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  1. Disclaimer: First of all, I would like to say that I am not claiming to have been the first one ever to come up with this mining method. Being that Terrafirmacraft is such a great mod, played by so many people, it would be absolutely pretentious of me to claim such a thing. I merely want to share with the community a mining method that I have found to be quite useful. The purpose of this guide is to show a method of using support beams that I have found to be the one that allows to get the most ore out of a vein, both minimizing the cave-in risk and minimizing unnecessary mining. First of all, a very brief overview of how support beams work. For this part, I assume that you understand the basics about support beams, since I will just point out a few characteristics that will be relevant for my later explanation. As I’m sure most of us know, a single horizontal support beam (exemplified by the light-colored beam in the screenshots) will support any gravity-affected block up to four blocks away from it in the X and Z directions, on the same Y level as the beam, one above and one below. That is, a 9x9x3 area centered on the horizontal support beam. Now, the beauty of support beams, and what makes possible this method, is that they can be stacked. By this, I mean that vertical support beams can be placed on top of already existing support beams (on top of vertical or corner support beams that is, not horizontal). Therefore, a second horizontal support beam placed three blocks above the original one will stack its own 9x9x3 area-of-effect on top of the first one’s area, together creating a 9x9x6. Of course, a third one can be placed three blocks above that second one, etc. etc. You get the point. Now, with this in mind, let’s see how it can be applied to getting the most out of an ore (or mineral) vein. 1. Locating the center of a vein If you already know how to find the center of a vein, you can skip this whole section, and jump straight to section 2. So, this is not exactly the main focus of my guide, since I mainly want to address the use of support beams, but it will be necessary to know where the center of a vein is. Therefore, I will explain how to find the center, but the same disclaimer I mentioned before applies here. First of all, you’ll want to start somewhere that you know is close to, or around the area of an ore or mineral vein. Those little surface nuggets are a great hint, as I’m sure you all know. Random hits with a prospector’s pick will also do the job, but that uses up pick durability. However, minerals (i.e. kaolinite, graphite, sylvite, etc.) don’t have surface nuggets, so pro-pick will be your only option in these cases. Once you found those nuggets, give the floor a tap with your pro-pick. Ideally, you want to see a message of the type “found X of Y” (where “X” will be “traces”, “small sample”, “medium sample”, etc., and “Y” will be the name of the ore or mineral). If you get “nothing found”, check around the area, you may be a few blocks away. In case that, despite having surface nuggets, you don’t get any reading anywhere in the area, then your vein is too deep underground to be detected by surface readings. I won’t discuss in detail how to find the vein’s center in that case, but it’s not so different as with surface readings, it’s just more hassle. Once you got this initial spot, check a couple of blocks away from it trying to determine in which direction the readings grow (both on the X axis as in the Z axis) and in which direction they decrease. Ideally, you want to find an area where you get “found a very large sample of Y”. This new reading will be your new starting point. If you didn’t find any “very large sample”, just take as your new starting point whichever your higher reading was. It is possible that you only find “traces”, don’t worry about it. You can now forget about your original starting point, you won’t be using it anymore. Now, find the limits of your reading. That is, find where your “very large sample” turns into “large sample”, on both axes, and mark those points. Also, keep in mind that going up or down blocks on the Y axis will alter your readings. Once you’ve marked the four limits, find the center of it all by dividing the distance between both ends of both axes. Eureka! You’ve just found the center of the vein. 2. Choosing the best support beam configuration The process I described above for finding the center of the vein not only gives you the center, but it also gives you an idea of the size of the vein, i.e. its approximate diameter. Not all veins are equally large, and choosing a support beam configuration will depend on assessing which one is best for the size of your vein. You don’t want to choose a small configuration for a large vein (this would waste ore), nor a large configuration for a small vein (this would waste support beams). Let’s take a look at the four support beam configurations that I think could be used in most veins. They are presented in a scale from smallest to largest. A. Single The most basic support beam configuration is two vertical beams and one horizontal. Since “support beams can only be placed horizontally between two vertical beams that are up to 5 blocks apart,” the best way to maximize this single-beam configuration is, obviously, to take full advantage of the five-block-max span for the horizontal beam. This results in a 13x9 footprint of supported blocks (a 117 block area). In the screenshot I have marked the footprint outline with planks. (The double-tall fencepost is the center of my vein) B. Double If you want to step up your coverage, you can go with what I call a “double support beam.” This is three verticals and two horizontals, where the both horizontals share a vertical. This adds 6 rows to the footprint (3 on each side), which results in a 19x9 (171 block area). In the screenshot I’ve left the planks marking the footprint of the single-beam, so as to more easily compare the increase. The new outline is marked with one-tall vertical support beams. Notice that this footprint comes quite close to the torches that mark the limit of my “very large sample” reading. This doesn’t mean that past these torches there will be no ore, but it does mean that most ore will be in the space inside the area bound by the torches. C. Cross-shaped This is one type of combination of two Doubles. Here, four horizontals share one vertical. This adds 10 rows, each one 9 blocks wide. It’s harder to describe since it’s not a rectangular shape, but check the screenshot. This configuration covers a 261 block footprint. The downside of this configuration is that it overlaps coverage, so it is not ideal, it doesn’t maximize its support beams. D. Double Squared This one, the largest one, is basically two Doubles put side by side so as not to overlay at all, but also not to leave a gap unsupported. It’s a 19x18, a 342 block footprint. The different-colored planks in the screenshot outline both areas of effect. This is a comparison with the Cross-shaped area of effect. So, these are the configurations among which, in my opinion, you should choose. Any bigger than the Double Squared would be a waste, since veins aren’t really that big. Now, which one to choose will totally depend on how big your vein is and how much you want that ore or mineral. For example, for rich hematite/limonite/magnetite, you’ll definitely want the Double Squared, even if it’s a somewhat small vein, since iron, and especially rich iron, is a prime resource in TFC. For my illustration, I’ve gone with the Double Squared, mainly because sylvite is quite rare (it only generates inone type of rock). 