make my own gold cradle

how i built a recirculating sluice box for gold prospecting

how i built a recirculating sluice box for gold prospecting

One of my many hobbies is recreational gold prospecting. I've been gold panning on my vacations for many years. It's a lot of fun. It's great exercise. I get to do it in really scenic locations. I have even found some gold. However, you aren't likely to find a whole lot of gold by panning alone. To find a lot of gold, you have to pan a lot of dirt. Panning is not a good method for separating the gold from a lot of dirt. It takes too long and is far too much work. There are other methods besides panning to separate gold from dirt though. A sluice is a device that separates gold from dirt using the power of running water. It will process large amounts of material far more quickly and with less effort than is possible by panning alone. I decided that it was time to step up the amount of gold I recovered on my prospecting outings. I decided I wanted a sluice.

As with most of my other equipment, (wind turbine, solar panel, telescopes, jet engine, etc., etc.), I decided to try building one myself, rather than just buying one. The tinkering is half the fun after all. Also, you will get a much greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you know it is YOUR home-built equipment that is doing such a good job, and not some store-bought thing.

This first attempt was a sort of proof of concept sluice. Just to make sure I could build something that actually separated gold from pay dirt. I didn't put a whole lot of effort (or forethought) into it. I also didn't spend a lot of money on it. I used scrap lumber from around my workshop. I used a 1 x 6 board 36 inches long for the base and 1 x 3's for the sides. The only things I bought for it were 1/4 by 1/4 square dowels to use as riffles. I glued the riffles into it spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. It took only an afternoon to build, and most of that was just waiting for the glue to dry.

After the glue was dry, I took it into the back yard and tried it out. I set the bottom of it in a gold pan to catch what washed through, blocked it up at what seemed like a good angle, and placed the garden hose at the top end to provide a flow of water. Then I started slowly pouring pay dirt in the top end. The first tests went quite well. The sluice actually captured most of the gold in the pay dirt. Panning out the material that washed through the sluice only revealed a couple of small flakes that slipped through. This was very encouraging. However, the mud bog I was making in the back yard with the hose running for long periods, while tinkering with the sluice, was very discouraging. I decided I needed to find a way to capture and reuse the water. So I decided to build a recirculating sluice.

I drew up a simple plan for a cradle that would sit on top of a plastic storage bin full of water. The cradle would hold the sluice and allow me to adjust the angle of tilt. Water would be pumped out of the bin to the top of the sluice. Water and debris would fall back into the bin at the bottom of the sluice. This would be great! I'd be able to use the sluice at home without turning the back yard into a mud hole. More importantly though, I'd be able to use it in the field where there was limited water available. I'd designed a recirculating highbanker. I couldn't wait to build it. All I needed was a pump.

About this time I saw an old bilge pump at a yard sale. The guy was asking $5 for it. I talked him down to $3. It looks pretty beat up, but it works great. I glued a PVC fitting on the outlet of the pump so I could attach a hose barb and a smaller hose than the pump was designed for. I went with 1 in. ID hose.

I built the cradle, again from scrap wood. I had to buy a piece of hose and a few PVC fittings. The spray bar at the top of the sluice is a short piece of PVC pipe with a lot of holes drilled in it. I used a valve to control the water flow. Again, not much effort, and not enough forethought went into it. I had it done in short order and set it up out back to test.

At first, things went well. The bilge pump, powered by a couple of 12V batteries connected in parallel, pumped plenty of water. Pay dirt went into the top. Water and debris went into the tub at the bottom. Gold was getting trapped in the sluice. It was going great. I could see some areas where there was room for improvement. The sluice leaked a little. Also, a lot of water was splashing over the edge of the tub at the bottom of the sluice. I figured I could fix these problems with some caulking and a splash board on the cradle. Overall, I was very happy with how my recirculating sluice was working. That is until I was ready to try a cleanup and recover the gold trapped in it. The first huge problem with this design became apparent. I had planned on removing the sluice from the cradle, putting it into a 5-gallon bucket, and washing the material out of the riffles into the bucket. However, the cradle had been designed to be a tight fit on the sluice. Both the sluice and cradle had absorbed water and expanded. Now the two pieces were locked together in a death grip. They weren't coming apart. Oops!

That first cleanup was a mess. I had to do it with the sluice and cradle locked together. I did eventually get them apart. However, There was no getting them back together again until after the wood had dried and shrank back to its original dimensions. This just wasn't going to work. Time to build a new cradle.

The new cradle has plenty of clearance inside, so there will be no more problems with expanding waterlogged wood. I also incorporated a splash board to guide water back into the tub and prevent loss. This new cradle made the sluice much easier to use. Water loss was minimal and cleanups were easy.

I have a large plastic tub I use for storing and carrying all my prospecting equipment. This is the tub I will be using in the field. I use a smaller tub for testing (that's why there are two sets of notches in the cradle). But because the small tub is not a long as the bigger one, the sluice/cradle assembly is cantilevered too far out and tends to fall off. I used the weight of the batteries on the first cradle to keep it balanced on the tub. With the second cradle, I used a bungee cord to keep the cradle in place and moved the batteries away from the splashing water.Here you can also see how the splash board guides the water back into the tub with almost no loss. The photo also shows a closeup of the hinge assembly that holds the sluice in the cradle.

This photo Shows the sluice after running for a while, processing concentrates from a drywashing operation in Arizona. Note how the black sand and other heavy minerals are staying trapped behind the riffles while the bulk of the material is getting washed through. The sluice is working pretty well. I tested the sluice by hand panning the waste material in the tub to see how much gold snuck through. This sluice does a really good job of trapping all but some of the very finest gold. So there is room for improvement.

This photo shows large pieces of gold in front of the first riffle. The biggest chunks of gold in the concentrates never make it past the first couple of riffles. The lower riffles aren't trapping much at all. So I probably have too many riffles in this prototype sluice.

To do a cleanup, I first pick out any large pieces of gold that are stuck behind the first couple of riffles (see photo above). Next I unscrew the two hinge bolts that hold the sluice in the cradle and disconnect the water hose. Then I put the sluice into a 5-gallon bucket and pour water down it to wash the concentrates into the bucket. I generally dip water out of the plastic tub and gently pour it down the length of the sluice to get the concentrates out. I tried leaving the pump connected a couple of times and turning on the water flow, but the flow is too strong, and it tends to blow the concentrates all over the place. Then all I have to do is hand pan out the small amount of material in the bucket. This is a tremendous reduction in the amount of panning I have to do to get the gold out of the dirt. I'm loving it.

