Floating sluice

OregonJim
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:32 am

OregonJim
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Thu May 02, 2019 2:52 am

My anticipation is growing each day as prospecting time approaches. I THINK my floating sluice is ready to go. Sometime in the next couple of days I'll assemble it out in the back yard to see if the legs will adjust and support the weight as I hope it will. The test that concerns me most is the stability of the legs. Their mounts are not anywhere near as strong as I'd like them to be, but I had to use what was on hand. Because the unit will be roped and anchored, the legs won't need to deal with much weight or strain to make the sluice stable, and I won't be working in any deep water. It should be fine... I hope!

If the pontoons and sluice can be made stable the concern then moves onto gold recovery and the efficiency of the sluice. The overall length of my sluice is eighty inches. That is fifteen inches of flare and sixty-five inches of mat material. The width of the sluice is ten inches. Is the sluice too long? Will the river provide enough flow across my mats to make them effective? Will I be able to adjust the sluice depth and angle in the water adequately? Frankly, I just don't know and won't know until the unit is sitting in the river. I have stared at it for endless hours pondering every imaginable scenario. Really... how hard can it be to set up a sluice box? I'll find out at the end of the month. I will have to stand in the river to feed the sluice because my platform is not big enough to sit on, but I don't mind getting wet. I'll figure out some system to make it work.

I'd like to camp at the Sluice Box claim at the end of this month in my RV, but I have never been there before and don't know about the camping area, so I'd sure appreciate any information about the site you can provide. I have looked it over with Google Earth and it looks like there is plenty of room. If you have any tips or advice, I'd sure love to hear it. I hate surprises. It sure looks like a good place to test my unit. If you are in the area while I am there, please come by to visit. It should be fun, but it could be funny too! I hope to see you there.

Is Grayback Road open going over the mountain pass?
Joe.S.AK
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by Joe.S.AK » Thu May 02, 2019 5:01 pm

OJ,

The traditional thinking for retaining adjustable legs is to have a square, fixed, outer surround with an inner leg, (round, square, hollow or solid) which slides inside it. To hold the inner leg at the arrived upon length a pinch bolt nut is welded in place over a bored hole in one of the flat outer faces and a bolt is tightened through the nut, the surround and onto the inner leg. Pretty much as we all have seen done for a long time.

There is a problem with this system. The problem is that the inside leg must, of course, be a little undersized to slide within the outer surround and when the pinch bolt is tightened down there is unavoidable, lateral movement in one plane. A "Wiggle Factor" which makes the entire highbanker less than stable in one direction. True, the main factor of a firmly adjusted length is achieved but the entire highbanker "Wobbles" slightly with each shovel full of material.

I once saw a slightly different set-up which fully maintained the leg length adjustment aspect of this system while, at the same time, was rock solid.

The simple change was to take the pinch bolt hole and nut and relocate it to the corner of the square surround. The surround hole, the welded on nut and the pinch bolt were all mounted on the diagonal (and not on the flat face).

By relocating the pinch bolt to the outside of the surround corner and with the direction of pinch on the diagonal, the resulting pinch action not only retained length but also was also used to pressure the center leg into the opposite inside angle of the surround. Secure for length with no wiggle.

By simply relocating the same pinch bolt "stuff" from the outside flat side to a corner and from flat pressure to diagonal pressure two separate and beneficial effects were achieved - especially for round stock legs.

A better mouse trap with no additional trouble or expense.

Not my idea - but a good one.

Joe
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Thu May 02, 2019 5:21 pm

That is a good idea. In my next re-design I will keep that in mind. I am using 3/4" galvanized pipe for my legs along with the sliding parts of pipe clamps (the type used by woodworkers to clamp pieces of wood while gluing) as the adjusters for height. There will be "wiggle room" as you described in my design, but hopefully not too much.

Thank you for your suggestion!
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by delnorter » Thu May 02, 2019 7:25 pm

No, Grayback is still snowed in. Maybe a couple weeks or so more.
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by Jim_Alaska » Fri May 03, 2019 5:36 am

Jim, there is almost always plenty of room at Sluice box. I have never seen it what I would call crowded, maybe three rigs at max.

There is also an RV park, grocery and restaurant at Seiad, which is close by Sluice box.
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OregonJim
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Fri May 03, 2019 1:41 pm

Thank you Jim! I have almost always camped at Savage Rapids, but had never been to the Sluice Box claim. I think I'll be there at the end of the month to try out my unit and will stay about a week if it works as planned. I'll see you all then!
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Sat May 04, 2019 8:55 pm

Well, here it is; a pretty simple sluice on pontoons. If I can manage to get it anchored solid it should catch gold. I made a short video to show what I have done. The video doesn't show the leg adjustments well or the adjustments to set the sluice depth in the water, but then I guess I just suck at making videos. Also I forgot the name of some of the mats I am using; Gold Hog scrubber mats. I sure hope it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AB86N3oAIU
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by OregonJim » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:37 pm

It works! Yippee!!!!! I made a short visit to the Sluice Box claim and was able to set up my sluice and operate it for a couple of days before returning home. The river level was high and the water fast, so I did not stay long, nor did I recover much gold, but didn't expect to. I though the river current would be strong enough that I could classify material to 1/2 inch, but it was not. It was necessary to classify down to 1/4 inch mesh. A 1/8 mesh might have been better, but I feared screening away any larger flakes. As I suspected, the mounts I made for the legs were indeed flimsy, but held well all the time I was using the sluice. Unfortunately I broke one corner off when pulling the unit from the river, but that was okay because I planned to make it better anyway. Overall I am calling my visit a big success. The ability to float my sluice out to where the water current was fast gave me a big advantage over other stream sluices allowing me to work when others could not. It isn't nearly as efficient as a dredge or highbanker, but it was soooooo much better than just panning or fighting a small sluice in a rough river. I had a great time. By the way, the water is still pretty cool, but not unbearably cold. It is still dangerous, so be careful out there and have loads of fun. I will be back later this summer. My sluice is adjusted out of the water in the photo so that I could remove the mats and leave the sluice overnight. I was able to lower the sluice into the water when it was in use without lowering the pontoons into the water. that made the sluice much more stable. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ldZndM ... sp=sharing
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Re: Floating sluice

Post by Jim_Alaska » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Glad you made it down here Jim. sorry I missed you at the claim, I was swamped with "honey do's".

Thanks for posting the photo, it looks like a nice setup. The classification problem you ran into is common for a sluice that is in the water, rather than above the water. The addition of gravity when the sluice is above the water is of great help.

I am sure you will be happy with your setup once you get it tuned in and more comfortable with using it.
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