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There are five large mountains of pure sand and gravel on my map. I want to get rid of them as fast as I can before night comes and my brains get eaten. IS there a way to get rid of them without the use of a spade (I have none). The resources I have are a starter chest 3 torches 4 apples a stone ax and 5 blocks of wood. Any ideas? I have no wool to make beds and there are no sheep nearby.

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  • 10
    You don't have a spade, but why can't you make one..?
    – dlras2
    May 22, 2013 at 14:08
  • 2
    You have infinite time on Minecraft. You can also sleep/hide during the night. Why does it have to be done in one day? The last time I levelled a sand dune it took many days using many shovels, each night returning to my base. May 22, 2013 at 15:27
  • @SevenSidedDie This is the problem I have no bed. Thus I can't just sleep the night away. May 22, 2013 at 16:46
  • 3
    That's a feature, and part of the game. I suggest digging the night away. May 22, 2013 at 17:27

3 Answers 3

17

I'm not trying to steal Celta's answer here but I feel like I'm explaining a bit more thoroughly. Starting with the basics is of course digging sand with a shovel or blowing it up with TNT, but that either takes a long time or makes a lot of mess (although the TNT method is great fun).

The quickest way by far is to first dig down until you reach the bottom of the sand mountain, so to the area where the sand either turns into sandstone or stone. If you reach that level you start digging horizontally but every time you dig the bottom sandstone block you quickly place a torch underneath there. This makes all the blocks that fall on the torch break. This also works for gravel. I don't know if it works with tripwire or redstone-dust but I'll try that when i get home in a few hours.

An explanation:

0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 I S
0 0 0 0 " I S
S S S S S S S

0 = Your mountain of sand. 
I = You
X = air
S = Stone

Dig away the " block which is a sandblock (could be stone or anything else but probably sand) and when you dig it away quickly switch to torches and place a torch on the block beneath the pile. this will make all the blocks above break.

A use for this is also in survival when you build a big 1 block wide tower to see whats around you. You can jump off in water and then get rid of the ugly landmark by simply digging the bottom block and placing a torch and voila the entire tower is gone.

If you cant place a torch this fast you can also dig with a torch in hand. This does make it take a little bit longer to break the sand block but it does allow you to place the torch down immediately.

You could also dig an additional 2 blocks down (so into stone) and place a torch there. Then dig away the top stone block ( the one underneath sand ) and the sand will also fall on a torch.

An explanation:

0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
0 0 0 0 0 X S
S S S S > I S
S S S S " I S
S S S S S S S

0 = Your mountain of sand. 
I = You
X = air
S = Stone
" = Torch
> = the block to dig. 

Place a torch underneath a stone block which lays underneath the sand you want gone. Break the stone block and the sand will still fall onto the torch.

I hope this helped if you want links you can still look at Celta's post.

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  • If you are fast you can remove a sand block and immediately place a torch for the same effect.
    – orlp
    May 22, 2013 at 19:52
  • @nightcracker this is true but your implying him to dig the sand with a torch already in hand which obviously digs slower then a shovel. Ty for your comment though ill add it to my answer. May 23, 2013 at 5:43
  • No I don't. You can dig with a shovel, quickly swap and then place the torch.
    – orlp
    May 23, 2013 at 13:05
  • yeah thats the way that i meant and originally posted. May 23, 2013 at 13:16
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Basically, to get rid of gravel or sand really quick, all you have to do is after you take away one block you put a torch under it and all the blocks on top will drop on the floor.

See this 2 tutorials for more visual explanation

Link1

Link2

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    Please include in your answer an actual explanation of the answer, and not just links. May 22, 2013 at 13:22
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Install the bacteria mod and use it to delete all the sand/gravel. Then, just clean the area up with a shovel/ your fists.

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