As I said above, this was just a proof of concept sluice. I had no intention of taking this sluice into the field. It worked pretty well, but it still had issues. Most of the pay dirt I run through the sluice is crushed ore from a hard rock gold mine. The gold is big and chunky. The sluice did a real good job of capturing almost all that gold. Most of the gold never made it past the first riffle or two. However, when I ran concentrates from an Arizona dry-washing operation through it, the results weren't as good. Much of the gold was very fine. A lot of the finest bits were washing through the sluice. I needed to capture the finest gold too.

I did something I probably should have done more of at the beginning. I researched how the professionals build sluices. I then looked at my sluice with a critical eye and saw more flaws that needed fixing. The riffles were too small and too close together. Also, there were too many riffles and they were made of soft wood that would be quickly destroyed by pounding rocks. The riffles needed to be removable to make cleanups easier. And finally, it needed a lining of ribbed matting and miner's moss on the bottom below the riffles that would capture even the finest gold. I also began to think about how to prolong battery life when using the sluice in the field. The valve did a good job of regulating the flow of water, but I was afraid the backpressure made the pump work harder and reduced battery life. So I decided the sluice also needed a PWM speed controller for the pump to maximize efficiency and battery life. It was time to build Sluice MK II.

The biggest change was making the new riffles out of steel angle stock. I am an old carpenter. I can make anything out of wood. Metalworking though is more of a challenge for me. So I hesitated for a while before taking the plunge and using steel. But I decided it was high time I learned how to weld anyway. So I bought some 1/2 x 1/2 angle stock and some 1/2 x 1/8 flat stock. My intent was to use the flat stock as rails on either side of the sluice and weld the angle stock between them to make riffles. The entire steel riffle assembly could then be lifted out of the sluice during cleanups. I settled on 6 riffles this time. I cut up the steel pieces without too much difficulty, even though I only had a hacksaw for the job. I don't have a lot of metal working tools.

I then built a short section of sluice out of scrap lumber to serve as a jig for welding the pieces together. I used a borrowed welder to weld the pieces together. My welds are ugly (I need more practice) but they seem strong enough. I also welded on two angled pieces in the middle of the riffle assembly to serve as anchor points for holding it in the sluice. Not bad for a welding newbie.

I also noted during my research that a lot of people put expanded metal mesh under the riffles and above the miner's moss. I found some expanded metal mesh in my local home center store, but it was in 4 x 8 foot sheets with tarpaper backing for stucco work. I really didn't want to try to cut that. Just down the isle though, I found a roll of plastic mesh meant to keep leaves out of gutters. It looked almost exactly like the metal mesh, but came in a roll only slightly wider than my sluice box. It would be easy to cut and it was cheap too.

The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) speed controller for the pump motor is a fairly simple circuit. It is based on the ever popular 555 timer integrated circuit. The theory behind this controller is that it controls the pump speed by turning the pump on and off very quickly and varying the length of time the pump motor is on during each cycle. The 555 timer creates a series of fast pulses. The width of the pulses determines how long the pump is turned on during each cycle. The MOSFET is a very efficient switch. Since the motor is either full on or full off, there is no power wasted like there would be in a resistive speed controller or even a unit based on power transistors. This gets maximum life out of the batteries. Varying the potentiometer setting changes the pulse width and pump speed. There is nothing too critical about this circuit. Plus or minus 10% on the component values is close enough. The resistors should all be 1/4 Watt. Other MOSFETS will work as long as they can handle the maximum current of the pump. I just happened to have a bunch of IRF540s lying around. Size the fuse to match the pump you are using. A slow-blow fuse might be a good idea since pumps often have very high initial inrush current when started.

I used a long, heavy cable and large battery clips for my unit. I usually carry some sealed lead acid batteries with me to power the unit, but this arrangement also allows me to connect to my truck battery if necessary. I didn't bother with a power switch. You can add one if you like. A PWM speed controller certainly isn't absolutely necessary. However, I just love to tinker with electronics. So I had to do it.

I had been adjusting the angle of the sluice by just jamming whatever was handy between the sluice and the cradle. This worked ok, but while sitting around waiting for the miner's moss and ribbed matting to arrive, I decided to get fancy. I just happened to have a bunch of old 16mm movie projectors lying around the shop at the time (that's another story). I removed the adjustable tilt mechanism from one of them and mounted it on the back of the cradle. Now I can adjust the tilt of the sluice with the twist of a knob.

The ribbed matting and miner's moss finally arrived. The ribbed matting is made of black rubber with fine parallel ridges all along its length. I cut it to the width of the sluice box and laid it down the entire length of the bottom of the sluice with the ridges perpendicular to he water flow. Each little ridge is like a little riffle. It is really great at trapping gold.

I'd never seen miner's moss before, only read about it. It was thicker than I was expecting. I may not be able to use it in this sluice. The side walls aren't tall enough. With the extra thickness of the miner's moss under the riffles, water will spill over the walls of the sluice. I may have to rebuild the sluice again with taller side walls, and rework the riffle hold-down clips. That's a project for another day though.

After running a goodly amount of ore (many panfulls) through the sluice, I shut down to see what it looked like. My Girlfriend came out to have a look too. Those are her little feet with painted toenails. She's got gold fever almost as bad as I do. (what woman doesn't like gold?)

I cleaned the sluice out and dumped the material into my gold pan. Even though I had run a huge amount of material through the sluice. I only had less than half a pan full of concentrates to pan out by hand. This is a great labor savings. Here is the gold the sluice caught. I then laboriously panned out all the material in the bottom of the tub that had made it through the sluice, just to see if any gold made it through. None had. The sluice caught every bit of the gold in the ore. Now I know I can trust the sluice to get all the gold, as long as it is as large as the gold in the crushed ore. I'm not sure how it will handle very fine gold. I don't have any more drywasher concentrates to try in it, and probably won't get any more before my next vacation. I may have to just take it to Arizona and Colorado and try it out in the field to see how well it really works.

