If you have trouble with your sluice floating or being able to keep it where you want it in the stream, you may want to redesign it.
If you have ever used a fishing lure with a duckbill on it and reeled it through the water, you will have noticed that the faster you retrieve it, the deeper it would dive. Lowering the lip or plate on a sluice 20 degrees works the same way. All you have to do is pick the spot you want in the stream and drop your sluice. It will suck right to the bottom and you're in business! (If you don't have a lip or plate on the front of your sluice, it is easy to build one.)
There also are a couple of modifications having to do with ribbed rubber matting and Miners Moss that you will find extremely advantageous for trapping more fine gold and making it much easier and quicker to clean up later.
Should your sluice not have a riffle screen, there is a helpful hint to rememdy that situation, too!
Materials and Equipment
- For a flat sluice, pop rivets, pop rivet washers, and pop rivet tools.
- For a flat sluice, aluminum pieces to cover side cuts (cut to shape).
- For a flat sluice, a protractor.
- For a sluice without screening, some extruded aluminum screen mesh (see below).
- Ribbed rubber matting.
- RTV waterproof silicone glue.
- Blue Miners Moss.
For those sluices that do not have a riple screen below the riffle bar, you might be able to find an old pet guard for a screen door (or purchase something similar from your local hardware or building supply store), and cut out a piece of the extruded aluminum mesh for a ripple plate to place on top of the Miners Moss.
- Remove the riffles, riffle screen, and rug that came with your sluice.
- For a flat sluice, cut the side pieces at the point where the flare begins (see diagram).
- Bend the flare down at a 20-degree angle, checking it with a protractor.
- Cut two pieces of aluminum to fit over the cuts (see diagram) and pop rivet into place, using pop rivet washers, with the rivet heads on the outside.
- Take a good piece of ribbed rubber mat, cut it to the exact inside dimensions of your sluice, and glue the cut mat to the bottom.
- Replace the rug with blue Miners Moss, cut to size from the first riffle to the end of the sluice.
- Cover the Miners Moss with the extruded aluminum screen.
- Replace the riffles.
The Miners Moss will collect and hold more gold and black sand than the rug material that may have come with your sluice and won't clog up nearly as fast as the rug can. The ribbed rubber mat will hold the gold and black sand from sliding out of the sluice, yet it cleans up very easily. The riffle screen creates more eddies, which allows more fine gold to settle out.
This sluice modification was designed and tested by mechanical design engineer Chuck Cummins. For further information, contact Chuck Cummins at Scientific Engineering, 31013 Weld County Rd. 17, Windsor, CO. 80550. Telephone: 970-686-2238. E-mail: email@example.com.