Also, please see my video How To Make A Screen Box.
When we were down in North Carolina going after emeralds, and other gemstones, the most productive method was creeking. That was simply using a screen box and a small shovel to dig from the bottom of the creek, dump it into the screen, sluice it in the creek water and examine the rocks that were left.
When I got home, I decided to build a screen box. I have a small stream running through my property and was wondering what kind of rocks were in there. I searched the web for screen boxes, sluicing boxes and anything else I could find, and couldn’t find any plans or directions how to make one. I wish I had gotten close of pictures of the ones we used in Hiddenite, NC. Anyway, I have to wing it and design my own.
8′ x 3.5″ x 1″ pine board (without any major knots and that isn’t too warped)
8 x 3″ exterior screws (or 16 screws to make a second screen box)
1 roll of 1/4″ screen/hardware cloth.
Using a miter saw, cut the board into 8 pieces of even length (about 12″ minus waste from cutting blade).
Drill two holes 1/2 inch from one end of each board, using a drill bit about the thickness of the screws you are using (I used an 11/64 drill bit). Start with two boards, lining up the side of one board with the edge of another board, then using my a with a phillips head bit mounted, drive a screw in. Then line up the next board, and drive a single screw in. Continue until all four boards were attached in a square shape. Make sure the frame is square, then procede to drive in the remaining four screws.
Once the frame is solid, lay the screen over the frame. Using some wire cutters, carefully cut a square that covers the inside opening of the frame. You want the screen to cover as much of the frame as possible without overlapping the outside edge of the frame. Cut the screen right along the crosswire so you don’t get little points sticking out. Once the screen square is cut, clean up any sharp points.
Position the screen on the frame. Then using the staplegun, staple the screen to the frame spacing the staples about every one to two inches along the edge of the screen. You may need to tap the staples down using a hammer.
Now you have a screen box! With an 8 foot board and a roll of screen, you can make a couple screen boxes.