My testing did show one problem area. Sometimes the ribbed matting at the top of the sluice tends to float up off the bottom of the sluice. Then the water gets behind it and it wants to just pop right out of the sluice all together. So I welded a bar across the top of the riffle assembly to hold the matting down (my welding is getting better).

So here is the sluice in its final configuration. I am pretty much out of time for making further modifications. Our vacation is coming up quickly and there is a lot to do before we leave. The next time I use the sluice will probably be in the field in Arizona and Colorado. I'll post updates in the future about how well it worked in the field.

Here is the recirculating sluice is set up on the banks of one of my favorite gold panning streams in Arizona. It is on top of the big red tub I actually designed it to work with. The little blue tub was just for testing. Here I have dug out about 1 2/3 buckets full of paydirt from under and behind boulders in the stream bed. I classified it down to 1/4 inch and am ready to start feeding it through the sluice. The flow in the stream was down to just a tiny trickle. Later in the summer it dries up completely. Only a recirculating sluice would work here.

This is a photo of the sluice after running for a while. It is mostly full of black sand, with a few random rocks. So it is doing what it is supposed to do and is separating out the heavy minerals from the bulk of the material.

This is a photo of the concentrates remaining after cleaning up the sluice. Maybe 1/8 of a bucket from the 1 2/3 buckets I started with. I processed a lot of material quickly and only had to pan out a small amount of material. This is great!

On panning out the concentrates, I found some gold, but not nearly as much as I had hoped for (do you ever find as much as you hope for?). I worried that I may have been feeding the sluice too fast and overloading the riffles. I went and dug up and classified more material and tried again, feeding it in slower this time. Slower worked better, but I still wasn't finding enough gold to justify how hard I was working. There were a lot of people out working the stream this time. Normally I have the place pretty much to myself, but this time it was packed with people. They must have beat me to all the good gold to be had after the spring floods. So I decided to call it a day and wait until I got into Colorado to do more prospecting.

Later, after I moved up into Colorado, I tried prospecting in several places but had no real luck until my last day there. Late snows had the rivers and streams swollen with runoff. It was all but impossible to do any panning or sluicing on most of the streams in the area. The places I did try didn't show enough gold in the pan to bother with. Then, on my last day, I found a spot that really looked promising. I found good gold test panning the area and decided to set up the sluice and process a bunch of material. There was a small stream running near where I wanted to dig that had a really good flow. There didn't didn't seem to be any point in dragging out the whole recirculating setup. Even though this sluice wasn't really designed for use in a stream, I decided to give it a try. It worked surprisingly well.

I placed the sluice behind some rocks that were partially damming the stream. I placed a heavy rock on a board on top of the sluice to keep it from floating up off the bottom of the stream. As the water cascaded over the dam, it fell right into the top of the sluice box right where the spraybar is located. I built wings of rocks on the sides of the natural dam to increase the flow into the sluice. I had dug out and classified a couple of buckets of paydirt from a hole in the hillside not far from the stream. Running the material through the sluice in the stream was fairly quick and easy. I found that the sluice worked quite well as long as I fed the material slowly and didn't overload it. After adding a scoop of paydirt, I waited until I could see the mesh on the bottom of the sluice behind the first three riffles before adding more. This system worked quite well. It allowed heavies to settle to the bottom and lighter material to clear out. I could occasionally see bits of gold trapped in the sluice, but they would usually quickly get buried under black sand. I did a quick cleanup after every bucket full of paydirt because the sluice was really filling up with black sand. I was digging my paydirt out of a bench deposit of old stream material with heavy streaks of black sand in it. Possibly the richest placer gold deposit I have ever found.

After processing a couple of buckets of material through the sluice, I moved to a calmer area of the stream and panned out the concentrates. I found some really nice pickers and lots and lots of small flakes in my pan. The black sand is also just loaded with really fine gold. I brought the black sand home with me and will process it to remove the fine gold another time.

There was a fellow digging in the same hole as me and processing his material with a commercially made Keene sluice a little way down stream from me. We compared our gold vials. He was seriously impressed with my take. He was finding gold, but I was finding more. That gave me a great feeling of accomplishment, knowing my home-built sluice worked as well or better than a famous name-brand unit. Note the different colors of the gold. It all looks like gold in the pan. Put it together in one vial though and you can see the different colors due to different levels of impurities in gold from different veins. Gold from many different sources must have wound up being deposited in those ancient stream deposits I was digging. Some bits looked coppery. Other bits look almost silvery. Not bad for only a few hours work. And that's just the stuff worth picking out of the black sand. There is lots more fine gold in my black sand that I need to separate out another day.

Unfortunately, I only had less than half a day on this particular site in Colorado. All too soon I had to pack up and start the long drive home. Isn't that the way it always goes? You find the right spot to dig, the right spot to run the sluice, everything is clicking, you are finding good gold, but then you run out of time. Sheesh! Well, at least I know where to start out at the next time I am in Colorado.

I may modify the sluice for easier use in a stream. I was thinking about ways to make the spraybar and front bulkhead easily removable from the sluice. Then I could attach a wood or sheet metal flare to it like a commercially made sluice has. I'll have plenty of time before my next vacation to tinker with it.

[Back to Mike's Homepage] [Email me] Other places to visit: [Mike's telescope workshop] [Mike's home-built jet engine page] [Mike's Home-Built Wind Turbine page] [Mike's Home-Built Solar Panel page] Copyright 2008-2021 Michael Davis, All rights reserved.

[Back to Mike's Homepage] [Email me] Other places to visit: [Mike's telescope workshop] [Mike's home-built jet engine page] [Mike's Home-Built Wind Turbine page] [Mike's Home-Built Solar Panel page] Copyright 2008-2021 Michael Davis, All rights reserved.

