Due to a neat glitch it is discovered to be possible to change the block data value in Minecraft. This affects wool, stone bricks, logs, slabs, and many other blocks. It can be used for useful things like changing the color of a block of wool or changing whether a stone brick is mossy or not.
It requires sticky pistons, a bit of redstone dust, a few redstone torches, and water.
If it doesn't work try moving it to different coordinate areas.
"Note that it's sensitive to orientation (don't rotate it) and to chunk borders (move it a bit if it doesn't work)."-Zhul
Try not to build it in the +X & +Z direction.
If this works, my mind will be blown right out my face.
I'd imagine that it has something to do with the way that block data are stored when being moved by a piston. This, combined with the sudden expanding/retracting of the pistons in your setup probably causes this data to be lost.
And if it does work, all I have to say is, "Fix your game, Jeb!"
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Very interesting discovery, and a great source of cheap stone slabs. This is also the only way of turning dyed wool into white wool, colored wool cannot be dyed in crafting tables.
Here's something I discovered that might shed some light. Create the same machine, but leave out the third piston. Instead have the redstone wire feed directly into the sticky piston with the damage value block.
When you break the torch the block will get pushed up and briefly flicker into its lowest damage value appearance, but then return to its normal form. This may be just a visual glitch, but perhaps it actually is that lowest data value block for a brief moment. Maybe the game first transports the block, then figures out when the correct data value is.
EDIT: Redacted a bit more that now seems definitely inaccurate, instead of probably inaccurate!
I can't seem to build this device. There's probably some part I can't see and thus haven't built.
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The block changer is amazing! Here's a handy reference guide for your transmutation needs.
Place the water source block at the same distance as the material you want to create. For example, if you want to create brick slabs, place the water source block 4 spaces away.
A different color of wool is generated depending whether the water flows horizontally onto the torch or diagonally downward onto the torch. The first higher level of wool shows what happens when water flows diagonally downward, the second row of wool shows what happens when water flows horizontally. When water flows straight downward onto wool it creates gray wool, regardless of how high up the source water block is.
And yes, that double slab block at the end is the unused seamless double stone slab! So this doesn't just let you convert between blocks, you can also create a block otherwise unobtainable without inventory hacking. The seamless stone block can be created by pouring water from above as well as from the side.
Also, thanks to this machine cracked and mossy stone brick are now a renewable resource rather than a rare limited block.
I just discovered a way to easily get infinite seamless doubleslab blocks in creative mode. First create a seamless doubleslab block in the transmuter.
Then detonate the seamless doubleslab with TNT. It will be broken into an item that looks like a single regular slab in your inventory, even when placed. Even the item tooltip just says "stone slab"
But since this is creative mode placing it doesn't remove it from your inventory. So place another one of the secretely special slabs on top of another secretly special stone slab to create a seamless block.
Here's a seamless slab tower I quickly constructed, alongside stone and regular doubleslabs for comparison.