I’m pretty new to this little community of gold diggers, and I’ve only been shaking the pan for a short while. But recently, I’ve been looking at getting a little river sluice. After doing some research on the interweb, I’ve kinda sold myself on getting a fluid bed type design (High throughput, no classification and easy clean up). I’ve looked at Bazooka and Croc Gold Traps, but none of these guys seem to be making them any more. Makes me wonder if they are as good as people say, or whether they were just too expensive to produce.
This has lead me to decide to design my own fluid bed sluice based on the same principal. The big difference is that this will be an all aluminium design with stainless steel grizzly bars (I’m a metal fabricator by trade and there is too much plastic in the world already). The grizzly bars are different to previous designs and should create a low pressure behind them to allow the fines to drop down into the trap.
The design I have has a 10" inlet, 6" outlet, 7" trap, 30" long and weighs 3.5kgs.
So, my question to you guys and gals is,
Are fluid bed sluices any good?
Does any one have a claim that I could do some field tests on, especially somewhere with fines? (I’m not interested in keeping the yellow stuff I get. Just want to prove the concept.)
If I do a production run of these, who would be interested?
I’m based in Christchurch, but I do often get down to Alexandra.
I would love to hear your feedback on this, good or bad.
Theyre a gimmick hence why no one sells them.
Everyone tries to reinvent the wheel to make a quick buck from the gullable, special sluices, mats etc. 99% of the issues with gold recovery is to do with the idiot searching for it/ feeding the sluice and not the actual box itself.
Good for you man. Thats a nice tidy job. Some folks love 'em, some dont. Try a bucket of sandy gravel with about 10 shotgun pellets. If it catches them, it should catch gold. Good luck.
I like the idea and have heard good things about them, but I haven’t played with a sluicebox in years else I’d been keen!
You’re more than welcome to join me on my claim next time I’m over there if you want to test it out. I’m also Chch based.
I have a fair few hours on a Bazooka, looks similar to this, while I was working my way up to dredging. So I have first hand knowledge. I looked at one because running hand sluices, you are normally needing to classify, by hand, the material, before running it through the sluice sitting in the river. That limits production. With these you just shovel away.
I have read a few people scoffing at them. No offense but I’d tell them to actually try one and think about it. The science is pretty sound and they do work I assure you. The best way to think about these is as just a classifying machine (yeah I know that in a sense all sluices are classifiers, but think about it).
It needs to be run correctly like any system. Tips…
- the tubes in the lower layer need to get enough water flow to ensure the catching box keeps material loose. The tubes need to be unblocked and have enough holes etc. Every hour or so check that catching box material is still loose.
- you need to shovel dump the material reasonably aggressively so it breaks up before it hits the grizzlies
- If you get the water flow right, genuine nuggys tend to just sit down on it, they dont get washed over the top, but keep your eyes open for them. I have got nuggys over a gram on mine. You wont lose big bits unless its set up badly or you dont break up the material going into it.
- If you get the water flow right - you can see the gold against the black bottom as it moves down and you have a sense of how rich the material is you are running. Dump the material in and the heavies drop to the bottom as they flow down - when you see it work you’ll know what I mean.
Do they lose gold? All sluices lose some. But I have panned tailings and never found anything. Even if someone said they lose some gold, the amount of extra material you run would offset that easily!
I’d bet anyone here, that shoveling unclassified material into a fluid bed classifier like this, you’ll get more gold at the end of the day than any other hand other hand operated sluice where you need to classify material in before running it. You can just run so much more material through it. If you can set it up next to the material you want to run, you just shovel away - beats the %*#! out of hand classifying!
Thanks for the offer. Really appreciated. I sure it will catch gold, just really want to see how it goes with the small stuff.
Thanks for the feedback. You’re right about the science. The trick will be getting the stratification right in the trap. I will test a few different tubes in the trap with different hole patterns. I’ve heard too much agitation can blow the gold out and with too little, it will not stratify correctly.
I do intend to catch the tailings in a tub and pan them off to check for loses. But as you said, being able to throw more dirt through it would easily outset any loses.
This is what I built last year and have a lot of success. Have put a pan on the outlet side to see if if their is any loss and their is minimal loss.
It is 450 long and 200 wide at the inlet, tubes have 4mm holes on an angle 9 per side so 18 holes per tube which is 22mm dia.
I am constructing new one where the fluid bed box only is removable, with slightly bigger dimesions
Would be keen to try one what’s the money
Hi Pilbara, I would love to build one for you , parts wouldn’t be much but the way I build things the labour cost would be about $1,000,000.00
Thanks mate can afford a bottle of red wine and the $1 not sure about all the 0000 though lol
Yeah, I was thinking about $1 million also. I better come up with a better price.
If I knock up 10 of these sluice boxes, the price will be between $300 - $350 each. I’m looking at getting them anodised black to make the surface a bit more hard wearing and I’m drawing up a frame that could be left in the water when emptying the sluice. Lift the sluice out of the frame, empty it and drop the sluice back in the frame and no leveling back up. More time to throw dirt at it.
If you can produce this for that money I’m in I have killed every proclaimed deter and sluice I think I should find a new job like maybe saving kitten’s!
We just had six months down central way, me using a conventional sluice and my wife uses a small bazooka,amazes me what she gets in it, these things don’t miss a bit of gold. Look forward to seeing your results
I have been using one for 2 years now which I made my self. I used punched plate on mine which is about 250 mm long . I also bent it so the material has to travel up hill for about 50 mm then flattens out. the best thing is no more classifying just shovel straight into the sluice. Easy to check if you are on a pay streak by pulling the box and panning it. would never go back to a normal sluice.
I would be interested to have a look and possible purchase .
Rangiora based 0279489717
Thanks for your interest. I haven’t managed to get out to do any testing yet. I want to make sure that these things are going to catch the smaller stuff first before I start production. I don’t want to sell a product that doesn’t work properly.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out in the next month. Although frostbite is a concern this time of year
I’ll keep this post updated as I progress.
One thing I do know of for sure is that no matter what type of sluice box you use the gold has to be there in the first place. What is most important is getting the sluice box set up correctly in the first place with the right amount of flow & angle.
Hey Gavin, I’m hoping to have the first prototype made up by this weekend. I’d be keen to take you up on your offer. I’ll PM you.
just wondering how you got on with this project? im keen to try one as gettig sick of classifying as my back doesnt like it much