The Gold Cube is absolutely a standout product for us small scale gold prospectors in Colorado. Our beautiful state is known for having fine gold that prospectors back in the gold rush found frustrating. This makes the Cube an ideal tool for the serious prospectors who want to move up from pans and stream sluices. In fact, there are two situations where I strongly recommend it as the best choice. The first use is in the field where it catches fine gold more completely than other high bankers. It has become famous for this. The second is to process concentrates from a dredge or other operation that produces a lot of concentrates. In this scenario it will make quick work of your dirt, getting you down to less than a panful in mere moments.
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First, it makes an outstanding high-banking setup. The biggest problem with most high bankers is retention of fine gold…its dismaying how much fine gold most high bankers lose. If you talk with owners of traditional high bankers you will get into whole discussions about water flow rates, sluice angles, various mats to line the sluices, etc. Of course everyone will swear that after a lot of fine tuning and fiddling around, they have it worked out. Mostly they don’t. The Gold Cube has this problem beat completely and it is famous for its fine gold retention. Maximum throughput and ability to run a little bit away from a stream (or in a stream where you can’t set up a stream sluice) are the big reasons people buy high bankers in general. The Gold Cube does all this and more- it can also be set up as a water recirculation operation for places with limited or no water.
There are three levels of Gold Cube operation in the field. Before you buy, you should think about which configuration makes sense for you:
- The base model 3 Stack Deluxe Gold Cube requires you to use an 8 mesh classifier which is fine and I have certainly spent productive days that way. Classifying into a bucket is a good idea if you have to haul material from the dig site to the Gold Cube for some reason. That way you aren’t hauling rocks that you will just toss aside anyway. This is the lowest cost Cube configuration and usually the best setup if you are recirculating your water as well. Another advantage of this configuration is that you know how much material you have processed, just count the buckets as you go…about 20 5 gallon buckets makes a ton! The Gold Cube can handle 10 full 5 gallons per hour. I challenge anyone to produce much classified material that fast!
- By adding the banker on top you can put aside the classifier and just shovel directly onto the banker which sits on top of the Gold Cube. This method is better if you have two people working: one to shovel and one to move material off of the punch plate on the banker. Take turns as you go and you can maintain quite a pace of processing. You might even get close to the volumes a Gold Cube can handle…well, no, probably not 😉 I can tell you this sort of teamwork makes for a fun day!
- Go big and add the trommel to the Gold Cube and you have something that seems like magic to those of us who like to DIG! Just setup right next to your paydirt, shovel into the hopper and the trommel does the rest. It will spit out rocks up to three inches in diameter and you can just pick the bigger ones out of the hopper as you go. The trommel cleans the rocks really well and will take your one person production up to an impressive level. With this setup every other prospector you meet will be jealous of you 🙂
Second, to process concentrates after a day of dredging you have a couple options:
- Set up your Gold Cube on site and process your concentrates down to about 1.5 cups of material in mere moments. So little to pack up and carry home! I’m told this is what Parker Schnabel does with the concentrates from his giant sluices that you see on the GOLD RUSH TV show.
- Take the concentrates home and run the cube in the driveway. Getting cold and dark by the time you get dragged out of the water by your prospecting buddies? Then this is for you.
Either way you will end up with all the fine gold captured and just 1.5 cups of material to pan out. A big improvement over that whole bucket of material you usually come home with right?
Whichever setup you choose, here are a few tips from my own experience:
- Start with a smaller battery such this : 12V 15AH F2 SEALED LEAD ACID AGM DEEP-CYCLE RECHARGEABLE BATTERY. That’s the one I use for all my battery powered gear. Then add a second one if you need more power to get through the day. This approach is much, much better than having to haul a big car/boat battery down to the river when you are really only going to use 30% of its capacity. Its cheaper too, which I always like!!
- Carry and use your batteries in a bucket with a foam pad or cloth at the bottom. It really sucks to drop a battery as you hike in if the battery case cracks. Major fail. Don’t ask how I know this 😉 This strategy also avoids an acid spill which might make the local rangers grumpy!
- Handcarts and plastic totes make getting the cube to the dig site easier.
- When you are setting up, set up the pump and battery first. Then use water flow from the pump hose to thoroughly wet the trays as you set up the sluice. Your goal here is to get rid of the bubbles in each vortex mat before you start running dirt.
- When you are working, keep the pump running until it is time to clean up. Turning off and on multiple times may save a little battery life but it risks having the gold dry out in the sluice. Dry gold floats away…catch and release is NOT our plan!
- When you clean up, disconnect the hose from the top tray and take a pic of the pretty gold in that top sluice tray to show your friends. Then as you pull each tray, use the water from your pump hose to rinse the trays into your washout tub. Quick and simple!
- Go to the hardware store and buy a few extra thumb screws. They have a way of disappearing and it’s funny how hard it is to make a cube stand work with only 3 thumbscrews to hold the frame on the legs. Ok, it’s not funny, it’ll spoil your day. All for lack of a 20 cent thumb screw!
The links in the text of this article connect you directly to my friends at Gold Cube via their website. If you’d rather buy through Amazon (maybe you have a gift card?!) you can do that here: