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Pickaxes: A User's Guide - What's the Best Way to Mine? *Minetorials Contest*

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Which is your best Mining Technique?

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papuang
Level 29 : Expert Unicorn
Pickaxes: A User's Guide
---What's the Best Way to Mine?---

The 3 Mining Techniques

In my opinion, regardless of what Minecraft Wiki or any other tutorial/how-to tells you, there are only 3 simple ways of mining and retrieving ores. Whether you're an 'Alpha Expert' or a 'Beta 1.0 Hero', you'll be sure to learn something. Each mining technique will be set out by; first, explaining how to do it, secondly, the advantages of using this technique, third, the disadvantages of using this technique, and finally fourth, tips on how to do it efficiently and/or safely.

The Techniques:

Quarrying:

How to do it:

1. Collect at least a half stack of torches, a stack of ladders,10 stone pickaxes/7 iron pickaxes/2 diamond pickaxes, 5 stone shovels/4 iron shovels/1 diamond shovel, and lots of food.

2. Decide how big you want your quarry to be, 3x3 being the minimum and 25x25 being the point at which you are on the border of losing your sanity.

3. Begin with the edges of the quarry and work your way inwards. After that experiment with the easiest and most efficient way for you to mine down. Some examples include. spiralling inwards, going in lines, going in zigzags and finally, my favorite; digging down 2 blocks and then mining 2 layers and so on. Carry on mining until you reach bedrock.

Advantages:

1. You cover a large area so you are more likely to retrieve more ores.

2. When you are finished, it can be easily converted into something useful like a (tree)farm or something decorative like a block of underground flats.

3. If mining with (a) friend(s), then you can take turns mining it, or if mining together, it is a great time to think up your next amazing build or have a DMC (Deep Meaningful Conversation).

Disadvantages:

1. It can become vary tedious and boring as it takes long to mine down to bedrock.

2. This large hole is a safety hazard and falling down can be a real pain as you have to climb all the way down the ladders.

3. If you retrieved little ores from the quarry, it can become very demoralising, and you may see it as a waste of pickaxes?

Tips:

1. Bring fences to your quarry and place them around it, this prevents the hazard of falling in.

2. Never mine below you, you never know when there might be lava below you, waiting to seal your doom. Always mine at least 1 block, 2 blocks is better, in front of you.

3. Quarrying often uncovers abandoned mineshafts, explore these for extra loot and lots of chance for ores in this open space.
4. Once you have reached the bedrock layer, it is a good idea to make 4 branches, 1 from each side. This covers even more distance and can me turned into a mob grinder.
5. If you get bored of quarrying you could decorate the top of your quarry or even make patters in the walls to look at when you're mining. Or you could just turn the wools into a block you like other than stone or dirt. The possibilities are endless...

quarryingpng

Stairwell Mining:

How to do it:

1. Collect at least a half stack of torches, 7 stone pickaxes/4 iron pickaxes/1 diamond pickaxe, 3 stone shovels/2 iron shovels/1 diamond shovel, and quite a lot of food.

2. Decide how wide you want your mine to be, a 1 block wide wine is very small and exposes barely any blocks. Feel free to try it, but don't expect good results. The minimum is probably 2 or 3 blocks wide and the maximum is again about 25 blocks wide. My town quarry is 10 blocks wide and this works perfectly fine. 10 blocks would probably be a good size but it is your decision.

3. Start by mining 1 block down along your length and then 2 blocks down the block layer in front. Then 3 blocks down. Keep mining 1 block down for every 1 block forwards until you reach bedrock. This creates a stairwell.


Advantages:

1. Since it is only 2x3, it can easily fit inside a house.
2. There is no need for safety hazard fences as there is only a 1/2 block drop.

3. Traveling up and down your mine is extremely easy with the use of water and minecart rails.


Disadvantages:

1. It is hard to convert into anything useful.
2. Less blocks are exposed by this mine than quarrying so you have less chance of finding ores.