[Mike's telescope workshop] [Mike's home-built jet engine page] [Mike's Home-Built Wind Turbine page] [Mike's Home-Built Solar Panel page] Copyright 2008-2021 Michael Davis, All rights reserved.

a recirculating sluice box for gold prospecting : 10 steps (with pictures) - instructables

a recirculating sluice box for gold prospecting : 10 steps (with pictures) - instructables

So what is a sluice box and how does it work? Basically, a sluice box is a long, narrow box with a series of obstructions called riffles in it. If the sluice is placed in a running stream of water, and gold-bearing gravel and dirt is fed into the upstream side, the heavy minerals, including gold, get caught in the eddies created by the riffles, and the bulk of the lighter material gets washed through the box and out the end. Over time, as more and more material is fed through the sluice, more and more gold builds up in it. A sluice box can process much more material, much more quickly than a person, or even a team of people can pan material with gold pans. I drew up a simple plan for a cradle that would sit on top of a plastic storage bin full of water. The cradle would hold the sluice and allow me to adjust the angle of tilt. Water would be pumped out of the bin to the top of the sluice. Water and debris would fall back into the bin at the bottom of the sluice. This would be great! I'd be able to use it in the field where there was limited water available. I'd designed a recirculating sluice or highbanker. I couldn't wait to build it. The sluice itself is just a simple three-sided box. I decided to keep it simple and cheap, so I made it out if wood. I used a 1 x 6 pine board 36 inches long for the base and 1 x 3's for the sides. It is all held together with Gorilla Glue and screws. I marked out the location where the riffles would be. I also built and attached a spraybar to spray water into the top of the sluice. More on all this in later steps.

The sluice itself is just a simple three-sided box. I decided to keep it simple and cheap, so I made it out if wood. I used a 1 x 6 pine board 36 inches long for the base and 1 x 3's for the sides. It is all held together with Gorilla Glue, screws and nails. I marked out the location where the riffles would be. I also built and attached a spraybar to spray water into the top of the sluice. More on all this in later steps. The cradle that holds the sluice over the tub is constructed similarly. It is made from 1 X 4 pieces of pine glued and screwed together. Notches cut into the cradle allow it to lock onto the rim of a plastic storage bin. I have two sets of notches in the cradle, which allows it to fit on two different size bins. A 1 X 6 piece of wood is mounted diagonally at one end of the cradle to act as a splash board to direct water falling out of the lower end of the sluice back into the tub. The cradle is about 1/2 inch wider in inside width than the sluice (this is important). The wood of the sluice will swell when it gets wet. If you don't provide sufficient clearance, the sluice and cradle can lock together. I found that out the hard way in an earlier version of the sluice. You can see the entire evolution of this project on my web site. The cradle has two hinge points made of heavy sheet aluminum screwed onto it. The sluice has two 1/4-20 t-nuts installed near its lower end to accept bolts passed through the hinge points. This allows the sluice to pivot up and down to adjust the angle of fall.

I saw an old bilge pump at a yard sale. The guy was asking $5 for it. I talked him down to $3. It looks pretty beat up, but it works great. You can also find pumps like this at boating supply stores and on Ebay. I glued a PVC fitting on the outlet of the pump so I could attach a hose barb and a 1 in. ID hose. I carry some sealed lead-acid batteries into the field with me to power the pump. They last a for a few hours on a good charge.

The photo below shows the spraybar in action. It is made from some 1in PVC pipe with lots of holes drilled in the bottom to allow for water flow. A hose connects one end of the spraybar with the bilge pump through a valve to regulate the water flow. The other end is just capped off. I attached the spraybar to the top of the sluice with some steel strapping and screws. Below is a photo of an early test run.

My biggest challenge on this build was making the riffles for the sluice out of steel angle stock. I am an old carpenter. I can make anything out of wood. Metalworking though is more of a challenge for me. So I hesitated for a while before taking the plunge and using steel. But I decided it was high time I learned how to weld anyway. So I bought some 1/2 x 1/2 angle stock and some 1/2 x 1/8 flat stock. My intent was to use the flat stock as rails on either side of the sluice and weld the angle stock between them to make riffles. The entire steel riffle assembly could then be lifted out of the sluice during cleanups. I settled on 6 riffles, 4 inches apart and starting 4 inches from the bottom end of the sluice. I cut up the steel pieces without too much difficulty, even though I only had a hacksaw for the job. I don't have a lot of metal working tools. I built a short section of sluice out of scrap lumber to serve as a jig for welding the pieces together. I used a borrowed welder to weld the pieces together. My welds are ugly (I need more practice) but they seem strong enough. I also welded on two angled pieces in the middle of the riffle assembly to serve as anchor points for holding it in the sluice. Not bad for a welding newbie. The third photo shows the nearly finished riffle assembly, looking like a mini ladder. I still needed to trim the top hold-down ear back a little. After early tests with the sluice, I found I needed to weld on another flat piece at the top end of the riffle assembly (4th photo) to hold down the mesh and ribbed matting that would go under the riffles. More about those later. The last photo below shows how the riffle tray is held in the sluice. There are two right-angle "ears" welded onto the center of the riffle tray. They have passage holes drilled in them to fit over hanger bolts in the side walls of the sluice. Wing-nuts hold them in place. It's a good system. The only challenge is not losing the wing-nuts when disassembling the sluice for cleanups.

Early sluice boxes just had riffles in them. They caught a lot of gold, but some of the finer gold tended to wash right through them. The old-time prospectors eventually learned the trick of lining the slick bottoms of their sluice boxes with materials that would capture more of the fine gold. Some materials commonly used are indoor-outdoor carpeting, expanded metal mesh, ribbed matting, and a specialty product called miner's moss, designed especially for use in sluice boxes. I pondered what to use. Miner's moss is supposed to really catch the gold. However, it is fairly expensive, and it is also very thick, I would have had to redesign the sluice with taller sides to use it. Easier and cheaper options were carpet, ribbed matting, and expanded mesh. I found some ribbed rubber matting cheap on Ebay, and bought a roll of it. It was easy to cut down to the width of the sluice. I went to the local homecenter store looking for expanded steel mesh. I found it in big 4 X 8 foot sheets that were kind of pricey, and looked like a nightmare to trim down to size. Just down the isle I noticed rolls of plastic mesh made to keep leaves out of rain gutters. It looked like it exactly the same shape as the expanded metal mesh, but was cheaper, and would be much easier to cut. I bought a roll of it. It worked great. The first photo below shows the pieces of ribbed matting and plastic mesh cut to the length and width of the sluice box. The second photo shows them installed under the riffles in the sluice. Now my sluice box should catch almost all the gold that passes through it.

