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Can you raise/lower a single block by an arbitrary distance using pistons? Will this work with chests?

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The only problems I forsee with moving a block is that if the distance is too far the necessary chunks wont be loaded, other than that you just need enough redstone and the right gates and delays. I think the chests wont work because when you move them normally, you have to break them. –  Bravo840 Jun 30 '11 at 14:38
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@Bravo840 - Chunks are vertical, so no worries there. (Just do a small spiraling contraption) –  Raven Dreamer Jun 30 '11 at 17:09
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If the number of pistons is no limiting factor, then you could use a piston to push the block up by one meter, then use another to push it across one meter. Repeating this pattern of up-and-then-across, you can effectively pass the block up a series of pistons, one meter at a time. Think of it like a staircase. Standing on top of the pushed block essentially give you an escalator.

If you want to block to go straight up instead, then you could simply use this method in a spiral staircase pattern instead. Standing on the pushed block now essentially gives you an elevator.

This will not work with chests, furnaces, noteblocks, obsidian, bedrock, or any blocks with tile entities.

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Basically a conveyor belt... I need to get home soon and try these things. –  Kurley Jun 30 '11 at 15:26
    
Keep in mind that you can have upward- and downward-moving escalators/elevators, and using a sand or gravel pushed block requires half as many pistons for the downward-moving models. –  Keaanu Jun 30 '11 at 17:52
    
@Keaanu However, timing with sand/gravel is critical since they will break if you allow the blocks to bounce in the stack.. –  Dmitry Selitskiy Jul 7 '11 at 11:48
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Regardless of the first part, chests cannot be moved with pistons.

But using this set-up (the painting is a piston) and repeatedly turning on and off the redstone, the glowstone block will move upwards, if pistons have a limit of how much they can push, it will eventually stop. And there is the case of lots of cobblestone as a by-product.

piston lift

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Ingenious solution! However I'd prefer something reusable –  fredley Jun 30 '11 at 15:00
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If this works this would be an awesome way to build high towers quickly. +1 for Brilliance! –  Kurley Jun 30 '11 at 15:11
    
Piston doesn't survive the lava :-( –  fredley Jun 30 '11 at 15:20
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As ProSay pointed out in another question, the wiki states that the maximum pushable blocks is 12; minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Pistons –  Kurley Jun 30 '11 at 15:23
    
Okay maybe that's not the best idea, also the water moves too fast and the lava get's cooled rather than making cobbles –  Ronan Forman Jun 30 '11 at 15:25
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