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Soldier Course - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Soldier Course

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  • Soldier Course

    Looking through the forum I notice that some builders put an angle cut of around 20 degrees on the soldier course. Others leave the soldier course bricks complete with no cuts. What is the best approach and why? Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Soldier Course

    I think the best approach is to avoid the soldier course entirely, and just start building your rings from floor level. The reason for the angle on the soldier course is to reduce the big slug of mortar you need when your wall turns that corner. With the half brick soldier course, you can make one cut, to get two angled half bricks. I don't recommend the full brick height plan, unless you are planning to buttress your side walls.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Soldier Course

      I set my first course as a soldier with a flat uncut top. I think that if you cut your soldier course with an angle you change the direction of force on that first course. So as you add weight in the cut soldier it will have a tendency to push out at the top and be pushed away from center. The flat uncut top will keep the force straight down. Here are a few pictures of my oven built for bread more than anything else.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: Soldier Course

        Originally posted by dmun View Post
        I think the best approach is to avoid the soldier course entirely, and just start building your rings from floor level. The reason for the angle on the soldier course is to reduce the big slug of mortar you need when your wall turns that corner. With the half brick soldier course, you can make one cut, to get two angled half bricks. I don't recommend the full brick height plan, unless you are planning to buttress your side walls.
        Do you think it is best to build on top of the oven floor, or cut the oven floor to fit inside? It seems that building the first row directly, and ignoring the soldier course, would be best if built directly on top of the oven floor.

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        • #5
          Re: Soldier Course

          Originally posted by phippsj View Post
          It seems that building the first row directly, and ignoring the soldier course, would be best if built directly on top of the oven floor.
          That's exactly what I did. So much easier...
          George

          My 34" WFO build

          Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

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          • #6
            Re: Soldier Course

            I thought I read on the Forum that the floor on the inside of the dome was better for 2 reasons. One, the floor was able expand and contract independently from the dome (if you gave it a small gap). Two, someone said the heat transfer was better?

            Mike

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            • #7
              Re: Soldier Course

              There is no data supporting increased heat transfer one way or the other. If you read through the scores of threads that address this issue, the only reason (however remote) to put the floor inside the dome is if a brick ever becomes compromised and has to be replaced.

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              • #8
                Re: Soldier Course

                What about if the floor is independent, is it less likely to create cracks in the dome? As in expanding on its own and not pushing the dome as it heats up?
                Mike

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                • #9
                  Re: Soldier Course

                  Originally posted by Mike D View Post
                  What about if the floor is independent, is it less likely to create cracks in the dome? As in expanding on its own and not pushing the dome as it heats up?
                  Mike
                  That's a logical point you make but under actual use that's not the case, and one reason why you don't mortar the first course onto the floor.
                  Last edited by fxpose; 10-23-2010, 09:43 AM.
                  George

                  My 34" WFO build

                  Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Soldier Course

                    what about how the dome covers the side edge of the floor helping hold in the floor heat rather than it moving out the side? I know I am just trying to justify the extra work of doing it this way, but is there any truth to any of it?
                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      Re: Soldier Course

                      Originally posted by Mike D View Post
                      what about how the dome covers the side edge of the floor helping hold in the floor heat rather than it moving out the side?
                      That doesn't matter whether the very bottom side edge is the floor or the first course of the dome, it will be completely enclosed in insulation anyway. Makes no difference from that standpoint.
                      George

                      My 34" WFO build

                      Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Soldier Course

                        what about how the dome covers the side edge of the floor helping hold in the floor heat rather than it moving out the side?
                        I'm afraid I don't understand the question at all. If you are asking if you can build the dome on top of the floor, the answer is yes, that's the way I did it. As far as heat retention, it all pretty much heats up, and hence expands, at a uniform rate.
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                        • #13
                          Re: Soldier Course

                          I have read through numerous threads on this topic and have not read anything that gives definitive proof of "dome on floor" or "dome outside of floor" being better than the other. My floor is inside of the dome and it works fine. I would think it would be easier to place the dome on floor since you don't have to make the round cuts on the floor brick. As for the soldier course, I think I would build my next oven with half soldiers. I haven't had any issues with lateral forces acting on the top of my full soldiers, but my oven is only a couple of years old.
                          My WFO project: http://picasaweb.google.com/stevprin/WFOSmallPhotos#

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