3. Mining with (a) friend(s) is a lot harder as there is a lot less space.


Tips:

1. Establish how much space you think you need between each torch and keep it at a constant pattern. This looks more professional and it ensures no monsters will spawn and you can always see.
2. Place minecart rails as you go so that you don't have to walk all the way up every time you need something.

3. Bring a double chest with you so that if you're all the way down your mine and you suddenly realise your inventory is full, you don't want to have to go all the way up, just place the chest and put everything in there. Every time that you really DO need to go up, just take as much as you can.

4. Once you're reached bedrock level, it is a nice idea to build a little chill-out or gaming room down there or anything you like. Not only does it look really cool, but in the process of doing it, your exposing even more possible ore spots!

5. Remember, if you're using minecart rails as your mode of transport, then always bring powered rails with you so that you don't get stuck on the journey up...

stairwell-miningpng

Spelunking/Cave Mining


How to do it:

1. Collect at least a stack and a half of torches, 3 stone pickaxes/2 iron pickaxes/1 diamond pickaxe, 2 stone shovels/1 iron shovel/1 diamond shovel, and quite a lot of food.


2. Find a cave opening in the ground, in a cliff or incorporate this technique into the first technique; quarrying. If you choose to do this, follow what is instructed in the quarrying paragraph. Keep on mining until you reach and opening in the walls of your quarry.


3. Once you have found your cave, wherever it may be, choose which path you will take, if there is more than one, then begin placing torches until you reach a dead-end. By this time you should have found lots of ores. Then go back down at take the other path(s). Keep up this process until all paths in the cave have been explored.

Advantages:


1. Little pickaxes are water as little mining is needed, yet lots of ores are found.
2. You rarely get bored and it is a lot more exciting and fast-paced. Also , you often get to kill lots of mobs.
3. If mining with (a) friend(s), it is a lot more productive as each one of you can take a different path, which uncovers more ores quicker.

Disadvantages:


1. If you don't want to make a quarry to find one, it can take a long time to find a cave to explore.
2. Since these caves are usually on the surface, it is very unlikely that you will find ores such as; lapis lazuli, redstone, diamond and you only rarely find gold.

Tips:


1. Place your torches all along one side of the wall so the if your cave has lots of different paths, you do not get lost on return journeys.
2. Once you have reached a dead-end, if you hear monster sounds, it is a good idea to mine the dead end out about 5 blocks, because, though a lot less common since the 1.8.1 update, there can sometimes be a 'false dead-end' which can continue your path, harbouring more possible ores.
3. On your way back out of the path, destroy all your torches so that you don't waste them in a cave you will never enter again.
4. Once you are absolutely sure that there are no 'false dead-ends' or hidden paths, block off the path with a noticeable block, e.g. gravel, cobblestone or dirt. This ensures that you don't explore the same cave twice.
5. Never progress any further down the cave down the main path until all secondary paths have been explored and blocked off. This helps you to stop getting lost on your way back up and being confused by so many paths...

spelunkingpng

Thank you very much for reading

Pickaxes: A User's Guide - What's the Best Way to Mine?



Please give feedback. It is much appreciated. If you liked it, please give a diamond. I am very grateful.


Thanks, Papuang
quarryingpng

Stairwell Mining:

How to do it:

1. Collect at least a half stack of torches, 7 stone pickaxes/4 iron pickaxes/1 diamond pickaxe, 3 stone shovels/2 iron shovels/1 diamond shovel, and quite a lot of food.

2. Decide how wide you want your mine to be, a 1 block wide wine is very small and exposes barely any blocks. Feel free to try it, but don't expect good results. The minimum is probably 2 or 3 blocks wide and the maximum is again about 25 blocks wide. My town quarry is 10 blocks wide and this works perfectly fine. 10 blocks would probably be a good size but it is your decision.

3. Start by mining 1 block down along your length and then 2 blocks down the block layer in front. Then 3 blocks down. Keep mining 1 block down for every 1 block forwards until you reach bedrock. This creates a stairwell.


