Beginner’s Guide to The Gold Sluice Box


Have you ever tried panning for gold?… If you have, great!

But have you ever wondered what is a gold faucet and a faucet box? And how can this simple and easy tool help you improve your gold panning experience?

In this jam-packed article I will answer this question and hopefully answer a few more questions that you may not have thought of yet. I have written this article with the express purpose of helping any beginning gold prospector, or any of you who want to know about the gold lock.

What does lock mean?

The term ‘lock’ means to regulate the water or create an artificial watercourse. It can also be described as the act of rinsing a spot. Simply put, the use of a gate is a way to stop the flow of water by the act of rinsing material (dirt) that passes through the course of the gate.

Therefore, the gate is designed to rinse out the dirt to extract gold from the chosen prospecting location.

What is a lock box?

A gate box is a general term used for a device that can enter or exit a river to assist the prospector in processing gold from the earth that passes through the gate.

Through the act of placing soil from their excavations into the gate, the prospector is able to flush the dirt through the gate allowing the gold to be captured if it is there.

Some other names for a box of gates are gate of gold, gate, and box of gold gates.

The sluice box is a long metal box with a ¾ open end (usually made of aluminum) or a hard plastic box that is placed in a river. The gate box is ‘U’ shaped much like a large gutter tube with a wider opening at one end much like a flat funnel shape (where dirt gets in) and then terminated with a straight ‘U’ gutter. U’ or ‘ end of tray’.

Three (3) more ingredients are needed for a gate to work. First, there are little ridges inside the straight pan end of the gate box called riffles.

Second, the next component is the mat material under the riffles that captures the gold for further processing, and the third part is a metal mesh that sits between the riffles and the mat.

1. The rapids: These are designed to create an interruption in the flow of water that allows gold to settle behind the rapids. (I’ll discuss riffles in another article at a later date.) However, to make this gating introduction easy, all you need to know at this point is that a gating needs the rapids in order for the gating box to work.

2. The Mat – The mat under the riffles is designed to help capture gold once it has fallen off after going over the riffles. This can be made from a number of different products, whether it be plastic, rubber, or carpet-like mats.

3. The Wire Mesh – This is very similar to the aluminum mesh of the screen door which keeps the matting material under the riffles, but also allows for more water disruption allowing gold to be captured.

Gate size and dimensions

The following figures are general approximations relating only to manual OR ‘on river’ locks that you would carry and place on the river course.

LENGTH – 1000mm (40 inches)

WIDTH – 250mm wide (10 inches)

HEIGHT – Tray height 100 mm (4 inches) high

Types of Locks

There are also different categories of Gold Sluice, and each of them describes its different function and action, such as:

– Manual or (river) lock

– High Banker or a ‘Power sluice’

So what golden lock is it for me?

So which do you choose? Well, this answer has many parts.

For beginning gold prospectors, I would suggest using a manual or river lock box to challenge yourself with operating the gold lock. They really aren’t that difficult of a gizmo, but setting it up just the way you like it and for good gold recovery are all part of the learning experience of gold prospecting.

For gold prospectors considering the latter type of energy or ‘high bank’ gold sluice, I suggest they speak to several specialist prospecting clubs and gold prospecting supply shops before taking this step, as it involves more technical knowledge related to the set. -up, bombs, and the different systems used for these beasts. In addition, the cost of the ‘high banker’ is quite high compared to the manual gold gate.

Now, as just mentioned, the second part of choosing a gate box is the cost. The cost of a manual gate can range from $60 and then up to $500 for a two-tier system, depending on the brand and configuration. With high-banker or power gate boxes, the cost can range from $800 to $3000.00 depending on the size of the system.

What are the benefits of each type of gate?

Manual Airlock Lightweight, usually easy to transport and put on the river, usually taking up less space than the power lockbox.

power slider Ability to be installed away from the river, it can be installed closer to a dry river bed source and process the dirt without having to carry it to the river lock.

What are the negative aspects of the sluice box type?

Manual Sluice – Make sure you adjust the gradient to get the right flow rate to capture the gold, having to carry the dirt to the stream where the sluice is for processing, and having to move the sluice if too much if the sluice material builds up. , and the height of the lock will be on the river instead of loading on a two-level system.

Power Sluice: cost, storage, space it takes up, and technical skill.

What’s the lesson with gate boxes?

All of the negatives of these two systems can be overcome quite easily, and it is up to your individual prospector skill, ability, and determination which will help overcome them and give you a bigger boost in your take-home gold.

Brilliant! But where is the gold?

With any good system, there is always an end to the process, and this is no different with the use of an airlock. It is the cleaning process at the end of your channeling work that the gold is recovered from the channeling box. The final product is then filtered into their gold trays, and hopefully the spoils of their labor will be revealed.

I will expand more on this lock article in another couple of posts in the near future. I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to helping you on your way to a fantastic future of gold prospecting.