How to make the world's best gold pan even better!
Like many people, I believe the Garrett Super Sluice is the best gold pan that's ever been manufactured. Its wide, flat center area allows for feathering out black sands from fine gold, the deeply recessed riffles enable light and medium weight materials to be washed away quickly and its size and durability are unmatched. Having said that, I feel there are three modifications that can make this great gold pan even better.
The first improvement is to get rid of the hole on the edge of the pan.
While it doesn't reduce the pan's effectiveness, it does disrupt the flow of water and material over the edge. My solution was to cover it with tape, fill in the back with hot glue, then remove the tape and sand the area down to match the pan's original profile and texture.
Now the flow over this area is smooth and even.
The next problem was more serious.
Both of my Garrett Super Sluice gold pans came with three, one inch diameter raised circles with sharp molding ridges around them. These were created during the injection molding process. Because they block the smooth flow of material over the surface of the pan, gold and black sand get hung up in them. Starting with 120-grit sand paper and a sanding block, I sanded the ridges and raised circle down until the surface was flat, then smoothed it with increasing grits until I got to 1000 grit.
At that point the area was both perfectly level and had a texture that matched the original surface.
Both of my pans came with dents in the side wall at almost the exact same spot. I assume a tool was used to release the pan from its mold and because of the force required and the fact that the plastic was still warm the tool pressed into the plastic. It's so small that I doubt it would create any real problems, but it tended to catch both gold and black sand so I decided it had to go.
The dent is really much shallower than it looks. Most of its depth actually comes from plastic pushed up creating a ridge above it. I found it could be sanded out easily. I was careful to feather out the very shallow concavity created so there is no depression that can trap anything.
The result is a perfectly smooth sidewall.
I can't say that these three changes significantly improved my Garrett Super Sluice gold pans, but they seem to work better for me and feel more comfortable in my hands because they now have my personal stamp on them.
If your pans have the same issues, try these simple fixes and see if they help. Thanks for visiting and I wish you great panning!
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BACKYARD GOLD PROSPECTING
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