Minecraft: Spiral stairway design & building dock for Minecraft boats

When making multi storied structures in the video game Minecraft, it’s always important to keep in mind where you’re placing the stairway. A simple linear stairway can often take up an entire wall, or may not even be possible if the ceiling is too high and the walls too short. However, if you have the square footage, you can install a spiral stairway quite easily.

A Minecraft Stairway without Stairs

Strangely, you don’t need a single stair block to build a spiral stairway in Minecraft (if you need the recipe for stairs, check out Minecraft: Standard Fixtures Recipes). Instead, all you need is any solid material (stone and wood look best) and plenty of stone slabs. This works because stone slabs count as half a Minecraft block, and creates a natural step whenever you place it next to another material.

Needed Materials and Space for a Spiral Stairway in the Video Game Minecraft

The minimum space you need to build a spiral staircase is three by three spaces. You need a center space for the spine, and three spaces on each side for the steps around it. The spine and half of the steps will be the material you’ve chosen, while the other half of the steps will be stone slabs. You can mix and match materials for ascetic reasons if you want, but stone slabs are always necessary for this design.

Constructing the Minecraft Spiral Stairway

Start the stairway by making a small part of the spine; eventually the spine will be the as high as the entire stairway, but at first just make a three block high stack of material in the middle of the three by three square. After starting the spine, place a block on the floor next to any side of it (where you place this block decides where the stairs start).

Then go to the next block up the spine and place a block on the side adjacent to where you placed the first step (whichever side you choose determines if the stairway goes clockwise or counter clockwise). Then on the third block of the spine, place a stepping block on the side opposite to where you placed the first block.

At this point, with careful jumping you should be able to get from stepping block to stepping block, but that is hardly a staircase. To make real steps, place stone slabs between each stepping block and one on the ground next to the first step. With these stone slabs in place you can now simply walk from block to block.

After you get the basic concept of the design you can build as you go up by doing so: when you reach the top step, increase the height of the spine, add the next stepping block as previously explained, place a stone slab between the two blocks, and then walk up. Continue this process until you reach your desired height, and then build a floor around the top of the staircase.

Because the total square footage of this stairway is nine blocks, it doesn’t work terribly well in small houses, but for towers and larger structures, this design will be very useful.

Building a Dock for Your Minecraft Boats

Boating is a great form of travel in the video game Minecraft (which is discussed in Minecraft:Transportation Recipes), but it does have its annoyances. Canal systems can be a pain to fill with still water, you can’t simply break a boat and carry it around (like Minecraft carts), and boats have a tendency to float away when not being cared to.

The first two concerns are up to Notch (Minecraft’s creator) to fix, but there is a way to build a dock and keep your boats secure.

Building in Shallow Minecraft Water

First, pick a convenient spot for your dock and use torches to keep it well lit, letting you boat safely at night. Then get into the water and make an area shallow (precisely one water block deep) using dirt or sand to add to the sea floor . The area should be around eight by eight spaces, and if you can’t walk in it without having to swim, it’s too deep. Don’t worry about the boat; it floats fine in the shallows.

Building a Video Game Pier

With your shallows constructed, get some wooden planks to make a pier with (it can be any material, but wooden planks look the best). To build it, place the planks on the water and create a straight path towards the sea, making sure it’s connected to the land. You can make it as long as you want (making sure shallows are under it), and as wide as you want, though a sensible width is one or two wooden planks thick.

Building a Video Game Dock

The pier may look nice, but it still doesn’t provide any way of keeping your Minecraft boats still. There is no way to rope a boat, so you will have to create a small enclosure for your ship. Once you do so, you won’t have to go hunting for wandering boats every time you set sail.

To make a dock, first pick a spot near the start of your pier and lay down a four block path of wooden planks perpendicular to it . Then, at the end of this new path, lay down a wooden path parallel to the pier going towards the sea – make this path five planks long. Afterward, lay down a single wooden plank to the side of parallel path so that you have made an enclosure of water with a two block wide mouth at the end.

This enclosure will provide a three block wide, four block long pond of water to park your boat in, and a mouth to enter it. However, the dock has one final finishing touch. Craft two wooden doors and go to the mouth of your dock. Equip the doors and place one in each block of the mouth, if you kept the dock in the shallows, the doors will be fully functional in the water. Now, whenever you park your boat , you can shut the doors to make sure the boat cannot escape, and then open them to exit.

Using this dock design, you can create entire waterways that are safe to traverse at night. Just make sure you keep all of your docks well lit and you can steer clear of danger.

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