Mat for diy sluice

Hi all, I`am building a small Sluice approx 150 mm w x 700 mm L, I was just going to use 2.8 mm V matting, perhap 150 mm smooth and V mat the balance. Any thoughts, on a budget.

Sheep according to the greeks… Fleece as Gold Mining - Jason and the Argonauts What’s a sheep worth?

Mitre 10 has carpet that works great in my highbanker will only cost you about $20 and do 2 or 3

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Just brought some nice looking matting from para rubber looks like it will do the job

Sweet will go see them, Thanks

For forty years we used old throw away coir door matting and found it as good as ever. Free and effective. Of course everyone seems to think today that to look ‘professional’ you have to go the commercial way. I still have rolls of old coir matting which l had kept ‘just in case’ then one day you wake up and it’s too late. I have been gold mining for years but never needed to use miners moss or modern commercial material and all the gold used to be in the top end of the box. Times have changed.


Hi there, Are you going to make/use any form of riffles on top or just rely on the ribbed matting? What are your thoughts on a budget? The internet is your friend on sourcing what you need. Or go to your local rubbish transfer station. you may get it for nothing.

This is a little homemade sluice that I knocked together. I used astro turf carpet for the matting with an expanded metal mesh between the carpet & the riffles. You don’t really need the mesh. “V” ribbed rubber mat at the head of the box which was more just an indicator of gold going into your box. As the ribbed mat would capture smaller particles of gold & the colour of gold on black really stands out. If your water flow isn’t too aggressive then the particles of gold would just hang up in that ribbed mat.

sluice sucker 006

Ribbed matting

Expanded mesh

Ended up making a flare that was detachable & fitted sideways in the box for easier back packing. The sluice box itself was 900 long by 230 wide. The flare added another 250.

In action

Sluice box dimensions for cutting & folding

Flare dimensions for cutting & folding.

Oppssss…got a bit carried away.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


Nice drawings JW…well I’ll add my 2 cents worth…we have been making up stream sluices for the up coming season(see photo)using dream matts!
Why?..because as JW pointed out when prospecting in a stream you need to be constantly sampling the area your digging…which means constantly checking the matts to see if your on the gold…dream matts you can see straight away if your on it…it deals great with black sand and matt clean ups take seconds to get in the pan…cheers Mal


I made my own a couple years ago. used deep V for the whole mat as the whole roll just fit it and i can slide it all out really easily.
Im still not happy with the riffles but i dont have access to a welder to make nice ones like JW’s.
it sure does the job catching the gold, one thing that could be improves is the mechanism to hold down the leading edge of V- matting.
Also would recommend a flare if you have the time/money/knowhow to make one but my outfolding does the trick in reasonable flow


I like it. I think some modern bright spark made up the idea of a flare and it does work well especially i low water flow. I wonder why the old timers never thought of adding a flare to the front.

For many years I used a glass bottom box to search out crevices and got ‘some’ gold and when I told a depression miner how much he expressed surprise and stated that he could not understand how he never thought of using a glass bottom box for gold mining as it would have made things so much easier for them where they were and especially considering that he used one for floundering in Hoopers Inlet on the Otago Peninsula.

I am surprised that some of the old miners never thought of these innovations.


its a beautiful thang JW, the only thing I can suggest which I built into the riffle design was using the golden ratio for riffle height to riffle spacing. This is a very natural ratio that mother nature uses for almost everything, and I believe it gives superior results.

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It seems that 150mm space @ 10mm high catches a higher percentage, with parameters of course.?

Have been getting lost in this interesting equation myself.

Sometimes I go a bit overboard with my flare…:thinking:

You certainly have a flare for making sluice boxes! in a shallow slow moving stream I think it might be ideal as it could channel the water and quicken the flow in the box should that be necessary.

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Hi there; V matting! Is that the same stuff as one gets in car wells?

In my early days I was given a tin sluice box by G. Stewart of Bannockburn. I was homeless at the time and went to the dump and cut up a piece of carpet to suit. I found an old piece of dope growers wire netting which I folded many times and jammed into place. The many many riffles it formed were / are the best thing since sliced bread. Cost ? “0 $'s” I still have it.


i found the best is purchased from Parra rubber , it call vintage running board matting. its used on the running boards of old cars.


Hi Dave. I have to admit I am more a fan of slower flow down the box to improve the finer gold recovery. Hence I didn’t make the riffles very high & I generally classify the material to -10mm so that the gentle flow of water down the box can still do its job without having to man handle the larger rocks & stones out from between the riffles. In the Coromandel a lot of the little creeks I played in I had to get every bit of water down the box, & often that wasn’t very much. As you will see in photos in an earlier post of mine in this thread. I do have different spaced & height riffles that I can swap out in my box. Just depends on the material & size & weight of gold. But generally I just stick to what I showed in the above pic as the box isn’t very big in the first place & faster water requires a longer bigger box with the appropriate sized & spaced riffles. Like in my 4" dredge box. They are quite a bit bigger & spaced a lot closer together.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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I use a base fine ribbed mat (Para Rubber) the length of the sluice. I bought PVC bath mat offcuts with holes about 5mm over the top held down by riffles.

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Now thats great.

Love the diy and so well done

This is my version made in the bush with a HACKSAW BLADE