Advantages:

1. Since it is only 2x3, it can easily fit inside a house.
2. There is no need for safety hazard fences as there is only a 1/2 block drop.

3. Traveling up and down your mine is extremely easy with the use of water and minecart rails.


Disadvantages:

1. It is hard to convert into anything useful.
2. Less blocks are exposed by this mine than quarrying so you have less chance of finding ores.

3. Mining with (a) friend(s) is a lot harder as there is a lot less space.


Tips:

1. Establish how much space you think you need between each torch and keep it at a constant pattern. This looks more professional and it ensures no monsters will spawn and you can always see.
2. Place minecart rails as you go so that you don't have to walk all the way up every time you need something.

3. Bring a double chest with you so that if you're all the way down your mine and you suddenly realise your inventory is full, you don't want to have to go all the way up, just place the chest and put everything in there. Every time that you really DO need to go up, just take as much as you can.

4. Once you're reached bedrock level, it is a nice idea to build a little chill-out or gaming room down there or anything you like. Not only does it look really cool, but in the process of doing it, your exposing even more possible ore spots!

5. Remember, if you're using minecart rails as your mode of transport, then always bring powered rails with you so that you don't get stuck on the journey up...

stairwell-miningpng

Spelunking/Cave Mining


How to do it:

1. Collect at least a stack and a half of torches, 3 stone pickaxes/2 iron pickaxes/1 diamond pickaxe, 2 stone shovels/1 iron shovel/1 diamond shovel, and quite a lot of food.


2. Find a cave opening in the ground, in a cliff or incorporate this technique into the first technique; quarrying. If you choose to do this, follow what is instructed in the quarrying paragraph. Keep on mining until you reach and opening in the walls of your quarry.


3. Once you have found your cave, wherever it may be, choose which path you will take, if there is more than one, then begin placing torches until you reach a dead-end. By this time you should have found lots of ores. Then go back down at take the other path(s). Keep up this process until all paths in the cave have been explored.

Advantages:


1. Little pickaxes are water as little mining is needed, yet lots of ores are found.
2. You rarely get bored and it is a lot more exciting and fast-paced. Also , you often get to kill lots of mobs.
3. If mining with (a) friend(s), it is a lot more productive as each one of you can take a different path, which uncovers more ores quicker.

Disadvantages:


1. If you don't want to make a quarry to find one, it can take a long time to find a cave to explore.
2. Since these caves are usually on the surface, it is very unlikely that you will find ores such as; lapis lazuli, redstone, diamond and you only rarely find gold.

Tips:


1. Place your torches all along one side of the wall so the if your cave has lots of different paths, you do not get lost on return journeys.
2. Once you have reached a dead-end, if you hear monster sounds, it is a good idea to mine the dead end out about 5 blocks, because, though a lot less common since the 1.8.1 update, there can sometimes be a 'false dead-end' which can continue your path, harbouring more possible ores.
3. On your way back out of the path, destroy all your torches so that you don't waste them in a cave you will never enter again.
4. Once you are absolutely sure that there are no 'false dead-ends' or hidden paths, block off the path with a noticeable block, e.g. gravel, cobblestone or dirt. This ensures that you don't explore the same cave twice.
5. Never progress any further down the cave down the main path until all secondary paths have been explored and blocked off. This helps you to stop getting lost on your way back up and being confused by so many paths...

spelunkingpng

Thank you very much for reading

Pickaxes: A User's Guide - What's the Best Way to Mine?



Please give feedback. It is much appreciated. If you liked it, please give a diamond. I am very grateful.


Thanks, Papuang
Tags:Mining, Contest, Minetorials, Quarry, Quarrying, Stairs, Caves, Cave, Spelunking, Pickaxe, Awesome, Amazing, Tutorial, How To

Update #10 : 09/28/2012 11:01:20 am9/28/12

Made some grammar edits.

Update #9 : 09/18/2012 1:44:06 pm9/18/12

Made a couple changes.

