Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What is a riffle and how do they work?

Story is from our friends at goldfeverprospecting.com

What is a Sluice Box? Sluicing for gold

A sluice box is like a long tray which is open at both ends. Most will have riffles, spaced evenly along the length of the sluice, usually every few inches, perpendicular to the length of the sluice. Riffles cause small barriers to the water flow which creates eddies in the water, giving the heavier material (black sand and gold) a chance to drop to the bottom, behind the riffles. The "upstream" end of the sluice can also have a flare to aid in increased water flow.

The sluice is usually placed in a creek or river and can be held in place by larger rocks, packed in against the sides or one large flat rock on top. The slope or angle of the sluice can be adjusted, by arranging rocks under the sluice. Also the flow of water can be adjusted by placing a large rock in front of the intake end of the sluice, to divert some of the water around the box. You have to adjust these variables several times until you get the material moving through the box at the correct speed leaving just the black sand in the riffles.

When you're ready to stet processing material, drop in material at the upstream end of the sluice. As material piles up at the downstream end, you will have to clear it once in a while, or just move the sluice slowly upstream, as you work the material.

What you will notice when first starting is the riffles will appear to fill up with lighter material. But over time this lighter material will slowly migrate down the box and finally exit out the end of the sluice, washing out from behind one riffle, and then the next. During the flow, as heavier material comes through, it also settles behind the riffles, and as lighter material migrates, the heavier stuff settles slowly to the bottom. This is assuming you have the slope and flow rate adjusted correctly.

Eventually the riffles will fill up with heavy material like black sand. When you see lots of black sand showing in the riffles, you could be in a good spot for gold.

How do riffles work

The reason that riffles work is two fold. First, there is an eddy created behind each riffle, causing a temporary lull in the water flow. The material that is flowing is in a liquid state. This causes the heavies to be at the very bottom of the flow. As the flow passes over a riffle, the heavies will fall to the bottom behind a riffle.

Second, the riffles are spaced a couple of inches apart, and act as a series of small dams, stopping the creep of the heavy material down the sluice. Without them, there would be a slow, but sure creep of gold out the end of the sluice.

Normally most of the trapped gold will be behind the first couple of riffles. This is because the heavies fall fast. Small flour gold may extend several riffles further, and, hopefully, the last few riffles have ZERO gold. If you find gold in the end of your sluicebox you surely have lost mor eout the end.

The riffles are usually hinged at the upstream end, with a latch at the downstream end. So you can release the latch, and swing the riffles up. Usually there will be a 3/16th inch layer of material called miner's moss or carpet, that resembles in texture, a kitchen scouring pad, laying on the surface of the sluice. It is a loose weave matt with lots of air space. It traps and holds the smallest gold particles. On top of that can be a layer of expanded metal. This creates a criss-cross pattern of spaces, each with their own eddies. Then the riffles, that resemble a ladder, with each riffle a rung, when swung up, is lowered into place and latched down.

Each time you clean up, you raise the riffles, and remove the moss. You then wash down the sluice, wash out the moss, and put it back together, all inside a tub, of course. How often you do this depends on whether you want to know what you're getting, whether to move or not. Otherwise, you can probably run the sluice for quite a while, before cleaning (I used to think that you should clean it often, but I tend to think otherwise now). The gold is going to fall out early in it's travels down the sluice, and it would have to fill up with gold, before you started loosing anything.

The way to tell if you have things close to right or not, is to notice whether you are finding gold many riffles down from the front of the sluice. It should be very close to the front, in the first 1/2 of the sluice for sure. One way to always know is to make the miners moss two sections, butted together. All the gold should be in the first mat. There should be nearly nothing in the second. I have divided mine into 4 sections. I pan the last section to make sure that there is nothing in it. I pan the first section to see what I'm getting.

Watch the cc690 Power Sluice at my website: http://www.prospectorstools.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Does Gold Sniping Really Mean/How Do You Snipe Without Being Thrown In Jail !!!!


