Ah, the humble fence. It keeps out… well, most things. And it’s kinda limited in use, as you’ll know if you’ve ever tried putting a door in it – ugly. But, as usual, there’s more to this piece of Minecraftiness than meets the eye – here’s five things you might not get from the Wiki about the humble Minecraft fence.
HOW much wood for my fences?
The wiki’s got a complicated formula to figure out how much wood you need for your fences. Here’s a simpler way to look at it – 3 wood will make you 8 fences. That’s because 3 wood makes 12 wooden planks, which make 24 wooden sticks, and each pair of fences takes 6 sticks, so – 8 fences per 3 wood.
That means that, if you’ve got a square area, you can figure out the amount of wood you need by taking one off the width of the square including the fences (so a 10 square wide area gives you 9), and then multiplying that by 1.5.
How does that work? Well, a 10-square area needs 4 9-square-long fence sections, for example. Divide that by 8 for the number of fences – means you get 9×4⁄8, or 9×0.5 – and then multiply by 3 for the amount of wood, meaning you end up with width-1×1.5
You can now create gates
Minecraft players have wanted a gate – as opposed to a door, which doesn’t really work with your fence – since Alpha. For a while, it looked like we’d be getting one in 1.8, but that’s now looking much less likely, with the Minecraft team saying, essentially, “It might happen when we get time”.
However, fret ye not. As of 1.7 and the introduction of sticky pistons, it’s now possible to create a very nice-looking gate.
In essence, you dig a hole where you want your gate to be, put a sticky piston at the bottom, and a fence post on top of the sticky piston. When powered, the sticky piston will now push the fence post up, creating a seamless fence. When it’s unpowered again, it’ll drop back down. You control the power with the usual redstone torch/redstone wire/lever, button or pressure plate combination.
See this Hubpage for a rather nice description of how to make a gate in this fashion.
There’s also a gate mod
If you must, must, must have Yer Aktual Gate, there is a solution – although it’s a mod, and it will only work in single-player.
Advize’s Mods is the mod package you’ll need – it includes not just gates, but also curtains, dyeable blocks, and a time-of-day altering system.
It’s updated to 1.7, and uses the ModLoader mod to install, so you’ll need that too. Apparently the gates and pistons don’t play well together, but other than that it should give you the gates you’re looking for.
You don’t need to faff around to build double-height fences any more – also, poles
There used to be a problem with fences – they couldn’t be stacked on top of each other, meaning that you had to faff around endlessly building blocks under them, then deleting the blocks and building fences there, then going down to the next layer, and so on.
Fortunately, as of Minecraft 1.7, that restriction has been removed. So, if you’ve been watching tutorials on how to build double- and triple-height fences, here’s one of our top Minecraft tips – ignore them, and just stack them like you would blocks.
This also means that high poles are much easier to build now. Before, it was a reasonably serious PITA to build a tall pole (from single fence posts) in MC – nowadays, you can just stack single-square fences one on top of the other to create flagpoles, lightning conductors, or any other pole-related item you could need.
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