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

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papuang's Avatar papuang
Level 33 : Artisan Unicorn
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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
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10 Update Logs

Update #10 : by papuang 09/28/2012 11:01:20 amSep 28th, 2012

Made some grammar edits.
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ossum100
09/17/2014 11:44 am
Level 39 : Artisan Modder
ossum100's Avatar
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
1
ossum100
09/17/2014 11:46 am
Level 39 : Artisan Modder
ossum100's Avatar
Also cobblestone is a nice building material... So if youre into building do quarrying is  a great way to get building materials
1
revenge_racer
12/28/2012 5:06 pm
Level 43 : Master Mountaineer
revenge_racer's Avatar
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.
1
Speedy
08/13/2013 1:31 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Blob
Speedy's Avatar
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.
1
revenge_racer
08/13/2013 10:14 pm
Level 43 : Master Mountaineer
revenge_racer's Avatar
LOL yeah, that's what I meant :D
1
Speedy
08/13/2013 10:25 pm
Level 51 : Grandmaster Blob
Speedy's Avatar
I'm surprised you responded to a 7 month reply :O
1
powerpal52
09/18/2012 2:29 pm
Level 10 : Journeyman Skinner
powerpal52's Avatar
I'm not much of a Quarry miner but im a mix of 2 & 3.
1
papuang
09/18/2012 3:59 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Unicorn
papuang's Avatar
Very interesting! Thanks for the feedback. Be sure to subscribe for more things like this :D
1
Enigmatix
08/22/2012 3:20 pm
Level 23 : Expert Pokemon
Enigmatix's Avatar
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.
1
papuang
08/22/2012 4:59 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Unicorn
papuang's Avatar
Nice idea, good luck!
1
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