By Sam Radding     

Time, like the river in front of our camp, takes some interesting twists. Some years back, I sat on a boulder by a small creek with a fishing rod in one hand and a gold pan in the other. I can still remember wondering whether I looked as foolish as I felt. Was I actually going to put some dirt into the pan and try my hand at gold mining? -- Or was I just going to go fishing?

I guess most would-be miners come to a point like this. Although there was a lot to learn about gold prospecting, the knowledge did seem to come easily to me. I have always been a do-it-yourself person; and within two years, I was already building small-scale mining equipment for several shops in southern California.

For me, building the equipment, and showing others how and where to use it, widened the pleasures found in our gold mining adventures. Since then, some part of every prospecting trip has been devoted to showing at least one beginner how it all works.

A case in point happened over our last three sniping trips to the Mother Lode. Sniping has two related meanings in a mining sense. To the old-timer, sniping meant using light, portable equipment to work the high-grade deposits along the banks of gold-bearing streams and rivers. These banks were sampled quickly. When a suitably-rich deposit was found, it was worked as fast as possible and the miner was off to the next spot.

Today, sniping also means working gold-bearing waters with a mask and snorkel and a few hand tools. Higher-grade spots are still worked quickly and the miner is off to the next hot spot. The equipment must be light, because the sniper usually has to cover a large area.

Over the years, I have gravitated to this type of mining. There is nothing quite like the thrill of spotting gold sitting on the exposed bedrock, right there for the picking. This is where my love of sniping, joy in teaching, and my friend Howie all came together.

We first met Howie at the Mineral Bar Campground on the North Fork of the American River. We pulled into our camp spot and within an hour there was Howie, the itinerant camp-greeter. He was living out of his old Dodge van and finding a little gold with his gold pan.

Over the next few days, Howie watched me don my wetsuit and head up the river. In the evening, he would watch me clean up the gold. On the third evening, I asked if he would like to try his hand at sniping. I would supply the tools and a day's instruction. As it turned out, we worked together for about four days. In that time, Howie learned to look for bedrock cracks, but not just any cracks. We wanted cracks that were fed by other features surrounding them. Low spots and shallow channels were examined for cracks. Areas downstream from large obstructions, like trees and boulders, were worked. Any patch of broken or rough bedrock was investigated. We hand-fanned away shallow overburden, looking for hidden gold-bearing spots. There were a lot of places to look!

We found lots of flake-gold and a few small gold nuggets by splitting small cracks with my four-pound hammer and a one-inch chisel. We cleaned other spots with small hook tools. At times, we just picked the flakes off the bedrock with our fingers.

By the end of the fourth day, Howie had the basics down, but he was still leaving a lot of gold in the spots he worked. The best I could do was to tell him to be more thorough in the areas that showed good potential. Those tiny cracks can hold as much gold as the larger, easier ones do; and there are a lot more of them.

One year later, we met again. Howie's old van was now a truck, but camping still was home. We worked together for a few days, and I did see progress. He was finding better spots and working them more diligently, but he was still leaving some easy gold for me to find when I checked his spots.

That was last year. This year, Howie is an accomplished sniper. A few hours spent together in the water proved that. Somehow, between this year and last, Howie got thorough. At an evening get-together, Howie turned to me and quietly said "I really have gotten better at sniping." I already knew that. The gold in his bottle said a lot.

If this type of mining seems appealing, don't just sit on a boulder with a fishing rod in one hand and a pan in the other. Find yourself an old wetsuit, mask, snorkel, crack hammer, a few crack hooks, and jump in. As soon as you uncover your own first piece of gold, you will know how I feel about sniping.
You Can Follow Texas Pete To See The Sniping Tools Pictured Above.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Advantages Of Using Drywashers