Update #8 : 07/23/2012 11:32:11 am7/23/12

Pickaxes: A User's Guide - What's the Best Way to Mine


COMPLETE

Update #7 : 07/23/2012 4:11:12 am7/23/12

Added a picture for the third mining technique: Spelunking/Cave Mining.

Update #6 : 07/23/2012 3:30:21 am7/23/12

Finished the the third mining technique: Spelunking/Cave Mining.

Update #5 : 07/22/2012 10:53:01 am7/22/12

Added pictures for the first and second mining techniques: Quarrying and Stairwell Mining.

Update #4 : 07/22/2012 9:40:28 am7/22/12

Finished the second mining technique: Stairwell Mining.

Update #3 : 07/22/2012 8:01:48 am7/22/12

Edited the picture to make it more colourful.

Update #1 : 07/21/2012 9:42:11 am7/21/12

Uploading the tutorial for the first time. Only the first of the three mining techniques: Quarrying is completed.

Update #2 : 07/21/2012 9:41:48 am7/21/12

Added a picture to represent the tutorial and started the how-to-do-it on the second mining technique.

Comments : 48

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1 - 48 of 48

  • ossum100
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Modder
  • September 17, 2014, 7:44 am
Strip mine. Do a stairway mine to level 11 then build a straight tunnel and at every 2 blocks along that tunnel branch out for maybe a nother 7 blocks or so Uncovering massives amounts of blocks with only mining a little amount
Edit Reply Delete
  • ossum100
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Modder
  • September 17, 2014, 7:46 am
Also cobblestone is a nice building material... So if youre into building do quarrying is  a great way to get building materials
Edit Reply Delete
  • revenge_racer
  • Level 29
  • Expert Mountaineer
  • December 28, 2012, 12:06 pm
Interesting techniques! For my mining, however, I tend to do a 1x1 hole straight down, and once I get to the bottom do lots of branches off. Mining at the really low levels exposes much more diamonds and stuff, but I think I might try your method of quarry mining, then I could get more things like iron, coal, other stuff you don't find as much at the bottom.
Edit Reply Delete
  • Speedy
  • Level 41
  • Master Blob
  • August 13, 2013, 9:31 am
1x1 straight down is not the safest.
2x1 if you are in the middle you dig one side at a time to prevent falling into lava or through a
ravine to your death.
Edit Reply Delete
  • revenge_racer
  • Level 29
  • Expert Mountaineer
  • August 13, 2013, 6:14 pm
LOL yeah, that's what I meant :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • Speedy
  • Level 41
  • Master Blob
  • August 13, 2013, 6:25 pm
I'm surprised you responded to a 7 month reply :O
Edit Reply Delete
  • powerpal52
  • Level 6
  • Apprentice Skinner
  • September 18, 2012, 10:29 am
I'm not much of a Quarry miner but im a mix of 2 & 3.
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • September 18, 2012, 11:59 am
Very interesting! Thanks for the feedback. Be sure to subscribe for more things like this :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • Enigmatix
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Pokemon
  • August 22, 2012, 11:20 am
I think I shall start quarrying instead of doing stairs but i may change up what u said a bit... instead of 1 ladder, i'll make the path down sorta like a fire escape.
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 22, 2012, 12:59 pm
Nice idea, good luck!
Edit Reply Delete
  • Enigmatix
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Pokemon
  • August 22, 2012, 4:30 pm
tnx and congrats on getting to the what was it top 15?
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 23, 2012, 12:09 am
Thanks so much bro, I got 12th!
Edit Reply Delete
  • vaxivop
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Spelunker
  • August 22, 2012, 4:28 am
I disagree on the disadvantages on spelunking. It's very easy to find a good cave, and they VERY often go down to lava level. IMO it's the best, funniest and quickest way to mine.
Edit Reply Delete
I think it just depends on wat ur seed is, whether it has many deep caves or not. But that's my opinion.
Edit Reply Delete
  • vaxivop
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Spelunker
  • September 1, 2012, 5:15 pm
Yeah, but most seeds got pretty good caves :)
Edit Reply Delete
But some don't, just wanting to appeal to as many people as I can.
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 22, 2012, 12:58 pm
Thanks for the feedback!
Edit Reply Delete
But now my question is: What is the best way of those 3???
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 22, 2012, 1:30 am
That' s up to you to decide.
Edit Reply Delete
XD ok :)
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 19, 2012, 1:34 am
I came 12th!!!
Edit Reply Delete
Thankyou my man! Greatest submission I've seen all day. :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 16, 2012, 1:29 am
OMG! Thanbk you so much! What you've said means a lot! I really hope I do well in this contest. Are you one of the judges in the competition?
Edit Reply Delete
Yes. :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 17, 2012, 4:11 am
YAY
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 13, 2012, 4:24 am
Nice idea, thanks for the feedback, might try that technique some time?
Edit Reply Delete
  • spike43884
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Taco
  • August 8, 2012, 4:10 am
i do abit of a different way compared to them and i call it 'M.S.M.M' which stands for Main.Stair.Mine.Making
you make a main 4 block wide stairwell and every 25 steps you make a 6 by 6 flat area with mine's going out the sides and the stair on the frotn and back
you can also incorparate more stairs at the veyr side of the mine and it makes it easy to go up and down and is very easy to find caves while doing this becuase you go on all the levels till you hit bedrock
at bedrcok you make a massive chamber with many of wide mines coming out
you replace and gravel you find with dirt to make sure there is no big wholes in the roof to make sure mobs can suddenlly fall on you
its very good with mining with friends becuase the 4 wide stair means you an have a minecart rail at either side and on all of the mineshafts coming out the side

