Sluicing for Gold – Set up & Operation

Sluicing for Gold – Set up & Operation

And my pan now, what I’m going to do is, I’m going you down to that stinking river I was telling you about, it’s got a little bit of gold in there, don’t ask me where it’s at, because I’m not going to tell you. I’m going to show you the proper way to set up this sluice box, do some clean up and get some gold, so come on, let’s go.

Ok, so, what do we got. Alright now, if you going to be using a sluice box, what’s the first thing you got to do? That’s right! Grab a sluice box. This is a key 852- I love these things. Ah yea they’re a little big and they don’t fold down but I been using these type for years. Now I know they make all different type of ones that fold in and they’re collapsible. But I really like this one, it does a good job – it’s got good flow on it. So, next what you going to need? You going to need 5 gallon bucket. Now I see guys doing it without a 5 gallon bucket, but trust me, this makes a whole lot easier. Now, inside the 5 gallon bucket you going to be needing all your prospecting tools and what do I got? I got me a little pick hammer.

You got to have a spoon I’m telling you. A little trial, a little digging tool, this is a nail remover that I got at Lowes, it’s great for crave sing- digging in there and speaking of traversing, I got my traversing tool with the little spoon on the end and I got my Phillip screw driver to down in the little cracks between the rocks cause remember what I told yah ” Ain’t no gold like bedrock gold”, and of course you got to have one of these- stuffer bottle that way you get the gold out of there – got to have one of those.

So, got my 5 gallon bucket, now I got my classifier- I’m using a number four today. Cause remember if you going to be using a sluice box you got to go ahead and classify your material down before you dump it in there so you need one of those. And of course my favourite! This is the (Unclear 3:05) super sluice I don’t go anywhere without it- I use this for everything and you should too. Alright, so I’m a take you down to the creek and I’m a show you how to set this up properly, So Come on! Let’s Go!

Alright so, the first thing you want to do is you want to find a spot in your creek or your river, where the water is flowing good but not too fast. Now here you see I got this edge right here that would be good for prospecting right there. But I’m going to go up here to where it widens out and it got a nice flat base where I can stick this on. Also, you going to need one of these big flat stone. Now the reason why is cause you going to put that flat stone over your sluice box just like that and what’s that going to do is, it’s going to stop your sluice box from floating down the river with all your gold! And that isn’t no good! So we’re going to go up the creek here and find a nice flat spot, set it all up then I show you what to do next, so come on! Let’s go!

Alright, so this looks like a good place right here nice and wide the river’s not too turbulent, the creek- and it’s a little deep right here, so I’m going to have to put some rocks in there so I can put my sluice box on it to bring it up out of the water just a little bit. What we going to do is, as you can see I’ve put some rocks in there already I’m going to try and level that out and put my sluice box on top- like that. Ok. Get that big ‘ole flat rock- see how that water wants to take that downstream, you got to put that flat rock on top of it like that- it keeps it from going downstream and lose all your gold. Ok now, I’m going to go ahead and level this up. Now, the rules of thumb on the sluice box is that the sluice box should have a one inch drop for every foot of sluice and that will create a proper flow now as far as the amount of water on top I see some guys run it a foot under water and it still works for them. Me? I like to have mine with about half way sticking up out of the water – gives me a nice flow over the top of those rifles.

Ok now, what you can do, a lot of time I see guys do this and it helps a lot. You can build up a small dam on both sides of your sluice box. Now, what that does, is that it increase the amount of water flow through your sluice box so you have higher pressure and you’ll know- trust me- when you go in to dump that dirt in and it just sits there, your pressure is not high enough. So you can put rocks and dirt on both sides of your sluice box and force that water in like a giant funnel. Now I got good water flow here so I’m happy with just this one wing. So I’m going to go ahead and sample some dirt and put it in there and see if we got any. So come one let’s go!

Yea, that’s what I’m talking about, if you look right here you can see I got all this nasty old dirt, I got gravel stone and I got hardpan. Now the gold that’s in this creek is probably washed out here and you can see all these layers of gravel. Now what I’m going to do is, the best place to dig is with this gravel here meets the hardpan, cause gold ain’t going to go any further below, so you got to worry about this lower level here and that’s what we are going to do.

Ok that looks like about just as much as I want, so what we’re going to do is- I’m going to take this bucket back to the sluice box. I don’t think I’m going to have to classify it but I’m going to do it anyway just to make sure it doesn’t clog up my sluice box and see if we got any gold out here. I’m pretty sure we did cause that’s all hardpan and all that loose gravel on top- that’s where gold is going to be. So I’m going to take it back, run it through and get some gold. So come on! Let’s go! Man that’s heavy!

