Pinwheel Branch Mining

    • Level   2

    Just wanted to share this with y'all... From my prior non-360 experience in MC, this mine has worked wonders for me in harvesting massive amounts of every ore you can think of, as well as huge stockpiles of cobblestone. While reading, keep in mind that most of the huge lava pools are on layer 10 and below, and the best zone for diamond is 6-15ish. All other ore (gold, iron, coal, etc.) will be found with the same frequency using this technique as it would on any other layer. The efficiency of this mine comes from the fact that you'll be examining every available surface within the key diamond-zone, minimizing digging and maximizing results.

    That being said, here's what you do:

    1. Grab a few stacks of wood planks, some cobblestone, a sharp pick, a bucket or two of water, and some food supplies. Then, go pick your spot to mine.

    2. Dig a 2x2 hole straight-down until you hit bedrock, then fill back up 6 levels. Assuming the top-layer of bedrock is layer 5, this puts your feet on layer 11. This area will be your "work room" - expand the work room to a 6x6 square, build a few chests, crafting bench, and furnace.

    3. In the middle of each wall, dig a 2w x 3h starter-tunnel. This will be where each of your main "spokes" emerges from the work room.

    4. When you're ready to start mining, pick one of the spokes and dig a 2w x 3h tunnel four blocks deep. At the end, plop a torch down, turn to your right, then start digging another 2w x 3h tunnel - this is your first branch. The length of your branches is up to you - I've been putting a torch on the wall whenever I can't see the wall I'm digging into, and stopping on the 8th torch.

    5. As you're digging your branch, only worry about 1 block to your left/right, and be cautious when digging into ceilings! Have your bucket and a spare stack of dirt/stone at the ready. Why only worry about 1 block to left/right? Because, when you finish this branch and move-on to the next, 2 blocks into the wall on your right will be the wall that's on your left! This is where the efficiency comes in. You essentially are examining every open block, left/right/up/down, in a huge square area.

    6. After the first branch (8 torches deep), go back, dig another 4 blocks out from the work room, then start another branch to your right. If you always dig to the right, you'll create this pinwheel pattern the mine is named after. My mines end up with 11 branches off of each spoke, which covers an insanely large square area (about 1/4th of the 360 map size).

    7. When you're done with the mine, make a bunch of ladders and climb your way out!

    Following this pattern, you can expect around 1 stack of diamond, several stacks of gold, even more iron, etc. You get the picture. What's more, slimes seem to enjoy spawning in these mines so you'll find ooze as well! Keep your furnaces running while you go back to work in order to keep things moving. The great thing about this mine is that you can continually expand it without ever running into your own tunnels!


    • Use stone picks. I know it's a pain, but you find SO much cobblestone that it's just a waste of iron. You'll also want to keep one diamond pick with you at all times. I break the stone with a stone pick, and use the diamond pick for "valuable" blocks (ore).

    • If you break into a cavern/tunnel, seal the entrance with dirt and flag it with a redstone torch; come back later to explore. There will be times where one or more of your branches open into a tunnel/cavern, and that's okay... Just be sure to seal the entrance so mobs don't come wandering in to your mine.

    • Be sure to space your torches out (in the branches) just far enough to light the areas, but close enough so there are no dark spots where mobs could spawn.

    Hope this helps you all! I have 2 of these mines, covering roughly 1/2 the map, and haven't needed to mine for any more resources for quite a while now. If you want a visual, check out my Excel, top-down view of the pinwheel branch mine that I build (torches are represented by dots).

    • Level   2

    PS: I just found out that MC360 only has 2 layers of bedrock, so you'll want to back-fill 9 layers to be standing on layer 11.

    • Level   4

    Not bad.  I prefer to do a single row (1w x 2h) and just start a new row every other block.  Seems like that will cover twice as much ground since you're still seeing every block on each side, yet not digging 2 wide tunnels.

    • Level   5

    The 1w x 2h method is the primary method used I think by most players.  I wish I was more structured.  My mines end up all haphazard as I chase the elements.

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    • Level   6


    Not bad.  I prefer to do a single row (1w x 2h) and just start a new row every other block.  Seems like that will cover twice as much ground since you're still seeing every block on each side, yet not digging 2 wide tunnels.

    I hope you mean you leave two blocks between tunnels. If not then you're wasting space and effort. Having only a single block between tunnels is pointless because if you can see one side of a block you already know what it is. Sorry if I'm mistaken.

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    • Level   5

    I was assuming he meant two in between.  I may have misread.  I agree.

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    • Level   4

    Yeah, two in between.

    • Level   2

    Thanks for the info I'll try it

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    • Level   2

    Some new findings... Bedrock is, in fact, layers 1-5 (confirmed w/the addition of coordinates on the map) so I now do 2 layers - standing on layer 6, branches 3 blocks high (exposes layer 6-10) and another 2 blocks up on layer 11 (exposes layer 11-15). If you want the most bang for your buck, work on layer 11. I got the most ore that way. Also, I'm now doing 1x3 tunnels (vs 2x3) and making 12 branches per-spoke. Based on the comments here, 2-block width was redundant. Happy mining!