Dry washers have been discredited; criticized and distorted far too many times that it is difficult to get at the truth. To a certain extent in all honesty, only large scale mining operations which use sophisticated equipment are flourishing in recovering fine gold by dry methods in amounts which are large enough to make it cost-effective. On the other hand, there are a very large amount of individual prospectors who make use of the small kind of dry washer. These are with no trouble transportable and are either hand-operated or drive by a little motor. They are used for the most part to test an area to see if it would guarantee more investigation. a lot of prospectors use them for outings on the weekends, but it would be reasonably complicated to make a living by using one of them. The people who take pleasure in searching the dry desert areas, either as a leisure pursuit or for authentic prospecting explorations, will discover that the Garrett Gravity Trap pan with its portability and non expensive advantages will also work completely as a dry washer, but on a small scale to a certain extent. A prospector in one occasion had the good luck to be seated, unnoticed, at the back of a lecture hall during a prolonged debate on gold pans and the methods for dry panning. The spokesperson was a writer who is known nationally and is a dealer in mining provisions, but this man did not have too much wide experience in the mining field, with the exception of perhaps in his own area. This spokesman made an observation that the Garrett Gravity Trap gold pan did not in the slightest make dry panning achievable. Since this prospector who was hearing this debate did not have the aspiration of embarrassing the spokesman in public, made no comment whatsoever, and did not recommend to show the spokesperson how uncomplicated and trouble-free the pan is to use. Nevertheless, this prospector, as well as many other prospectors, is still a very strong believer in total truthfulness on the subject of facts and equipment, and will keep his mouth shut when it comes to something he knows nothing about. A few people may possibly just insist on showing them how to do so by using their own equipment, or invite him to carry out the same demonstration by using the sand and the gravel which is supplied from their own diggings. It is very obvious to see that this is no place for show boaters and fakers who make use of a carnival environment to pro­mote their products. Whichever kind of equipment used for mining will in the long run have to stand on its own merits, and knowledgeable counselors will at all times stress unhurried, but positive results, particularly in the case of using new methods or tools for the first time.

The dry washer uses a table which is built very much like the average sluice box. It is a four-sided figure which is just about six to twelve inches in width, and has a succession of riffles to fence in the gold. The riffles are positioned in an upright position at an angle of 90 degrees and at right angles to the long box or trough. The dry gravel or sand, which is required to be completely dry, is gradually fed into the trough which is positioned on a slight descending incline. The trough or box is afterwards shaken, or vibrated by means of a small hand crank or a motor, which causes the material to slip bit by bit over the 90-degree riffles. The heavier gold settles to the bottom of the trough and is, in sequence, stopped by the upright riffles. With continuous shaking, vibration and forced air it will cause the lighter sand and gravel to travel in a downhill direction, this lighter sand and gravel will slip over the top of the sharp riffles, and then move off onto a tailing pile. The gold which is heavier and the black sand concen­trates will stay securely trapped at the rear or in the front of the up­right 90-degree riffle.
This that you have recently read is furthermore an exact description of the operational function of the famous Garrett Gravity Trap pan. The Garrett pan uses the identical sharp riffles, which is constructed in the plastic at a true 90 degrees, and performs precisely the same function. The portable dry washer is four-sided, and is either shaken or vibrated by mechanical means. The Garrett Gravity Trap pan is round in shape and is shaken or vibrated by hand. The dry washer will process a larger amount of gravel or sand, but it is also much heavier and more difficult to transport, in addition it costs much more. The Gravity Trap pan will definitely not process nearly so much dry material, but it is exceptionally light in weight, it is small, and easy to transport, plus the price is almost nothing in comparison. The results or the amount of the recovery, from whichever device depend completely upon the knowledge and the methods which are used by the operator. With this information you can now understand how unreasonable the declaration which was made by the unknowledgeable dealer of mining supplies sounded.
We put a very strong emphasis that in wet panning the material has got to at all times be in a liquid or suspended state; otherwise, the gold will by no means settle down through the damp or simply wet sand. The contrary holds true at the time of using the dry method of recovery. The sand or the gravel must be completely dry. It cannot be even a little damp because the gold will not settle down through the dense material without much agitating and the gold must be in the loose suspension of the dry sand or gravel. Dry panning is to a certain extent complicated when it is used as a method of recovery on fine gold. If the operator has the patience and employs the accurate meth­ods, it can be accomplished at the same time of using the Gravity Trap pan. As is natural, at the time that the gold is heavier and in bigger pieces, it is much easier and much more practical. It is only mentioned in passing that it is completely feasible to pan light or flake gold. Gold panners with experience have used the dry panning method for quite a few years with only pans that are conventional, even though this requires a large amount of experience, ex­pertise and time. The Gravity Trap pan is in point of fact a diminutive dry washer with the same riffle design but it is constructed in a shape that is round. It is operated by power that is hand-controlled, in the same manner as the small portable dry washers are. It remains only for the prospector to put its potential to appropriate use.