The sluice was essentially finished at this point. However, I couldn't stop tinkering. I decided to do some refinements. These are optional, and not absolutely necessary to make the sluice work. You don't need to do them if you want to keep things simple and easy. Me though, I just can't leave well enough alone. The first refinement was a new way to adjust the angle of fall of the sluice. I had been adjusting the angle of the sluice by just jamming whatever was handy between the sluice and the cradle, and sliding it back and forth to find the right angle. This worked OK, but I decided to get fancy. I just happened to have a bunch of old 16mm movie projectors lying around the workshop at the time (that's another story). I removed the adjustable tilt mechanism from one of them and mounted it on the back of the cradle. Now I can finely adjust the tilt of the sluice with the twist of a knob. The first two photos below show the angle adjust mechanism. The second refinement was a PWM speed controller for the pump. The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) speed controller for the pump motor is a fairly simple circuit. It is based on the ever popular 555 timer integrated circuit. The theory behind this controller is that it controls the pump speed by turning the pump on and off very quickly and varying the length of time the pump motor is on during each cycle. The 555 timer creates a series of fast pulses. The width of the pulses determines how long the pump is turned on during each cycle. The MOSFET is a very efficient switch. Since the motor is either full on or full off, there is no power wasted like there would be in a resistive speed controller or even a unit based on power transistors. This gets maximum life out of the batteries. Varying the potentiometer setting changes the pulse width and pump speed. There is nothing too critical about this circuit. Plus or minus 10% on the component values is close enough. The resistors should all be 1/4 Watt. Other MOSFETS will work as long as they can handle the maximum current of the pump. I just happened to have a bunch of IRF540s lying around. Size the fuse to match the pump you are using. A slow-blow fuse might be a good idea since pumps often have very high initial inrush current when started. I I built the PWM unit into a small project box and used a long, heavy cable and large battery clips for the unit. I usually carry some sealed lead acid batteries with me to power the unit, but this arrangement also allows me to connect to my truck battery if necessary. I didn't bother with a power switch. You can add one if you like. A PWM speed controller certainly isn't absolutely necessary. However, I just love to tinker with electronics. So I had to do it. The 3rd and 4th photos below show the schematic and the finished unit.

The sluice was done and ready for testing. I attached the sluice to a small blue bin for testing. I had designed this sluice to work with my big red bin, but it was full of my mining equipment and I was too lazy to dig it out of storage and empty it out. So I cut a couple of new notches in the cradle to make it fit this smaller bin for testing purposes. I also used a bungee cord to hold the cradle on since so much of the sluice's weight was cantilevered off the side. I tested the sluice using two different kinds of paydirt. First I used some crushed gold ore from a working hard-rock gold mine, just to see how well the sluice would catch gold. I ran the crushed ore through the sluice and then did a cleanup. The 3rd photo below shows the results after panning out the material left in the sluice. It caught a lot of gold, but did it catch all of it? That was the big question. So I went to the trouble of panning out all the material that went through the sluice and into the tub, just to see how much gold the sluice missed. I found none! The sluice got all the gold from the crushed ore. Fantastic. I wasn't done testing yet. The gold in the crushed ore was rather large and chunky, and there was virtually no black sand in it. I had expected the sluice to do well with the ore. A more real-world test would be to see how it handles fine gold mixed with black sand, like what it would be seeing if I fed it gold-bearing stream gravel. So I ran another test. This time I fed concentrates from an Arizona dry-washing operation through the sluice. The concentrates were loaded with black sand and the gold was much finer. This was more like what I would be dealing with on my favorite gold panning streams. The 4th photo below shows what was left in the sluice when I did a cleanup. The sluice again caught a lot of gold. How much passed through this time? I once again laboriously panned out all the material in the bottom of the tub. I only found a few tiny flakes of gold. The sluice caught almost all the gold. Only a little of the very finest gold was passing through. I was very pleased with the performance of the sluice. It was ready to go into the field for a real test.

The first photo below shows the recirculating sluice is set up on the banks of one of my favorite gold panning streams in Arizona. It is on top of the big red tub I actually designed it to work with. The little blue tub was just for testing. Here I have dug out about 1 2/3 buckets full of paydirt from under and behind boulders in the stream bed. I classified it down to 1/4 inch and am ready to start feeding it through the sluice. The flow in the stream was down to just a tiny trickle. Later in the summer it dries up completely. Only a recirculating sluice would work here. The second photo shows the sluice after running for a while. It is mostly full of black sand, with a few random rocks. So it is doing what it is supposed to do and is separating out the heavy minerals from the bulk of the material. The 3rd photo shows the concentrates remaining after cleaning up the sluice. It is mostly black sand and other heavy minerals, including gold! Maybe 1/8 of a bucket is left from the 1 2/3 buckets I started with. I processed a lot of material quickly and only had to pan out a small amount of material to get to the gold. This is great! The 4th photo shows gold in my pan as I pan out some of the concentrates. Yahoo! The last photo shows gold starting to accumulate in my storage vial.

One solution to the wear at the seams would be to create a single drop in assembly with your mats and all. Or design an inner mat that can overlap the sides and prevent wear. You could even use plastic gutters and fuse plastic riffles to the inside. A lot of ways to do the same thing. I've been looking into doing a DIY under-riffle sluice just to experiment.

Looks good. I like the cradle. We do something similar, but much simpler, on the beach in Nome. One thing I might add is a second bucket inside the big tub to catch the water coming out the bottom of the box. This catches processed material and keeps it out of the intake of the pump.

i understand the mechanics of everything here, only question is the riffles, what way is the best for them to be angled, towards the spray bar? towards the drop off or straight up and down? i cant figure that part out, otherwise great instructable, ill make sure to post my process when i build my trommel and hand pump mods

The incline is as the Book says 1" for every 3 ' of Length of box. My self I like to run my box as slow as it will run and still move the raw material through the box. I find that if you are in area that is producing gold in the dust to pinhead size classifying down to 1/4 inch is best just check your classifier once in a while to make sure that you are not passing up any bigger gold. It will make running your slice flatter easier if you are running and would rather run a bit bigger then a 1/2 inch classifier would do the job and if there is gold bigger than a 1/2 inch call me and I will help you to classify the material ... no really 1/2 inch is about as big as many should need here in South Dakota I use either 1/2 or 1/4 and have pretty good return. 1/4 is 4 mesh screen and 1/2 is 2 mesh so how ever many holes makes the mesh to the inch.

