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I recently built a tower/obelisk type structure by supporting my character's self on a single stack of blocks, building this scaffolding stack underneath myself as I went up and breaking it down from the top after I was done. This seemed like an incredibly risky and failure-prone strategy, and I would not want to attempt it again for concerns of falling. What are some strategies to build a tower or spire structure of arbitrary height from primarily within the safety of inside the tower itself? Preferably, this should not require a full separate scaffolding structure, but this should allow me to occasionally go outside on scaffolding of some sort and decorate the outer surface. Any suggestions or best practices around this? Thanks in advance.

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    If you hold shift, then there's barely any risk when towering or walking around high spaces. Aug 11 '15 at 17:55
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Dig a trench around the base of the tower two or three blocks deep and two or three blocks wide on each side, and fill it with water. If you fall off (or jump off when you're done) you can safely land in the water.

If you carry a bucket of water with you, you can use it do float down and then swim back up to the top if you need to run off temporarily. The bucket is reusable and the 'ladder' it makes disappears instantly!

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  • Can you please clarify how the bucket of water helps (beyond creating the initial moat of water)?
    – Ming
    Aug 11 '15 at 20:10
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    @Ming - if you place the water on the ledge above you, it will overflow down to the ground, and you ride the waterfall down. When you're back at the top later, use the now-empty bucket to pick up the sourceblock (the block of water you originally placed), and the waterfall "shuts off". Aug 11 '15 at 20:20
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    When you "pour out a bucket", you're actually creating a "water generator" cube. Water will flow out from that cube to wherever it can reach, down hills, over cliffs, and it will create currents appropriately. When you place a water generator against a wall above the ground, it will create a column of water that you can swim upwards through. And if you dig a hole out directly below it, the "water-elevator" won't flood the surrounding area.
    – Ayelis
    Aug 11 '15 at 23:55
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Build in iterative stages, a floor at a time, with a sort of spiral staircase structure inside. Every new ceiling becomes a new floor, and quickly getting to the top would be a fairly simple task of running in circles. While you're building, every floor or two, build a balcony that extends all the way around the tower. From each balcony, you should be able to decorate the outer walls fairly easily. Torches that could be hidden on the balconies would both prevent mobs from spawning as well as light up the tower at night.

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  • Is there a way to extend the floor I'm currently standing outward? How do I place a block next to the one I'm standing on? (There's usually no other nearby blocks. I can't get on the far side.)
    – Ming
    Aug 11 '15 at 20:14
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    @Ming if you hold down crouch, the game won't permit you to go over the edge of the wall. Crouch-walk backwards, and you'll get just far enough to be able to place a block "under" you. Aug 11 '15 at 20:19
  • Alternatively, add the blocks while standing on the balcony below. I'm not sure of the exact distance, but I do know you can add a block from pretty far away.
    – Ayelis
    Aug 11 '15 at 23:50

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