My mineshaft achieved its result. I hit bedrock.
I also hit a pool of lava, which took some puzzling on how to get around it without diverting the shaft.
I came up with a reasonably elegant solution involving a glass wall. Now its mostly self-illuminated down there and looks really cool. I just have to be extra careful not to smash the glass! 😐
That was enough excitement at this level though.
I have heard a few times over the interwebz (nothing directly linkable, sorry – its all stuffed in the middle of long videos on YouTube) that the best place to find diamond and other shiny things (like redstone) is not so much at bedrock level, but slightly above it. I decided to give this a go and begin drift mining one level up.
I’m not entirely sure drift mining is the correct terminology, but its a really good way of finding ores without hollowing out an entire cavern. Here’s how I do it anyway:
First thing is to build a 3×3 (or whatever, really) horizontal offshoot from your mine shaft at any given level. You can make this as short or long as you want. I prefer to make them reasonably long so I have more mining to get on with later on.
Then chip out a 2 block high, 1 block wide narrow straight corridor. 8 blocks in, place a torch, then chip out another 8 blocks further and place another torch and so on. The aim is twofold. Firstly, it’ll hep stop nasties from spawning in what will eventually be a maze-like complex – the last thing you want is baddies you can hear but no clue on where they are. And secondly, it gives a good indication of how deep you are. If when you place your first torch in the first corridor you dig in the direction of the horizontal mineshaft (just 1×1) as far as you can reach, it means you don’t have to count 8 blocks in for the next corridor – handy!
Leave a 2 block gap between each corridor. This is so you can easily spot any ores as you dig from either side. A 1 block gap is kind of a waste of digging time!
I usually stagger the corridors on the other side so I can quickly tell how far I am from the main shaft, but you don’t have to.
And that’s about it. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. In practice its really easy to get into the swing of things.
I wanted to go into detail about my findings in my westward shaft, since I found something cool, but I’ll leave that for another post. 😉