The making of a sluice is kind of like anything else it is best if you first learn to pan. The pan is the most important part of gold prospecting it may not get you the most but it will help you to understand the stratifying of the material the heavy's at the bottom these being the Black Sands and then the iron materials with a few other things including gem stones anything with a high SG. After you have learned how to separate the material in your material then you will be ready to build your own Sluice .... and this is one of the better builds I have seen in wood as long as when you build a wooden sluice you make it water tight because anywhere there is a leak there is loss of material and the Gold likes to escape your box through these leaks. New Alum Sluice Boxes with the flairs and I have not see one yet that does not have some leaks between the flair and box these have to be sealed with silicon so those with wooden boxes make sure that they are tight and sealed and that after the first few uses when they dry that they are still tight for as we all know wood warps and so it starts to warp and make these little leaks. I have tried to find a sealer for several boxes that I have made but after a few uses I find that the finish wears off from the sand and rocks running over it so if any body knows of a finish that holds up to the wear let me know.

Now a question as what can an cannot be used one has to understand that through the years many people have used many different things in the days of the bible it was the Golden Fleece and this was a Sheep Skin in which of that time was layed in a stream and the gold laden material was then poured over it then in the 1849 it was a board lined sluice with rocks or timber layed in the bottom or an extra layer with holes drilled in it to catch all or at least of the gold bearing material so I would say that if you or someone you knows try it out and report how it worked here on this site or an prospecting site I am sure others will be interested .... try anything the skys the limit who knows you may be the one that hits on the new and improved way in which to do something that has been done since the days of the days of the bible and before.

Thanks for these great ibles! The simplicity of construction and economical use should make us strive to emulate your ideas. I was told somewhere during govt service about the KISS principal. You have mastered it and passed it on to us! Geniuses have learned to mask their use of someones ideas. Guess I am up there near the top. Anyway, here is a tidbit, To filter or improve filtration, add a section of panty hose. Works well wet, and is cleanable and reusuable....Thanks again.

How do you keep the sand from plugging the pump and the sprayer bar? We've tried nylons over the intake and other screen filters. Best thing for us was placing the pump inside a bucket inside the tub then only pumping the water that overflowed into the bucket. Problem was the pump kept out pacing the overflow.

Just a tip this might not work in all cases. Me and my dad are pretty in to this we found that if you use the black pad like you used in the first 1ft and miners moss in the first 6.in on top of the black mat, and just regular box carpet on the rest that we got a bout a 1/8 of an ounce more per cubic yard. We use a 4.in drege when we can and when we cant a 6 ft. long high banker with 4 hp pump.

many of the desert placers contain gold in a range from fourty mesh to sub micron range. when using a dry shaker you can consentrate these smaller particles but the fines can float off as soon as they are wetted on their surfaces. Alot dry placers will run .o3 oz per ton and a two inch dredge pump can handle half ton of slurry and pump it to a long tom sluice box. with a tweny fie dollar jump in price of gold to 1250 per oz a lot more people will be trying to get few particles just remember it takes millions of those fourty mesh particles to make and ounce. ande under a two hundred power microscope they look like real nuggets. fun to get them on glass slide and magnify them so you can dream about the gold machine that make you rich.

This is very good! I think most readers will think this is a humorous hobby, but it is very serious. There is still plenty of gold being mined by hobbiests in California. Recirculating the water is a great advantage for the dry areas to the south. Who knows? There is proabably untapped gold in the dry rivers and streams that only get filled during major storms. This would allow people access to it.

how to make a simple newton's cradle - babble dabble do

how to make a simple newton's cradle - babble dabble do

I have special connection to this project because it was my own entry into the science fair many years ago. The version I built used actual ball bearings (the benefit of having a grandfather who was an inventor with a machine shop) but you can learn how to build a simple Newtons Cradle at home using materials from the craft store, right here, right now.

As I developed this project for my book STEAM Play & Learnand tried to come up with the simplest version ever, I experimented with a lot of materials for the spheres. I tried wood beads and GIANT plastic beads and heres what I discovered, none of them workedwhy? Well the answer is in the science behind this project. MASS is critical to momentum. Learn more about it in the Lets Talk STEAM section here.

Newtons Cradle is a project from my bookSTEAM Play & Learn.STEAM Play & Learn is geared towards preschoolers but many of the projects especially this one and the other electronics project in the book, are suitable for kids of all ages. You can check out my book on Amazon here:

Newtons Cradle is a toy named after the very famous scientist, Sir Isaac Newton. It demonstrates a scientific idea called momentum. Momentum is the force of an object as it moves. When you swing one of the marbles on the end, it collides with the marble next to it and the force of that collision travels through each of the other marbles until it reaches the last one, which swings upward. When that marble swings back down, the force travels through the marbles again.Read more about momentum and collisions here.

This is a demonstration of a scientific principle called the conservation of momentum. This principle states that when two objects collide their momentum before the collision equals their momentum after the collision. In Newtons Cradle the force of the collision travels through each of the balls until it reaches the last ball which swings up.

Whiledeveloping this project I experimented withdifferent products for the spheres. Ihad hopedthat plastic beadswould work since they would be mucheasier touse. The issue isthat they have very little mass and therefore their momentum was not very strong when they swung. You need to use a material for the spheres that is dense and can actually transmit energy through it

Density is a measure of the amount of mass per unit of volume of an object. Denser objects havemore mass. The more mass an object has, the stronger the force of momentum will be when it swings. You can test this out yourself as part of a science fair project! See our How to Turn this into a Science Fair Project section below.

This DIY toy is supported by a rigid frame. A frame is a structure that holds something tightly in place. This toy has a lot of movement in the marbles and will not work if the frame around the marbles also moves.

Newtons Cradle also demonstrates a concept called tolerances. In engineering, products must be built very precisely. If they arent, the product will fall apart when in use. In Newtons Cradle the marbles must be hung very carefully side by side and in a line or the toy wont work.

