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Last Post 30 Oct 2019 06:45 PM by  William Hall
Miller Table Surface
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David Vanderpool
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Posts:6



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30 Oct 2019 08:45 AM
    I obtained a 12"x30" slab of natural slate, about 3/8" thick, and was considering using it to build a Miller Table. The flat surfaces appear to be along the natural cleavage; basically smooth, but with very slight ripples. It is not perfectly smooth and flat like a chalkboard. There is a monument/gravestone business near me that would have the machinery to plane the surface flat, plus saw off the rough edges.

    Would this be recommended, or would the "natural" slate surface be superior?
    Thanks
    CHRISTOPHER SATKOWSKI
    Sluicer
    Sluicer
    Posts:74



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    30 Oct 2019 10:30 AM
    I can't answer this for you, but the miller tables I've seen don't use slate, but use a flat, slightly porous rubber matting. I see to see this for sale at home depot, think it was the matting you'd put in a bottom of a toolbox, but haven't seen it in the hardware store recently. Others have used chalkboard spray paint on a flat aluminum surface. I think they needed to treat the aluminum with some acid first to get the roughen the surface of the aluminum up so the paint would stick and not flake off.

    I had a miller table that I bought with the rubber mat I mentioned, The Black Magic company has since gone out of business. It worked with a 500 GPH 12 VDC pump hooked to a PVC adjustable valve. Whatever the smallest valves they sold at home depot. It had four adjustable legs. Perhaps you can get a pump like that and with a couple of boards at the end, run water across it and try the black sands. My gut tells me it needs to be flat and the sands would pool in the little grooves on the slate as it is now until it is planed smooth. Either that, or make it reversible by planning one side and keeping the other natural to test your results.

    I wish you luck in your endevours. IME, when I try to fab something myself, it usually ends up poor quality or I spend much more than had I just bough the part.
    David Vanderpool
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:6



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    30 Oct 2019 03:04 PM
    I have read many forum posts on various sites, stating that real slate is superior to any man-made substance or chalkboard paint. Just asking among our veteran prospectors to see if anyone has experience with this. The posts about "slate is best" could be diehards not wanting to see the "old ways lost"...but "new" or "modern" does not always mean "better"... but sometimes it IS.

    The liner I have seen recommended is "EZ Liner Ultra Fresh" but I have trouble finding it. Even Amazon lists it as "Unavailable". EZ Liner may have dropped that particular label name. They may have replaced it with a "EZ Liner Ultra Cling", or something like that. All I find (all I have locally is WalMart)of that is a floral print style - evidently kitchen cabinet shelf liner. There is another EZ Liner product that is an open mesh - not suitable for a Miller Table at all.

    I may try to find that in black or dark green/blue, or something similar to it and attach it to the back side of my slate, and make it reversible, and experiment.
    William Hall
    Buzzard
    Buzzard
    Posts:530



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    30 Oct 2019 06:45 PM
    David,

    I think natural anything is better than man made
    Slate that I'm familiar with is kinda rough, not perfectly flat unless machined
    I would think that with the right amount of slope and water flow
    would make a very good fine stuff cleanup sluice
    nature has been doing it a lot longer than we have
    Something to tinker with in the garage
    Let us know how it works

    Bill
    So Much River So Little Time...Get Out There
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