Tools of the Trade 1a: Placeable Tools

Welcome to another Minecraft article!  In this article, I’m going to talk about the basic tools available to you in Minecraft, and how and what to use them on, as well as what the materials are that you can use for these tools!

In Minecraft there are basically two kinds of tools- tools you wield in your hand, and tools you place in your environment and then use.  I am going to start with the latter kind because, while you use them less frequently, there are fewer of them, and they are generally simpler to make.

The first tool, and the first tool that you are ever able to make, is the crafting table.  This table is a single-cube tool that is made entirely of wood.  It is also one of the only three tools you can make without using a crafting table, one of the others requiring that you already have access to iron.  This makes the crafting table both the most vital and most basic tool in the entire game.  It, of course, serves one and only one purpose, and that is crafting other objects.  The crafting table looks like this:

This, of course, is an arboreal setting, and the crafting table can be placed anywhere you could place any other block.  Like most other tools, the crafting table has a stack size of one, meaning that each crafting table occupies an entire inventory spot.  This makes carrying more than one prohibitive- but that’s alright, you only need one.  But you -do- need one.  The reason you can get along with only one crafting table is that it can be collected from wherever you place it- just as though it were a block of dirt, wood, or gravel.  Collecting it is faster when you use an axe, but your bare hand will work just fine.

The big feature about a crafting table is its crafting area.

By right-clicking on the crafting table, you access its crafting surface, which replaces the self-image, equipment, and crafting areas of your usual E menu with the table’s crafting area- a three-by-three square.  This lets you build the vast majority of the craftable objects in the game.  Keep in mind that Minecraft uses a sort of graphic crafting method, so experimenting with where you put your materials in the crafting area is vital to finding everything you can make, even if you have looked at crafting lists before.

The second tool I will mention here is the furnace, which is also a tool that is placed as a block.

The furnace is a stone tool, which is used for cooking and smelting.  Smelting is the way to get metals from ore, and is the only way you can get iron and gold- and having iron is vital, because of the way tool materials affect their possible uses.  It will also let you make gold from gold ore.

As you can see, there are two spaces in a furnace.  The top space is for whatever material you are working with, and the bottom space is used for what you are burning.  Coal is the best material to burn, of course, but you can also burn almost any form of wood to power your furnace.  Burning things in the bottom slot of a furnace has two effects- first off, it fills the ‘fire’, which you can see between the two vertical spaces.  This fire lasts for a certain amount of time depending on what you have chosen to burn.  Second of all, while something is burning in the furnace, the furnace will provide light.

In addition to smelting ore, the furnace can be used to cook food.  Specifically, any chicken, pork, or beef that you have can be cooked.  Cooked food is never poisonous, and will fill your hunger meter further than raw meat would.  Additionally, your hunger meter will stay fuller longer if you have been eating cooked food.  Because of this and the general abundance of coal in virtually every Minecraft world, cooking your food is well worth the effort.