Color the craft sticks first and learn about capillary action! If you soak craft sticks in water colored with food coloring, the color will travel up through the wood as the water is absorbed. You can learn how to do that here. Let dry and then construct a tie-dyed Newtons Cradle.

free baby cradle plans - cradle woodworking designs and blueprints

free baby cradle plans - cradle woodworking designs and blueprints

On this page you will find helpfulresources, free baby cradle plans as well asrecommendations for necessary woodworking tools, parts and hardware for DIY ers that want to build their own furniture.Are you looking forbaby cradle patterns with a vintage or antique look or do you want a design that has a modern or contemporary style?

make a book binding cradle : 6 steps (with pictures) - instructables

make a book binding cradle : 6 steps (with pictures) - instructables

Coptic book binding is a traditional form of book binding that has been around for thousands of years. Although it is fairly simple, there are some specialized tools you might find incredibly handy when binding your own books. In this Instructable I will show you a simple and easy way to make your own book binding cradle which only took me around 15 mins to make thanks to the tools at TechShop San Jose. You will need: a 24"x12" piece of wood or other material to cut your cradle out of blue painter's tape wood glue (or another type of glue depending on what you make your cradle out of) Laser cutter or wood working tools

First, you need to cut out your pieces. You could use any 1/4" thick material for this project (acrylic, cardboard, metal, etc...). I have chosen to use 1/4" plywood because of its durability and how easy it is to work with. If you chose wood or acrylic, you could cut all your pieces out by hand using wood working tools, but since I have access to TechShop's laser cutters, I chose to build a file and cut my pieces out that way.

Now you have to mark where to glue your support pieces (the 3"x1/4" rectangles) on your 2 side pieces. Take a straight edge and place it from one corner to the one diagonally opposite and draw a line about 1/2 way down, then do the same thing for the other 2 corners so you are left with a V. Repeat on the front and back of both side pieces.

Now fold the two halves together and tape the back together with blue tape as well. Although you could potentially put the sides together with a hinge, I found that the blue tape is very forgiving when you're punching holes in the paper you are about to bind, and is also cheap and easy to replace once your tape is too chewed up to use anymore.

Now you can assemble your cradle! The beauty of this design is that it can pack flat and travels really well if you're going to a craft night somewhere, or just don't have the space to have a book binding cradle on your work area all the time.

Great design! For signatures longer than the provided pattern, how would you suggest leaving one end open while still bracing it? I know I could make a range of different sized sides for the cradle, but having one catch-all for travel would be pretty excellent as well.

Thank you for sharing this. A quick suggestion if I may...for Step 2, why not use the laser to mark the lines instead of drawing them by hand? A pair of short lines along each 45 (one near each end of each 45) could be use so it could be cut along with the rest of the vector cutting (much faster than trying to raster those lines). By keeping those lines short, they shouldn't weaken the end cradle but would be more than enough to align the pieces for gluing without needing Step 2. I've modified the drawing file you posted to try this out. If it works, you're welcome to have the modified file. :-)

xbox design lab | xbox

xbox design lab | xbox

Customize the features of the new Xbox Wireless Controller, including the hybrid D-pad, textured triggers, quick-access Share button, and more for a personalized controller thats uniquely yours. See where inspiration takes you.

Honestly, the inspiration for my controller is pretty simple: Two of my favorite colors are darker shades of red and blue, and while theres plenty of controllers out there that will do one or the other, its rare to see both in one. Since the Pulse Red already exists, I decided to go with a Navy Blue body as the primary color, and used Red to really pop out on the sticks, dpad, and shoulders.

I designed this controller with red as my base because red is absolutely my favorite color. While it complements very well with black, I thought adding an extra splash of yellow would make it pop and make it look super interesting!

Please check your order status at account.microsoft.com/. You will receive an email with the tracking number once your controller has been shipped. We aim to have the controller in your hands within 28 days of placing your order.

Go to account.microsoft.com and sign in with you Microsoft Account (same e-mail add password you used to place the order). On the top of the page, click on the Payment & Billing dropdown and select order history. If you do not see your controller order there, then it was not completed. Please select your design and then checkout.

You were charged for your controller at the time it began to be built. It can take up to two weeks between that time and when you will receive a tracking number. You will receive an email with the tracking number once your controller ships.

Before attempting to exchange your controller, please take some steps to troubleshoot the problem. If this proves unsuccessful, please begin theonline warranty replacement process. All warranty exchanges must be processed online and cannot be exchanged at a Microsoft Store.

No, additional or spare parts are not available for purchase for the Design Lab Controller. If you would like an Xbox controller with interchangeable parts, you should check out the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 at the Microsoft Store.

The best way to do this is to have the gift recipient design the controller, add to cart, and share a screenshot of the design attributes. Once they have done that, you can build the controller to their specifications and purchase it for them.

how to build a crib [steb-by-step guide] | sawshub

how to build a crib [steb-by-step guide] | sawshub

Building a crib for your little one on the way, not only can save you money but it can also create a family heirloom to pass down for generations. By learning how to build a crib, you can have one ready before your little one arrives, giving you another thing to be proud of as a new parent.

Be sure you have the following ready before you start to build your crib. It will make the process easier and ensure you have everything you need so you can complete this step-by-step guide to building a crib without delay.

Now that you know what supplies you need to gather, you need to put some thought into the type of wood you want for your crib. You have a variety of options from pine to oak. Keep in mind that the dimensions of your crib are the same no matter what type of wood you use.

The skys the limit when it comes to choosing whattype of woodto use in your crib project. The choice is yours, and there is no right or wrong answer. Use the wood that you like and will look best in your home.

To begin understanding how to make a crib, you must first cut the pieces that you will use in the sides, front, and back of your crib. You will need the following pieces cut. Use yourmiter sawto make the cuts so they are precise and accurate .

It is best to cut all your wood pieces with yourmiter sawbefore you start to assemble your crib. Start with the three 2x10s cut to 28.5 inches and 2x2s cut to 27.75 inches. These pieces will serve as your cribs side panels.

Be sure to pre-drill two holes with your Kreg Jig at both the top and bottom of the 2x2s so you can easily attach it to the other 2x2s that you have. Use your wood screws to attach the bottom and top 2x2s to the 2x10s.

You will need to work with your 2x10s that have been cut to 48 inches. Here you will countersink the screws to both edges to attach to the side panels. Use your 1x2s to provide additional support to the back rail.

Stand up both your newly created back and side panels together. Align the pieces so that they are level and use screws to hold them firmly together. This will create the frame for your crib. You can ask your children if you have any to help hold the pieces for you. That way, they can be a part of thisDIY project.

Here, you will need your 52.5-inch 2x2s and 28.5-inch 1x3s. Start by drilling pocket holes in the top as well as the bottom of the 2x2s so they can be attached to form the rail. You will also need to consider how far apart you want your slat spacing as this will be the design used throughout your entire crib project.

