Introduction: Minecraft- Industrial Furnace (super Smelter) in Vanilla Minecraft

overview/background info:

Minecraft is one of my favorite pastime activities. Who doesn't like a little minecraft now and then? But i enjoy automating and over all making things easier.

One of the things i hate to do is mine stuff, but when i do i try to mine more than i need in case i do need it later (that way i don't need to mine later). The other thing i hate (aside from fishing) is smelting or cooking so i found a tutorial on how to make a furnace array that was called "the industrial furnace". The tutorial was a video and when i tried to find it again just the other day i couldn't find the one i wanted but luckily i had one built in one of my worlds and i was able to reverse engineer this system. I'm not sure who created this exact system and i take no credit for doing so but Tango Tek has a great video (and world download) for a system similar and that can be found here.

The idea of mass furnace arrays are nowhere near being new, in fact searching for large furnace array (or industrial furnace) will yield many results. The majority of the furnace arrays i found used hopper mine carts the advantage to these is the large size you can make these, the design I'm going to show how to make has a limit of 14 furnaces (without extending the redstone) but this is plenty for my uses.


Before we get into building this array you should know the advantages and disadvantages of this system, if you have any pros/cons that i don't list here pm me and i will add it to this.


  • there are a lot of furnaces to speed up the smelting process
  • there is a large fuel storage
  • there is a large product storage (byproduct storage)
  • there is a large supply storage (what you want cooked/smelted)
  • you can drop everything in a chest and come back later
  • reasonably small footprint (5 wide X 7 tall X 19 long)
  • easy to build and replicate
  • as far as i know its very server friendly especially in the public areas for everyone to use.
  • doesn't make a lot of noise
  • all the furnaces are in sync


  • very resource hungry (mostly iron and wood for hoppers)
  • somewhat hard to cover up/disguise/make look good
  • can only cook one type of thing at a time (unless the first item had less than 14;can store many types of items to get smelted)
  • switching fuels is difficult
  • limited to 14 furnaces without extending the redstone

Though the list of pros is longer then that of the cons consideration should be taken as you will need a lot of materials and the gain from these materials is only fitting if you have a lot of fuel and a lot of stuff to smelt/cook.

(edit):it is possible to add a filter so you can dump a large amount of wood into the input chest (like if you have timber or capitator mods) and the output (charcoal) will go directly into the fuel chest, I played with this a bit but I have not found a good way of doing this as it would make more sense to have a silo system for your charcoal.

I should also mention that this was built in 1.7.4 (in the pictures) however the design that i took this from (my old world that i had to copy it from) is an older version though im not sure how far it will go back. Any update that has hoppers should work with this design.

Edit: i updated a personal world of mine to 1.8.3 and this design still works though there are some graphical errors showing that they come on at different times but that is not the case. As a side note i built one from scratch in 1.8.3 and downgraded to 1.8 but in both the third furnace for some reason was not getting any items but all the rest were working. And last but not least i will be adding a schematica download for those who want to build this in their world much easier.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

Getting your materials could be easy or very hard depending on your playing style however the supplies I'm going to list are estimates of what you will need, I tried counting what you will need but there is a lot to keep track of so have extras of what i list.

Things you will need:

  • 74 hoppers

  • 73 building blocks (some can be junk blocks, like dirt instead of stone bricks)

  • 11 slabs

  • 6 redstone torches

  • 1 lever

  • 6 chests/trapped chests (2-4 trapped chests might be the best, i will use 2 in the tutorial though the structure i already build has all normal chests but more on that later)

  • 3 repeaters

  • 5 comparators

  • 14 furnaces

  • 2 droppers

  • 1 redstone block

  • 50 redstone

  • 4 sticky pistons

Like i said earlier, keep in mind this is a rough estimate of the things you will need.

The steps will have pictures and i did my best to put the steps and pictures in the same order so its easier to follow.

Step 2: The Mini Item Elevator

start by building a 2X4 platform of any material you want.

