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I have been working on a cobblestone generator. Being ultra-lazy, I don't want to spend countless minutes (and who knows how many pickaxes!) actually harvesting the cobblestone. Is there something I can add to the system that will "pop" the cobblestones so I need just run them over and pick them up?

Cobblestone generator

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If only there were creeper spawners, you could probably work out some system with explosion-proof obsidian walls and precarious creeper taunting. –  StrixVaria Sep 20 '11 at 19:04
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@DaveMcClelland It will hover in the air where it was pushed to. –  StrixVaria Sep 20 '11 at 19:21
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@StrixVaria Oh, right. I've been out of minecraft so long I forgot that it treats gravity as an afterthought –  Dave McClelland Sep 20 '11 at 19:30
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If you do not mind using mods (And Id actually recommend giving this one a try), Better Than Wolves has a Block Dispenser and a Detector block that can be made to automatically pick up the cobblestone as it is being made. You can find some youtube videos but they are a bit dated. –  James Sep 21 '11 at 6:35
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If you're going down the mod route then something client-side that just lets you do '/item cobblestone 64' would be easier. –  Alan B Sep 22 '11 at 8:10

6 Answers 6

up vote 21 down vote accepted
+100

This is an oh-so-basic "proof of concept video". It's a two-level cobble generator which pushes the cobble into a obsidian/water "hopper" which then has TNT dropped on it. The TNT detonates, and the water pushes the harvest cobble to the end of the water tray. Not terribly effiecnt, but still an interesting idea. Large amounts of obsidian is reccomended to protect the rest of the structure from the TNT blast. As for automatically re-loading the TNT hopper, well...

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Bravo, excellent effort. –  fredley Sep 21 '11 at 20:01
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Now all I need is a gunpowder harvester and I'll be all set. –  fbrereto Sep 21 '11 at 21:23
    
A reloader could load up to 30+ tnt, but I'm not so sure for high cobble amounts, especially since 4 is fairly inefficient –  Domocus Sep 21 '11 at 21:58
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Can you build in more cobblestone generators, possibly 2 streams coming from each of 4 directions, and the water collector going below the construction instead? –  fredley Sep 22 '11 at 0:09
    
@fredley you obviously could; as tom mentioned, this is just a proof-of-concept, not a 'finished' product. –  Nick T Sep 22 '11 at 0:28

I tried my hand at an automatic cobblestone generator. It is fully automatic, with a magazine of a hundred or so TNT, generating twice as fast as normal by using two lava/water generators. It has proven to be extremely efficient in terms of cobblestone/TNT, though I'm not sure if creative mode TNT destroys less blocks than TNT in survival mode.

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I like this one! –  fredley Sep 22 '11 at 0:10
    
Thanks! It's heavily based off of tombull89's, but I was looking for a challenge and decided to see if I could build a better mousetrap, as it were. Sorry it's only 30 seconds long - I didn't realize Fraps had that restriction. =[ –  dlras2 Sep 22 '11 at 0:13
    
Ah well that totally blows my attempt out of the water. Just too late. Stupid Youtube problems... –  John the Green Sep 22 '11 at 0:54
    
@John, yeah, I had issues with YouTube as well. –  tombull89 Sep 22 '11 at 8:08
    
Wow, that's so much more efficent than mine. +1 for you. –  tombull89 Sep 22 '11 at 16:38

I believe the only thing that automatically dislodges (or "pops") cobblestone is an explosion. This leaves you with two options:

  • Use pistons to push TNT into a position where its explosion will only affect the generated cobblestone. This can be done using specifically-placed obsidian to focus the explosion, with a redstone signal sent through the obsidian (as to not destroy the circuitry). The drawbacks of this method include limited resources to craft the TNT (mostly the gunpowder) and the finite number of TNT blocks which must be pre-placed into the mechanism.

  • Create a system where mobs spawn in a dark room near you, drawing the attention of creepers and utilizing the explosion (as in StrixVaria's comment). This would require obsidian to focus and contain the explosion, plus a way for creepers to see you and trigger. If designed correctly, the creepers could continuously spawn, and their explosions would kill any other spawned mobs - allowing a continuous, unregulated displacement mechanism. The drawbacks of this method lie in the random nature of mob creation and behavior. The explosion could come from a number of angles, and other mobs might not wander close enough to be destroyed by the creepers. It could also take a very long time for creepers, specifically, to spawn in your room.

Your best bet is probably to harvest as much gunpowder as possible, craft TNT, and then load it into a machine which generates cobblestone in several columns around the TNT. That way, you receive a maximum return for each explosion, and don't have to deal with the randomness of creepers or the rules dictating the spawning of mobs. Use water to wash the popped cobblestone into a designated area, and obsidian to protect your redstone circuitry.

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I will bounty 100 rep to the first person who answers this question with a video of this TNT contraption in operation! –  fredley Sep 20 '11 at 20:41
    
@fredley I thought up a design that should work, but I don't have a hypercam. Will screenshots work? –  John the Green Sep 21 '11 at 14:55
    
@John, use Fraps. –  fredley Sep 21 '11 at 16:36
    
Upon testing, a disappointingly large percentage of blocks are destroyed, rather than broken. Only about 1 in 10 blocks survived each explosion. Given TNT's range, that's about 2-3 blocks per TNT block. Not very cost-effective. –  John the Green Sep 21 '11 at 17:50
    
It works! (so +1) Requires periodic TNT reloading and a lot of space, but it works! Now, to see about that video...... –  John the Green Sep 21 '11 at 19:02

Well, I went back to revise my own design, but it seems Sethbling (YouTube MineBlogger) has already beat me to it. I think this is probably the best thing you're going to get. Still needs a large amount of TNT though.

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Reddit/r/minecraft! –  Raven Dreamer Oct 5 '11 at 20:35
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Indeed it was, but I expect there are some Gaming.SE users that don't read r/minecraft. –  tombull89 Oct 5 '11 at 21:09

I just found this video online; it dates back to version 1.5 (before pistons were officially introduced.) I'll see if I can't get something similar working with 1.8.1 unmodified.

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I don't think "Official" miceraft pistions have the ability to smash blocks apart...I may be wrong, I will try it shortly when I do attempt 2 of my proof-of-concept. –  tombull89 Sep 22 '11 at 16:37
    
Initial tests don't look promising... I see the block just shuffling back and forth between the two pistons. –  fbrereto Sep 22 '11 at 16:43
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As far as I know, only the mod pistons have the ability to "pop" blocks, and the official pistons never do. –  Kevin Reid Sep 22 '11 at 17:57

You can "aim" a diamond pick at the spot where the cobblestone is generated, then leave something holding your mouse down (or use an autohotkey script). That's pretty much the only way that cobblestone will "pop".

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-1 Its not the only way! And it says he doesnt want to use pickaxes. Besides, that would also probably destroy the floor, unless generation is instant. –  Joe the Person Sep 20 '11 at 22:44
    
To fireDude67, you also can just put obsidian at the block you would be looking at when holding the mouse button down to prevent destroying the floor. But that method would really waste alot of pickaxes –  DemonicMushy Sep 24 '11 at 15:43

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