and thats my way of mining
Edit Reply Delete
  • spike43884
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Taco
  • August 29, 2012, 9:26 am
i see you got on leaderboard (i didnt D:)
Edit Reply Delete
Nice tutorial!
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • August 13, 2012, 4:22 am
Thanks man! I really appreciate it!
Edit Reply Delete
Quarrying is best for me, also, another advantage is that you can easily cover it up with leftover dirt/cobble
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 28, 2012, 7:33 am
Nice idea, would you mind giving a diamond? I'll happily subscribe to you, if you want, if you subcribe to me?



Thanks, Papuang
Edit Reply Delete
  • spike43884
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Taco
  • August 8, 2012, 4:11 am
if yuou look up you will se my best way of mining
Edit Reply Delete
I do not Sub for sub, I sub if I want to sub
Edit Reply Delete
  • ossum100
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Modder
  • September 17, 2014, 7:47 am
To be or not to be......
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 29, 2012, 6:28 am
Ok.
Edit Reply Delete
  • Evothunder
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Dragonborn
  • July 23, 2012, 4:45 am
Good work, Pap :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 23, 2012, 5:15 am
Thanks man! :D
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 28, 2012, 7:31 am
Would you mind giving a diamond?
Edit Reply Delete
  • ninjaguy134
  • Level 1
  • New Narwhal
  • July 22, 2012, 11:56 pm
stais of course !
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 23, 2012, 12:00 am
Did you like my tutorial? If you do, please give a diamond. Why do you think stairs is the best? Have you tried all of them?

Thanks, Papuang
Edit Reply Delete
  • LolyMan
  • Level 3
  • Apprentice Architect
  • July 22, 2012, 5:08 am
Nice blog gave you diamond
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 22, 2012, 5:29 am
Thanks!
Edit Reply Delete
  • dane53719
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Skinner
  • July 21, 2012, 6:57 pm
when are you going to post the 3rd technique?
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 22, 2012, 3:23 am
The 2nd technique is still not finished, but I will probably finish that today. The 3rd will probably also be started today, if not finished. Thanks, do you like it? Please give a diamond.
Edit Reply Delete
Ah, sweet man! I didn't think of the quarry technique! Thanks!
Edit Reply Delete
  • papuang
  • Level 29
  • Expert Unicorn
  • July 21, 2012, 11:29 am
Thanks so much! It's much appreciated
Edit Reply Delete
That's fine bro :D
Edit Reply Delete

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