How to Build a Sluice Box 2

How to Build a Sluice Box 2

Now that you know the various parts that you need to build a sluice box we can begin to design, make and assemble them.

The best part to start on is the lowest part of the sluice box, this will hold the whole thing together and as such should be the sturdiest and most reliable part of the sluice box.

This part should be made of 1 inch marine ply – this will ensure that it can withstand the massive and constant erosive and eroding forces it will face in a river, stream or creek.

The shape of this section is like a Y, the top part of the Y will be used to increase the speed and therefore the flow rate of water over the sluice box, this will ensure maximum extraction of gold from the river gravels (but this can all be modified and perfected at a later date).


If possible, buy or find a half board of one inch marine ply. On it mark a 48 inch mm straight line. Mark another line of the same length 12 inches away from this one in a perpendicular manner, this means that you should have two lines with a 12 inch gap between both of them.

Next, from the top of both of these lines mark out an 18 inch line at 45 degrees, both of these lines should be a mirror image of each other, now you should have the outline of your Y for the sluice box.



Next are the sidewalls of the sluice box, these will contain and increase the water flow and also trap the precious river gravels which contain the gold and force them to go over the riffles, expanded metal and miners moss.


I would recommend using 4 inch planks of hardwood for the sidewalls, these should be cut to the lengths of the two straight lines of the Y and also two other lengths of 18 inches to take the shape of the 45 degree cuts, so you should have four separate planks to create the full length of sidewall. Take note of the angle change at the interface where the straight parts of the sidewall meet the 45 degree parts of the sidewall, these may need to be mitered, learn more about mitering here.


The next step in the sluice box build is to join both the bottom main structure and the sidewalls. This can be achieved by placing the sidewall on top of the Y shaped main structure, screw some wood screws through the bottom main structure and into the sidewalls, repeat this with all parts until you have one complete structure.


Next it is best to silicone around the edges where all surfaces meet, this creates one complete internal box that should be waterproof – water will have nowhere to go apart from fully through the sluice box and out the opposite end from which it entered.