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Blimey I’m so lost in Minecraft. What a fantastic game. It’s everything an old kid with a sense of exploration and adventure wants in a game.

But something terrible has happened. Something woefully terrible. I fished a couple of Enchanted Books from the sea (Mending and Silk Touch) and applied them to my lovely diamond pickaxe. But they cancel each other out!

Silk Touch is nice. You can hack away at stone and instead of getting a ton of cobblestone thrown your way you get the stone. Neat. Especially if you’re into making castles and things. I made one once. Waste of time really. I prefer to build funky little medieval houses that my villagers fight over.

But Silk Touch also gives you Coal Ore rather than lumps of coal. As any Minecrafter will know mining coal or red stone is a great way to boost XP. Every time you chip away at a coal seam or a red stone block you don’t just get the mineral you get those little green orbs of XP floating your way. Fab!

Except with Silk Touch applied to the pickaxe you don’t get the mineral, you get the ore which must then be smelted to produce the mineral.

So why don’t the Mending and Silk Touch enchantments work together?

Mending requires XP to mend the item. In this case the pickaxe. Mining with Silk Touch yields no XP. It just gives you the ore, not the mineral.

So, note to self and word to the wise – if you happen upon Silk Touch and Mending and are thinking of combining them with your pickaxe at the anvil – tread carefully!

Removing enchantments

It is of course possible to use a grindstone to remove enchantments. If you’ve applied Silk Touch to your pickaxe and are prepared to sacrifice a useful enchantment then you can remove it using the grindstone (which removes ALL enchantments) leaving you with the opportunity to re-enchant an enchantment free pickaxe with something else. e.g. Mending.

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