Alright. Now, whenever you’re digging up gravels it’s best to put the classifier on top and then run the gravels through if you can’t do that, you can put your classifier on top your geared*7:59 super sluice and when you get your bucket out from wherever it is, you can run your material like so. Then you can classify right into your gold pan. Now, the reason is I didn’t use this before is because most of this material is small enough it where it’s not going to get caught up in my sluice box and cause much problem but for the most part you but that classifier on top of it and it gets all that big rock out of there so. We’re going to go back down to the creek and we are going to dump this in one spoon at a time and see what comes out, so come on let’s go.

Now you got your bucket of pre-screen earth or small very fine sand inside of your bucket. Now what you can do is set up a little bucket to sit on and get your little scoop and scoop it in nice and slow give that water a chance to do its job just like that. you don’t want to pour too fast cause if you do you are going to clog that thing up and those rifles- they’re going to load and up and they won’t have a chance to do their job. so I’m just going to gently load this in like such now if I got any big gold, it’s going to pop out on this rubber mat and I’ll see it right away that’s why I put my rock right down from the rubber mat so I can take a peek inside and see if I got anything right away. Now come here take a look at this, you see where some of these little specks of gold are starting to come out under the mat. I don’t know if you can see that. I got 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12- bout 13 colours in there that’s beautiful, I don’t know if you can see that. Oh yea, look at all that colour in there, that’s what I’m talking about, yea. You see all the black sand building up in there? That’s mostly magnetite which is iron you got a little hematite in there too. so I’m going to go ahead and slowly spoon this whole thing in and then what am I do is after I do this then imma show you how to do a clean-up and then that’s hopefully when we get the real gold. So come on! Let’s go!

Ok, now, what we are going to do it, we are going to take the rock off the sluice box, now be careful cause that water, is going to try and push it down stream and if you got any gold, it’s in your sluice- you don’t want to lose that, so what you going to do, is you going to put your foot at the very end of the sluice box like this and then you’re going to lift up on that rock like that. That way your sluice don’t drive down the river. Put your rock off to the side see how my sluice box wash up out of the river. See that. then you’re going to take it up like that don’t tilt it forward or backward too much cause then you might lose some gold, then you’re going to take it to a nice flat spot, and I’ll show you what to do next.

So the first thing you’re going to do is sit the sluice box off to the side don’t let it get away from you now, you’re going to take your sampling bucket, put some water in it. Set that off to the side too that way you don’t want it floating away. Ok, now be careful with that sluice box don’t let it go the opposite direction because your gold can just flow right out the other end. So what you’re going to do is, you’re going to is gently take the rifles out, you got a clamp on this side, you got a clamp on this side – just like that- see that? You going to take your rifles out, be gentle with that, and put it in your bucket like that. Now you’re going to get your gold pan and you going to get some water in and you’re going to use that and wash off your sluice box just like that. Do the head first, turn it upside down and you’re going to do the tailpiece second- reason why is because if there’s any gold it will be trapped here in the first riffle not down on the other end.

Gold will always drop off in the first inches of your sluice box; maybe the first 3-6 inches and then it will taper out, so most of your gold will be in first third of the box, scoot your box into threes, most of your gold will be in third of the box. With he is washed, set him aside. Next, you’re going to set your expanded metal- this is the head this is the tail, put the head in first always wash the head first, get some good water, wash him, just like a washing machine, flip him upside down- same thing. Make sure there’s nothing left on him- throw him to the side. Next, you’re going to do the carpet. What you’re going to do is take the carpet from the back of the box like this and you’re going to gently roll it up like a big burrito and you going to keep that steady, and you’re going to put that burrito inside your bucket, just like that see that careful with that cause if you got any gold in that carpet you don’t to lose it. – Now you are going to act like a washing machine.

Up and down, round and round, where it stops? Nobody knows! When you think you’re done take your carpet, flip it inside out like this. See that that’s where the pleats are that’s the side that’s in your box you’re going to put that in and you’re going to do one of these numbers just like that – like you doing your laundry, heck I might do mine today too! That opens them pleats up get them little fine gold out of there. Ok, inspect that make sure there is nothing stuck in there. aright now the sluice box itself, you got to be careful cause remember those big chunky pieces of gold, is sitting up there in that rubber mat. Now ever so gentle you’re going to take your sluice box, and but it inside your bucket just like that. See that? And then you’re going to get some water out of your river our creek and you’re going to run some water over is just like that.

