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This Question neatly describes the best way to mine for incredibly rare ores. This is all well and good.

I don't want the rare stuff though, as crazy as that sounds. I want stacks upon stacks upon STACKS of cobblestone to build myself a sprawling elaborate stone fortress.

I am aware that Cobblestone Generators exist, but I feel my one-block-at-a-time generator is incredibly inefficient, and especially so when, half of the time, my cobblestone falls into the lava and I have to wait for a new one to appear.

I also feel like it's distinctly possible that "just digging' may be my best bet, but I keep running into massive blocks of dirt and gravel that annoy me to no end.

So, what is the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to mine a ton of cobblestone?

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If you really just interested in building why not save yourself the pain and work in buildmode or cheat for the resources you need. You probably also want to make stone, stone bricks, stone stairs, stone brick stairs, stone slabs, stone brick slabs, etc. Which is a lot of tedious work and requires ovens too. Other then that, why not have a diamond shovel on the side, it takes not much more then a second to dig through a pocket of dirt while mining. –  Menno Gouw Oct 24 '13 at 22:13
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@Menno Because lots of people like to play Survival as Survival without cheating. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 24 '13 at 23:42

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

One way would be to expand your cobblestone farm a little and go with this design

I found that even with iron pick It took two of us to keep up.

P.S put A Non-Pushable Block above the outputs to stop it getting too high

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  1. Make an efficiency IV or V diamond pickaxe
  2. Mine stone ('just dig')
  3. There is no step 3
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4  
Step 4. Profit! –  Williham Totland Oct 24 '13 at 13:54
    
Additionally create a beacon with Haste II to instant mine stone if you use an Efficiency V diamond pickaxe. –  Thorsal Oct 25 '13 at 15:07

the fastest way I can think of is some variation on one of these designs by youtubers and ZipKrowd players Panda4994 and DanielKotes

The Idea is to spawn a Wither Boss in a trap that prevents its escape. For details of how to do that, please watch one or both of the above videos, but the general technique in Panda's version is to use a field of bedrock, which the wither cannot break, and in Daniel's version, the wither is spawned near mobs it can't quite reach, and continuously tracks them, keeping it from firing the "blockbuster" projectiles that would allow it to escape.

cobblestone (or other materials, such as wood, smooth stone, or even obsidian!), can be pushed or created in the 3 x 4 x 3 area surrounding the wither. When the wither is damaged, he will unleash a shockwave, breaking all of the (non-bedrock/end portal) blocks in that area, causing them to drop, as items, where they can be collected and stored.

I have such a setup, following Panda's design. When I'm using it for cobblestone, it produces around a stack of cobblestone every 10 or so seconds, although i haven't timed it out precisely. Although it was quite a lot of work to set up, it's now a matter of flipping a lever, and figuring out how i'll transport all of the chests full of cobblestone to where I need it.

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