If you are new to using a sluice box then you may want a few pointers for setting it up properly. Sluice boxes are designed to trap gold, but if they are not setup properly, your gold could be washing right through the sluice.
The key to getting the most gold out of your sluice box is simple. It all comes down to the right rate of water flow. The water flow can be off by just a hair, and the gold will wash right out of the sluice, or your sluice box will quickly get clogged up, and your sluice box will become a sluice mess.
It can take a little bit of trial and error to get things set up just right. You want perfection, and perfection will allow the gold to fall out of suspension and all of the other lighter material will wash right out of the sluice box.
There is a simple science to this madness, but if you don’t know this simple science, you will be wasting your time with your new sluice box. Your sluice box should be higher at the beginning and lower at the end. There is a basic rule to follow. For every foot of sluice box, then the sluice box should drop one inch.
Here is an example. If your sluice box is three feet long, then the front, or mouth of the sluice box should be level, but the bottom or end of the sluice box should be three inches lower the the mouth. This needs to be a gradual drop too. It can be easy to create this drop with a shovel, and you can actually find plenty of places in the creek bed where this drop will occur naturally, but if the water flow is not good, then it will all be pointless. The best thing to do is find the best natural place for your sluice box that has the right flow, and the right drop. You can always carry your gold rich pay dirt to the sluice with a bucket. You can also create small dams to help speed up or slow down the water flow as necessary.
Your sluice box should not be completely submerged either. This is a mistake that a lot of prospectors make. The sides of your sluice box are supposed to create a channel for the water to flow through and over the riffles.
You don’t want your sluice box washing away either. Make sure that it is secured. You can always just use a rock from the stream bed to keep it in place.
Now that you know the basics of setting up your sluice box, you need to know the right way to use it. A sluice box uses the old Tortoise and The Hare mentality. Slow and steady wins the race, or in this case, slow and steady gets more gold.
Once you have your sluice box setup correctly, it is time to put it to work. You need to feed your gold rich pay dirt slowly into the mouth of the sluice box. If you put too much dirt in, it will completely clog the sluice box and all of your gold will cruise right down the stream and into someone else’s sluice box. Just feed a little bit of dirt into your sluice box, and give it plenty of time to completely work its way down the sluice.
Now for the hard part. You have to decide when your sluice box is ready to be cleaned up. Hopefully it has trapped plenty of gold for you. Make sure that you pick up your sluice box gently, and look for any nuggets that may be on top.
The rest of the clean up will really depend on what sluice box you own, but just remember this. Clean out all of your sluice box into a tub. All of this material that comes out of the sluice box and into your tub is called concentrates. Do you have any idea why it is called concentrates? It is called concentrates because this material is concentrated with gold, and there is one thing that is for certain. You will never find any gold sitting in your house. You have to get out there, and put your sluice box to work.