See that? So you going to get those gold that may be stuck there in the rubber part, remember matte. Just like that, make sure that box is in that bucket cause if it isn’t, guess what? You just lost todays work. There you go, that’s a clean sluice box. ok so we got concentrates in this bucket, I’m going to show you what to do next, I already think you know what I’m going to do but we are going to do it anyway. So come one let’s go!

Dump some of that water off, be careful now, you don’t want to dump your concentrates out, Alright, now what I’m doing is I’m going to set that there. Now, remember what I told you, screen down your concentrates it will make planning a whole lot easier and that’s what we are going to do. Aright, I got my number four. But you can use a number ten, depending on how small that gold is in the area you are working, so I’m going to put that over my gold pan just like that. I got my snuffer bottle ready, because I told you, you can’t get the gold out unless it’s chunky and you have a snuffer bottle, not a sniffer bottle. We’ll put him right there. OK, round and round they go like a washing machine, dump them out over that- just like that. Get some more water- just like that. And yes you’re going to get wet. Look at all that black sand. I just know I got gold out of this one. Ok, you want to make sure that whole bucket is clean. Look at that- nothing in my bucket, nothing in my brain.

Ok, screen that down on top of your gold pan- make sure it’s sitting on your gold pan. now, what you are going to do- a lot of people don’t do this and they throw the gold away – look inside that screen, and if there is gold trust me it will stick out like a sore thumb. It will say “come and get me, come and get me” I don’t see no gold in there but I’m going to check him out later. So I’ll put him off to the side. Alright, put your bucket on the side, don’t let it float away, I’ve seen too many guys just stick it in the river or the creek and away it goes.

Ok, I got a whole day’s worth of work right here in the pan. so what I’m going to do is take this- this is called your concentrate or your cons depending on who you talk to, you are going to take it over to the creek, a nice place where there is not a lot of current and you are going to pan it out that’s what I’m going to do right here – I’m going to pan that out. nice and gentle, round and round, side to side, nice and gentle if you are using a good super sluice trust me you aren’t going to lose any gold. Stratify that material gently I can see a ton of black sand in there -tons of it. Try to find that material, back and forth, nice and easy don’t get all crazy with it ok that’s about as far down as I want to go

Ok let me see if I have any. See all that black sand I was talking about? There’s ton of it in there- see that?

What is that? I don’t think that’s gold. That isn’t gold, I hope I got gold. Come one now! I see a piece, oh yea there’s some more, oh I can’t wait I got to shake it down. Look at that! That what I’m talking about! Look at that- that’s the mother lode baby! That’s some gold. Oh I tell you want, nobody has got gold like California. Look at that, that’s my finger right there so you can see the comparison. Oh man I’m going back to that spot, I’ll be working that for about a week. On now be gently with your pan, what you are going to do now is you are going to take your snuffer bottle and you are going to tap that gold to the front. Oh that’s so nice.

Man that’s nice. Ok now I tapped it to the front- using that tapping action, I’ll do it again. Ok now what that does- look at that. Isn’t that pretty. Ok you take your snuffer bottle and you run that water to the front like such. use that snuffer bottle push in on it and create a vacuum- now watch- I’m going to suck all that gold up, all that beautiful gold, then you pushed the air out by squeezing it and push in see that, all the golds gone out of my pan and its inside my snuffer bottle don’t lose your snuffer bottle. ok I’m going to go over that again and see if I got any fines I got a couple fines in there I’m going to tap that there, squeeze, don’t worry the gold isn’t coming out it’s got a trap in the end that keeps the gold from coming out.

That’s what I’m talking about. I love gold. I’m going to put this in my bucket and I’m going to go back through that black sands again cause there can be some really fine gold in there. Maybe something I missed. I’m ready to go to town and get me something to eat, I don’t know about you, but mining make an old man out of you real fast.

Well I hope you enjoyed today’s episode of mining in the mother lode country. If you like todays episode please rate, share and subscribe. That has always leave me a (22:14 unclear) by the way I don’t know where Slim’s at. I bet you he’s hiding back there behind the rock somewhere, just waiting to thump me on the head and get me gold. So anyway until next time, this is Jeff Williams (22:26 unclear) Say, sluice box got you stumped and you’re not really sure what to do, follow my simple steps and you’ll have AU too. Take care everybody.