The block on the left is one high and on the right its two high.

the repeater on the left points toward me and the repeater on the upper right points into the two block high tower the lower right repeater points into the comparator; all repeaters are set to default. Don't forget to connect the two repeaters with redstone. The block on the bottom is temporary and will have two upward facing droppers on top.

the repeater points into a block with a redstone torch on the side, a block on top on the torch and finally a torch on the opposite side of the upper right block (this torch should be off and is next to the top dropper, this torch will be used to trigger the dropper later on) the item elevator is done for now.

Step 3: Getting Into the Real Building

First, consider how many furnaces you want to have (between 1-14, though 1 would be quite useless) and subtract one, then add that many blocks to the top block of the two tall tower (i have 14 furnaces so i will add 13 more block) then put redstone on top of all those blocks.

Next, add a hopper chain that faces into the bottom dropper and is long enough to be even with the line of redstone.

Add your furnaces, they should start in line with your two high tower and end with the last hopper.

On the side with the redstone line put hoppers facing into the SIDE of the the furnaces. Also do this for the top of each furnace (note that these are not in chains)

The side with the redstone, face a hopper into the right most hopper then a chain behind it, keeping it in line with your furnaces and other hoppers. Also repeat this for the top.

We are about half way done at this point.

Step 4: Half Way There

On top of the dropper place a double chest (one on the dropper and one to the left of the that one), place a double chest turned 90 degrees on the left side of the bottom double chest and one behind that, lastly place another double chest on top of the last places exactly like the first also using a trapped chest for this one might be better as it will let you look at what you are inputting before it goes into the furnace.

In the last step we created two chains of hoppers, extend these until they are directly below the closest chest.

on top of the hopper chains, on the top chain add a comparator pointing out of the chest, on the bottom chain add a block then a comparator.

Add a sticky piston to where the comparator points out and a redstone block on the face.

Add another sticky piston in front of the other comparator and place a block on its face.

Add a block with a powered repeater so that it will point into the block on the face of the last sticky piston we place when the piston is extended.

leaving a space, add seven blocks all with redstone on top and a block upward diagonally with a redstone torch on the other side.

cover the redstone line to prevent the two lines from connecting.

Step 5: Finishing Up Here

Add a sticky piston next to the redstone torch with a block on the face.

on the other side add a line of blocks with redstone on top, these blocks are right next to the hoppers pointing into the top of the furnace.

next to the third hopper at the end place a sticky piston with a block on the face (this is on top of the redstone).

on both sides add a block that the redstone lines face into and place redstone dust on top of both, the redstone should connect on one side and be cut off on the other at this point.

add a line of top slabs with redstone dust on top that points into a block with a redstone torch on the side, the torch should extend the piston without powering the redstone below it.

next connect the top slab redstone by placing a top slab next to the redstone block and putting redstone on top (the picture is more descriptive).

at the end place blocks next to the bottom of the two hopper chains with comparators pointing out (these are pointing out of the top hoppers)

put a block in front of each comparator and a redstone torch on opposite sides, then add blocks on top of the two torches (not shown in the final picture but its not really worth taking a picture of something to easily described)

your final step is testing it out.

Step 6: Testing

to test the system add something that can be cooked (logs, raw meat, ores) in the top chest (i used a trapped chest here so i can see what i put in the queue before it goes in).

put fuel in the center chest (blaze rod, lava bucket, coal, charcoal, ect.)

if everything worked properly all the chests should start about about the same time, sometimes a little lad keeps one from showing its working for a while. after a few seconds you should get a few items in the bottom chest.

Step 7: Closing Thoughts

This is my second Instructable so any constructive criticism is welcomed, i want to be able to make easy to understand and well formatted Instructables in the future.

If there is anything i need to correct or add or explain any better let me know and i will do my best to correct the issues.

if you have taken this design to the next level and somehow did it different and thus made it better i would love to see what you did. share you're success and failure stories from this design if you try to do this.

lastly i want to thank you all for sticking through this Instructable and for those who build this good luck.

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