieces of equipment was the Sluice Box. Using my conventional Sluice Box, I started to keep my tailings to see how well it was working. Sure enough, I was losing gold – especially the fine and micro particles.

I decided to ask a good friend of mine who had a lot of experience with Sluice Boxes, (he made and sold them,) what could I do about this problem. It was then that he showed me the Sluice Box he personally used. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. The Sluice Box was only 2 feet long by 1 foot wide. (The original was 4 feet long.) The first foot was basically a Slick Plate Area followed by a Water Fall Drop into another foot of Miners Moss topped with Expanded Metal. How could this work? My friend said that he had another one so if I wanted to try it he would give me one of the originals. I eagerly accepted his offer and took it home. After looking it over for some time, I decided to do the same thing that my friend did, so I cut it in half, installed some Miners Moss and topped it with Expanded Metal. As an after thought, I put a narrow strip of Small Raised Rubber Ribbing across the Slick Plate Area. It was now time to try this almost Unconventional Sluice Box out…

To be continued…

Cheers,

Dennis Katz

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copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

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Sluice Boxes, Riffle-less Introduction

Just what is a Riffle? Traditionally a Riffle is an obstruction. In the mining equipment world the Riffle was, and still is, generally used to obstruct and slow down the movement of gravels to cause the dropping out of the heaver materials in it. Read a book about prospecting or mining, go to a gold show, look at just about any prospector type magazine advertisements, articles and what do you see – mostly Riffled Slice Boxes of so called traditional and not so traditional Riffle shapes, sizes, etc. usually installed in what is called a Sluice Box.

If you are new to the mining world and eager to learn what is what about mining equipment, there is a ton of information in books and the Internet on this very subject to go through. If it wasn’t for my knowledge and experience (which is an ongoing event,) on various subjects within the mining world, I would probably overdose on reading too much while trying to sort out the reality from the hype presented on just this subject of Riffles. Since this is not a straight forward subject, I have decided to break it down into installments, which you the reader can hopefully make sense of for yourself and perhaps help you make more informed conclusions when making a choice on what is the best equipment to use for your particular situation in Sluice Boxes. Stay tuned and follow my blog for the future installments on this subject… Feed back and constructive thought is encouraged from you, the reader. You can also check out, on our website, our own line of sluice boxes and the cleangold line of sluice boxes. Cheers.

The Fossicker,
Dennis Katz

Above Video: by Joey Wilson of Prospecting Channel on Cleangold Mercury Free Mining… Sluicing with The Fossicker.  Below: The Fossicker with 16″ Beach Sluice Box by CleanGold.

16" Riffleless Sluice Box by Cleangold

16″ Cleangold Riffleless Sluice Box

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copyright © 2014 Gold Pan Prospector / Fossickers.com

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