Nov 192012

For this weeks How To series I have chosen to reach out to all those “Gold Miners” out there.  I am not really talking about true miners here, more the type of person who has some extra cash and would not mind trying to dredge for gold on a larger scale than someone who goes into a stream with a pan.  This article is not going to cover everything about getting gold out of the ground.  This one is mainly about building the sluice box for the dredge.  With a gold dredge, there is still not as much equipment that you have to pack into wherever you are going, but you are still going to be able to move a lot of dirt and get a decent amount of concentrate at the end of a long day.  If you get a large enough consistent water stream going (usually assisted by some sort of pump) then you can funnel material (dirt, gold, rocks, etc) through a sluice box which will naturally have slower spots (where gold being heavier than most other materials found in streams will fall into the ripples while the rest of the material shoots on out the back via the water.  

You might thing that the Sluice Box has to best set up perfectly and mathematically.  This really is not the case as really the flow of water is what is key.  The general rule of thumb when building a sluice box is that there be a one inch drop for every one foot of length.  A four foot sluice box is going to also need 4 inches of drop.  Heavier rocks can destroy a sluice box so its best to build a wind dam or something to keep the bigger rocks from going into the sluice box.  A hint that I might add is that the longer the sluice box, the more potential you have for picking up material and gold.  Obviously once they get to a certain length it starts to become difficult to carry them around, but if you can somehow figure out a way to build one that folds, you might be able to keep it long and still backpack it somewhere if need be.  

Here are three different dudes letting you know how they built their sluice boxes.

Oct 072012

A lot of users have been getting ahold of me and asking me to write more about dredging for gold.  Gold Dredges can get expensive so I thought I would start this series out with a how to video series that I have found online.  I am hoping that I can eventually save people money on their own set ups.  I only ask that you share your ideas with the rest of us as well. There is more than enough gold out there for all of us. 




Apr 132012
backpack dredge

If you are looking for a way to make money while you are up in Alaska, this is a great piece of equipment to have.  Dredging for gold is one of the more common recreational activities in most of Alaska and Yukon.  The fact that you can put this on a backpack makes it all the much better because with two people you can carry a whole campsite along with your gold dredge.  If you are planning are trying to get some hard to get to places, this is pretty much your only option besides building roads and getting to it with equipment or hand panning everything.  This is by far the best method (especially if you are a two-man crew) and also most efficient means of extract gold from creeks in Alaska.  I realize you can always build your own and there are many methods of doing so but the quickest and easiest will also be the priciest.  Here are some of the prices you will be looking at for a backpack gold dredge.

Keene 2-Inch Backpack Gold Dredge$1,649.00
Jobe 2-Inch Backpack Gold Dredge$1,595.00
1 1/2″ Backpack Gold Dredge$1,195.00

Building your own gold dredge is probably one of the coolest and most complete products that you can undertake when panning for gold.  There are a lot of different options that you can choose and I have found the best tutorials for you so you do not have to search around.

Nevada Outback Gems – One of the most thorough guides out there.
YouTube Channel – How to Build a Gold Dredge

Here are some movies on back-pack dredges working on streams.  Its pretty cool to see them go.  I wonder how much the average person pulls out in a summer.

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