Texas Pete Say Follow me To Drywasher Heaven ! http://www.prospectorstools.com/

Article source by the Mineral Prospector

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


By Frank Pandozzi

Oh yes, the idea of searching for and finding a buried treasure has been thought about and dreamed by both young and old. Some have followed their hearts and have gone on treasure hunts that have resulted in locating buried treasures both beneath the ground and under the water. Others have located caches of all sizes inside homes and barns. Treasures are out there, just waiting to be found, and some of them may be closer to you than you think. Older homes that date back one hundred years or more have a very good chance of holding a treasure; and these old homes are in cities and towns across America.

Many people did not trust banks. Also, many of our first settlers were very independent individuals, they wanted total control of their lives, and their possessions, including their money and valuables. It was common for those individuals to bury their valuables for safekeeping.

Old home site.

This practice of hiding their possessions was a constant as this country moved into the nineteenth and twentieth century. The stock market crash of the 1920's only bolstered the lack of confidence people had with financial institutions, and to this day, people are still hiding their money. And the safest place to hide their money and possessions was in and around their home.

However, often times the person doing the hiding would not tell the family. Husbands and wives many times never told their spouse that they buried a cache beneath the old oak tree. Therefore, when the spouse who did the burying dies, the other has no idea of the stash. And when both spouses are gone, or the family, not knowing of a hidden cache on the property moves away, the house with the treasure becomes the property of a new owner. There are buried treasure in old homes across the U.S.

Whether you live in an older home that you purchased from someone else, or if you want to search for a treasure on the property of an old home, here are three places that have proved to be popular hiding places around old home sites.

Beneath The Old Oak Tree

As I mentioned in the illustration above, the old oak tree, or any large tree for that matter, has been a popular hiding place for buried treasure. Perhaps the reasons why are shade and a marking.

Burying a treasure large or small requires work. It's easier to dig a hole while doing so beneath the shade of a large tree. Also, many people used tree's as a marker for their cache. You may not think a marker would be needed. After all, what person would forget where they buried their valuables. However, markers for treasures were also used at times to lead a family member to a buried treasure upon a death. So if you live in an old home, and there is an old tree on the property, especially behind the home, it's a good place to begin your search.

Near The Well

Another popular area where treasures have been located is near the well. The well was used often and it was a perfect place to bury a treasure. Most wells were also located behind the homes, so it would be secretive and easy to hide valuables time and time again.

The Outhouse

Outhouse in "Shantytown," Spencer, Iowa, Lee Russell, 1937.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!

I love digging in old outhouses. Yes I've been called crazy for climbing into these old cesspools. However, they hold a wealth of valuables from old pottery, bottles, buttons, coins, and yes even treasures.

There have been treasures found inside the outhouse, and beneath the wooden thrones. One individual located an old metal container fastened beneath the throne, held there by a few nails and a metal strip. Inside the container was hundreds of silver dollars dating from the mid 1800's.

Think about all of the old abandoned homes you drive by on a weekly basis. Then think about how many of those old homes have a treasure lurking on it's property. All you need to do is ask for permission from the owner to search the property. Of course you will tell them that any buried treasure you may find, will be shared with them.

A metal detector is a useful tool for locating buried treasure. You don't have to spend a lot of money for one. A good detector costs between three hundred and four hundred dollars. It could end up paying for itself.

© Frank W. Pandozzi, June, 2010

About the Author:

Frank W. Pandozzi is an author, TV Producer and well known treasure hunter. He began his "treasure hunting" days twenty-five years ago metal detecting parks and schoolyards. Today Frank Pandozzi is the Producer and the host of Exploring Historys Treasures TV series. He is married and has one son.

For more information please visit http://www.metal-detecting-ghost-towns-of-the-east.com/

Article Source: Ezine Aricles
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