I'm trying to make an automatic furnace system, and whilst I've found videos on Youtube showing how to make one, they don't explain how it works, so I'm trying to learn the mechanics behind it.

The first problem I've come across is filling furnaces at once. I have a hopper system that runs on top of 10 furnaces, like so

H H H H H H H H H H H H Chest 

However, the first furnace has to fully fill up first before it starts to fill the next one. Is it possible to make the hoppers fill up the furnaces all at the same time when I put items in the chest?

  • 4
    The setup you've shown doesn't even seem possible. Are the furnaces situated vertically? Perhaps a screenshot would be helpful.
    – MBraedley
    Mar 21, 2014 at 15:44
  • This would theoretically be possible with a large amount of redstone. It's not worth the trouble, though. Mar 21, 2014 at 16:38
  • If I'm following all of this correctly I would say No it is not possible to use hoppers to fill your line of furnaces evenly, it would have to fill them one by one.
    – Ender
    Mar 21, 2014 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


I don't believe it is possible to achieve this using only hoppers, at least not without a crap-ton of complicated redstone. However, if you're willing to add in a simple rail system and a chest minecart, you can do it quite easily. Here's the setup:

enter image description here

Place rails on top of your hoppers, and on one end (left in the image) place a powered rail and a redstone torch to power it continuously. On the other side (right in the image) place a detector rail connected to a redstone comparator, which feeds a signal to a redstone repeater and then another powered rail (under the minecart in the image). Place a chest minecart on the powered rail and a button on the block underneath.

Then, when you have a whole lot of a certain block/ore to smelt, place it in the chest minecart and just hit the button. The minecart will bounce back and forth on the track, distributing its load evenly amongst the furnaces and eventually coming to rest back at the start when it is empty. This works because the detector rail and comparator will create a redstone signal whenever a non-empty cart passes over the rail, activating the right-side powered rail and sending the minecart back out.

BONUS: You can further improve this system by placing a hopper chain below your furnaces that automatically pulls out all the smelted results and places them in a chest. It's also possible to add a second track system to feed combustibles into the backs of your furnaces in an evenly distributed manner as well. This screen shot shows one such system I added to the above example:

enter image description here

Note that I had to add an extra row of hoppers to the back side of the furnaces in order to create a separation between the tracks (or else they tended to try and connect to one another).

  • Thanks for the complex answer :) I'll give it a try now but I think this will work great :).
    – TMH
    Mar 23, 2014 at 13:49

Actually this is not too difficult. I've developed a system that works perfectly, even with a very large amount of input. The only problem is it takes a decent amount of iron for the hoppers. I've included two screenshots to show you how to build it. I used 10 furnaces like you asked, but I'd personally use 8 just so that if you put in a stack, each furnace smelts 8, using exactly one coal each (unless you're using different fuel). Disregard the yellow and red wool structure, that's something else.


The input chest is at the top left. Notice the orientation of the hoppers. The top row all point to the left, the next row all point down, as does the row under the chests. To achieve this chest placement in pre-1.13 Minecraft, you need to alternate between Chests and Trapped Chests. It is important that each hopper have it's own chest. I've also added the output hoppers as gnovice mentioned. These also all point to the left, to move the items into the output chest on the bottom left. Redstone

Here's the only redstone necessary for this. The comparator outputs a signal when the last hopper has an item in it, thus turning off the redstone line. Otherwise, the second row of hoppers is suppressed while items are traveling down the top row. This way the second row of hoppers only accepts items when there is exactly one item in each of the upper hoppers. The chests act as buffers, otherwise if you put more than a chest or so of items in, the system would back up and break down. Be sure you put the redstone just like it shows in the picture. It is raised next to the comparator to prevent creating a clock, and it lowers again to power the second row of hoppers.

Good luck! Hope this helps!

P.S. You can also automatically fill the furnaces with fuel by inputting hoppers into the backs of the furnaces, but this would add a lot more hoppers. It's the same principle as the top two rows of hoppers though - just point the second row into the back of the furnace rather than down.

Edit: I believe I got the original idea from Dataless822, but I modified it so that it doesn't get backed up.


enter image description hereIf you're trying to make item distribution for ovens, without minecarts or pistons(they are kinda noisy), this can be achieved with a inconsequential amount of redstone(although, redstone is common enough I've never been in any fear of running out).

I'm gonna try to explain what you're seeing in this picture, so I hope this works. This pic is from some early trial so it's missing a row of hoppers that is in the following explanation, but you should be able to get the gist of item distribution.

HHHHHHHH> (top row of hoppers, all pointing horizontal towards last oven)

HHHHHHHH (middle row of hoppers, pointing downwards)

HHHHHHHH (bottom row of hoppers, also pointing downwards)

OOOOOOOO (your row of ovens)

Now you'll want to build a row 2 row of blocks out from the the bottom row of hoppers to form a ledge 2 blocks deep. On that ledge you'll place a repeater going into each hopper(middle row), and then redstone next going into all 8 repeaters. Place a block just right of the last repeater in your array, then on that block place a redstone torch just next to the redstone line. If you've done this correctly you should see all the redstone and repeaters light up. This will keep your middle row of hoppers shut off, until you create an interrupt signal.

Now, to create your interrupt signal you need to place 3 blocks out the back of the middle row of hoppers. On the first block place a comparator followed by a repeater and finally redstone. Now, you'll need to place another 2 blocks so you can complete the circuit for the interrupt signal. Those 2 blocks need to be placed so that 2 redstone can run directly into that block with the redstone torch. If done properly this line will not light up until you try to load something into the top row of hoppers.

How it works... Well, items can only be passed through hoppers one at a time... so as the top row of hoppers has a line of items moving through it, when 1 hits the last hopper in the top row that comparator will fire. It will send a signal to that block with the redstone torch(I don't understand this part, I just know it works). Which will in turn interrupt that signal and the middles row of hoppers can pull down items from the hoppers above(Since they each only have 1 item, all 8 hoppers will pull down just that 1 item). now the top row of hoppers starts filling up again. But, while that is happening, the bottom row of hoppers can pull out those items to pass them to the ovens.

The main points to keep in mind here are the middle row of hoppers needs to be turned off, and the interrupt signal needs to come from that last hopper in the top row of hoppers. The bottom row of hoppers is to pull down out of the middle row, without this you would leave 1 item stranded here every time you tried to load your ovens. It's very similar to the one pictured above, but it eliminates the row of chests.

Now, keep in mind this is just one component to building a furnace(array of ovens)but this took me awhile to figure out. With a furnace this big you will need a fuel source(look into carpet duplicators, else I don't know how you would keep it supplied with fuel). You'll also likely want a delivery system that can supply items in a constant stream(I don't know if this possible with minecarts).

  • This is no different than my answer. The reason I added the chests is simply so that the system doesn't back up and break when a large amount of items are input, filling the hoppers going into the furnaces.
    – Johonn
    Apr 29, 2020 at 19:02

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