Your slat spacing is a key element of your crib project. You need to select even dimensions as this will need to work out evenly across and around your crib. Before you secure your crib slatswith some screws and sockets, be sure to lay them out and make sure they fit properly and look as you intended.

Screw each slat to the 2x2s you worked with previously. You may want to use pre-drilled holes in both the top and bottom of the 2x2s for easier attachment to the bed frame. You will also want to use yourwood gluehere to make sure that you have the proper attachment.

Now you will create the platform for the mattress. You will need to first build the frame with our 24.5-inch 2x2s. Attach the OSB wood you have cut using yourtable saw or circular saw, using wood screws.

You can now add trim work, and anice stainorpaint finishto your crib as you see necessary. You could also opt to just put aclear or opaque finishover the wood.No matter what you pick, make certain that whatever finish you use, it is safe for babies!

Use your imagination to make this crib personalized and a one-of-a-kind piece in your home. There is not limit to the possibilities you can consider to adorn your crib and make it special for your child.

Now that you know how to build a crib, you can easily make one on your own. These are wonderful statement pieces in a childs bedroom and will provide you with a furniture item that has many great memories for you and your family. We hope you enjoybuilding this crib from scratchall on your own using these step-by-step instructions.

Allen runs a popular home website, and understands what it takes to educate audiences through online content. Through his focus at home, Allen developed an insatiable appetite for home improvement projects that he could do for cheap on weekends. Over the years, he has gained valuable experience, which he shares in detail in articles like How to Build A DIY Dining Room Table. His ability to clearly share these DIY ideas is a huge asset, and he is a valuable resource to the home improvement community.

SawsHub.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

gorgeous diy baby cradles for handy parents

gorgeous diy baby cradles for handy parents

Preparing for baby can be an expensive experience. There are many ways to save, but youre probably prepared to guess which way is our favourite! Using your DIY skills to make things yourself can be not only cheaper than buying everything new, but its also an opportunity to unwind, use your hands, and work together with your loved ones. there are plenty of small baby-related crafts that you can make, but have you ever considered making your own central piece for the nursery?

Instructables walks you through the process of making a baby cradle thats so unique in function and use that it can actually save you money on another piece of furniture too! This cradle has a rocking chair built right into the end of it so that you can rock Baby to sleep and immediately place them into their cozy bed without risking waking them up walking across the room.

Sometimes a bit of decorative novelty is lovely, as long as the piece is still practical! We think this gorgeous half moon cradle design by The Owner Builder Network is the perfect blend of style and function! Its also easier to make than you might thing as long as you have some base knowledge about wood working.

Do you have brand new twins that youd like to be able to nap together? Perhaps youre just very close with your best friend who also has a young baby and youd like a safe place to lay them when they fall asleep during play dates. Either way, this tandem rocking cradle design by Small for Big is perfect for letting your baby bond with others, even while they snooze.

Are you working with a very small floor space and looking for alternative cribs that will keep things as uncrowded as possible? Besides being useful for that, this lovely hanging design by Seven Crossways is absolutely gorgeous. It also has a curtain that will let you block sunlight from shining on Babys face in the morning or during nap time.

99 Pallets suggests letting your obsession with upcycling pallets spill over from your living room and dining room into Babys room too! As long as theyre in good condition, pallets are the perfect reclaimed wood for making your own study crib or cradle.

If youre quite experienced with wood working and looking for a more challenging piece of DIY furniture than the average crib or cradle, look no further than this dual crib and dresser choo choo train design by Fab Art DIY! Besides being fulfilling to complete, its also functional in that it takes care of two pieces of furniture. Finally, we doubt we even have to point this out to you, but its completely adorable too.

Whats even better than upcycling other things into pieces of cute decor for your Babys new room? Upcycling something into a practial piece of new, reclaimed furniture, of course! We absolutely adore this rocking cradle design created from two identical wooden chairs faced together and attached. Get the full instructions for making it from Handmade Charlotte.

Have you built your new baby a shabby chic nursery with a beautiful farm-like aesthetic, but you havent quite found a crib or cradle that fits the style to your liking? Ana White suggests keeping things rustic by actually making a DIY cradle from reclaimed wood from an old barn or farmhouse. We love the way the cross boards at the foot of this crib design resemble a barn door!

Are you looking for a way to keep baby comfortable during their naps no matter where you are when they fall asleep? This DIY portable cradle design by La Salsa DAmelie is the perfect solution. Its also a lot more stylish and easier to carry than classic folding cribs as long as your baby is still small.

TutorialGirl shows you how to make a gorgeous hanging cradle thats more fabric and less wood or harder materials. This pattern and design are great for people who want to make a DIY cradle but arent experience in wood working. Its also easier to store away later when your baby outgrows it!

Do you like the idea of a hanging cradle made mostly of fabric and material, but the first hammock style design isnt really your preference? This hanging tent design has a little more character, especially if youre going for a rustic feel. Its also compact enough that you could hang it temporarily in your own room to help with long nights of interrupted sleep early on, without having to completely restructure your room for make floor space. Check out how its made on Vintage Revivals.

Do you want a reclaimed idea thats full of character and definitely uncommon? We think youll adore Craft Like This rustic but innovative idea for using an old whiskey barrel cut in half to create a gorgeous hanging cradle!

DIY Start shows you how to make a non-traditional but gorgeously decorative rounded baby cradle that will automatically turn any nursery into a princess room. No matter what colour you choose, the canopy will make everything seem royal each night and at each nap time.

Are you look for a second, temporary cradle for downstairs that you can set Baby to nap in while you cook or do housework, but that youll move them from later when its time for bed? Check out this gorgeous wooden frame cradle stuff with an oversized body pillow featured on The Project Lady! As long as theyre small enough for swaddling, baby will be cozy and safe upon the cushion until youre ready to take them upstairs.

Luxury Bus LA suggests making your very own cradle design out of reclaimed wood. Whether youre getting the boards from an old fence or somewhere different, the weathered look of reclaimed wood will help you build a gorgeously shabby chic aesthetic in your nursery that definitely errs more on the side of chic.

DIYs.com is an up-and-coming community of people specialized in high-quality and on-trend DIY projects and tutorials in home design, fashion, and crafts. Recognizing the value of the do-it-yourself movement of the last several years, DIYs.com is inspired by unique yet replicable ideas.

Related Equipments