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Of all the repetitive item-grinding tasks to perform in Minecraft, easily the most tedious task (For me at least) is grinding flint out of gravel.

My usual method involves grabbing a shovel, stacking my gravel to the heavens, then digging straight down. This is not only probably inefficient, but usually uses up the entire shovel, and is dangerous to boot!

So, I am planning to build a Gravel Crusher with redstone...but I am not sure if it will work the way I want it to.

The design is relatively simple: A single two-meter tall eight-meter long empty space. On one side, a solid stone wall. On the other, pistons connected with redstone. Above it, a tall, tall shaft with a ladder that leads to the top on the outside.

The idea here is to place gravel bricks at the top, and let them drop down into the empty area in the middle. After loading up as much gravel as I can, I simply walk to the bottom and activate the lever to crush the first row of gravel, then repeat over and over until all the gravel is crushed, resulting in a mess of leftover gravel and, most importantly, flint.

I have yet to build this, because I'm not sure if such a construction would actually work.

Would my machine effectively crush the gravel into flint? Could I replace it with torches at one end to make it work properly? Or do I need to manually dig through my gravel to get any flint at all?

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    Note that the best way to test machine designs is to create a superflat creative world and just build it. – SevenSidedDie Oct 11 '13 at 14:54
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taken from the Wiki:

Flint is only obtainable by mining it yourself or exploding the gravel; making gravel fall onto a non-solid block (e.g. torch, sapling) does not produce flint.

The best method I found when trying to farm bunches of flint is a shovel with fortune enchant. I believe fortune 3 gurantees a flint EVERY time. So I would just build a 2x1 or 1x2 tower of however high I needed, and dig away to quickly convert all of the gravel to flint.

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    Fortune 3 does produce a flint every time. And it doesn't have to be a shovel, although a shovel is obviously the most efficient. – Timtech Oct 12 '13 at 11:44

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