3. Implementing the chosen support beam configuration Once you've chosen one of the configurations, it’s time to implement it below ground! As I said before, this implementation method capitalizes on the fact that support beams can be stacked on top of each other. a. Vertical beams Now, make sure you have a lot of beams in your inventory (between 1 and 2 stacks should do the trick), choose any of the vertical beams of your configuration, and, on that spot, start digging straight down! “Straight down” you may ask? Yes, indeed, straight down! I'm perfectly aware that this is generally considered a no-no in Minecraft, but actually, in Terrafirmacraft it’s not such a bad idea. In TFC you don’t have those vanilla lava pockets, which are the biggest risk with digging straight down, and you do have the upside of virtually avoiding any cave-in risk, since you are not removing any block from underneath another (as you would if you dug a staircase instead). The only risk is digging straight down into a cave, and even this would not kill you, since most caves are just 5 o 6 blocks of air space tall. This fall would not kill you, even with TFC fall damage. Really, the only risk is digging into one of those huge cavernous caves, but this is highly (highly!) unlikely. So yes, dig straight down. In any case, what’s life without a little risk? As you go down, you’ll notice that the amount of ore you come across increases and then decreases. This means that you approached the core of the vein, and then you passed it. Keep going down until you feel that you have left the vein behind. If you’ve dug like 5 or 6 blocks and haven’t found any more ore, it’s kind of safe to assume that you have left it behind. See screenshot. Now it’s time to begin raising the vertical beam. It would be a good idea at this point to press F3 and take note of your Y position, so that your other vertical beams go equally deep, although this is not absolutely necessary. Before you begin placing beams, it’s better to put down a block that won’t be affected by gravity. This is so that, if there were to be a cave-in, the block your beams are built on won’t be at risk of collapsing. I use a plank block, but smooth stone, bricks, etc. would also work. However, unless you brought those with you to the mining expedition, they are harder to make, for they require chisel, mortar, etc. This plank will be the foundation of your vertical beams. After placing this block, just jump and place the beams, and then just keep holding the jump button and the right click. This will bring you back to the surface, leaving a beautiful long support beam in your wake! Rinse and repeat for all the other vertical beams in your chosen configuration. b. Horizontal beams Now that you have the vertical beams in place, it’s time to place the horizontal ones. The first line of beams can be placed either one block on top of ground level, at ground level or one block below. However, I always place it one block on top because it’s simpler. The two other options imply digging away a strip of soil. Next, dig three blocks down. From here, dig up to the two other vertical beams and place the horizontal ones on the third block below the one above ground. By doing this, you are stacking the beams’ areas of effect, like I showed above. Again, rinse and repeat until you get to the bottom of the mine. Remember, for the Double Squared you need to do this on both sides. 4. Mine to your heart’s content With all these stacked support beams in place, you can go to town on your mining! Just beware not to mine past the 4-block range of the beams. It may help to put an indicator on the 5th block, to remind you that those blocks cannot be mined. I generally indicate this by putting a torch. If all is done right, your mines should look something like this: Hope you enjoyed the guide, and hope that it was clear enough! Please, feel free to comment any suggestions on how to improve this method! Also, post screenshots of your mines, I’d love to see how other TFC players do their mining!
  2. I have a question about support beams. I found some surface copper and dug a hole straight down to the middle layer of stone, where I eventually found two blocks of native copper. I mined out a 3x3 spot and placed a support beam, then dug out in all directions. All I ever found were the two blocks of copper. After finally using my prospector's pick (duh) I know there is a very large sample of copper down here, and inlooking for more advice online I now realize I probably needed to go a little deeper to get the main vein (also maybe some distance x or z).Can I create a mine with multiple vertical layers without getting cave-ins?If I continue my hole straight down five or more blocks and then start to dig outward again, will I be undermining (ha) my existing support beam above? I don't really understand the physics of digging down below an existing support beam.
  3. Version #: 79.6 SSP/SMP (Single/MultiPlayer): SSP Suggested Name: Irregular safe zone around support beams Suggested Category:Annoying Description: In b78 the protected area around support beams were 4 out in each cardinal direction. This is not the case in b79. One of the directions is 3, one is 5, and the two remaining is 4. The directions change depending on which direction the support beams are placed in. Either the west or south direction is 3. Beams in east-west direction has 3 in the east direction and 5-4-4 going counter-clockwise. Beams in north-south direction has 3 in the south direction and 5-4-4 going clockwise. Have you deleted your config files and are still able to reproduce this bug?: Yes *If you answered no to the above question, delete your config files and try to reproduce the bug. This question is here because many bugs are caused by mistakes in config files. All bug reports should have an answer of "Yes" to this question. Do you have any mods other than Forge and TFC installed?: Yes If yes, which mods? - NEI - NEI TFC Plugin - Fastcraft 1.9 - JourneyMap 4.0.5 If you have Optifine or Cauldron installed, can you still reproduce the bug after uninstalling them? *Both Optifine and Cauldron edit the base classes of forge that TFC uses. Because of this, we cannot officially support any issues that happen only when these mods are installed. link of the Crash Report: N/A