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soldiers cut at angle? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Forno Bravo Forum Community,

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

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soldiers cut at angle?

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  • soldiers cut at angle?

    I'm no mason, but pretty handy. My daughter went to California and came back asking for a pizza oven. I have down loaded the plans from this site and seen some excellent work here. Base is built and insulating slab of vermiculite poured and ready for fire brick oven floor. I built my version of the indispensible tool. One question, why do some cut soldier course in half and some use full brick cut at angle? I will post pictures by Friday.

    CT firefighter

  • #2
    Re: soldiers cut at angle?

    I think the difference has to do with whether you put the soldier course surrounding the hearth floor or on top of the hearth. Most builders that put the soldier course outside of the cooking floor use the whole brick standing on end. If you stack your dome on the hearth then use a half brick and go right from there without the soldier course. The rationale for building your dome around the outside of the hearth is that you could conceivably replace any of your hearth bricks should you ever need to, though I have not heard of anyone ever doing it.
    Eric

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    • #3
      Re: soldiers cut at angle?

      And . . . if you place a "soldier" course - some have cautioned about the need to buttress the soldiers from pushing outward over time.

      If you simply start your first course on top of the floor (bricks laying down) - buttressing isn't an issue:

      First Course on Oven Floor

      Soldier Course

      First Course on Insulating Layer

      Take a look at several of the builds on the site and you'll see the difference. with a 42" oven for personal use - I don't know that a soldier / sailor course makes a whole lot of difference - it seems to be personal preference.

      Oh - and building the first course on top of the oven floor means not having to cut the floor bricks to fit within the soldiers . . .

      your mileage may vary . . .

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      • #4
        Re: soldiers cut at angle?

        I have looked at several of the photo galleries and like the Idea of being able to replace the floor bricks if needed. Going to try the full soldier for 1st course with no angle cut.
        Thanks Eric

        Cheesesteak great job and did you really eyeball the taper and what course did you start tapering. Tell me how long you've been a mason?

        Cant wait to get started I have the next 3 days off and it looks like good weather. Will post some pics soon
        Last edited by firebert; 07-12-2011, 06:28 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: soldiers cut at angle?

          Originally posted by firebert View Post
          I have looked at several of the photo galleries and like the Idea of being able to replace the floor bricks if needed. Going to try the full soldier for 1st course with no angle cut.
          Thanks Eric

          Cheesesteak great job and did you really eyeball the taper and what course did you start tapering. Tell me how long you've been a mason?

          Cant wait to get started I have the next 3 days off and it looks like good weather. Will post some pics soon
          Yeah - I just eyeballed the angles on the bricks for the tapers. Not a mason - just love to build stuff. I just used various brick shims and slid them under the bricks to give me different angles on the saw - and it worked just fine. Not perfect - and not as tight as some other ovens - but it worked just fine.

          I think I started to taper on the second or third course - for a tighter fit. Around course 6 or 7 - I created a beveled taper on the sides (I never tapered top/bottom).

          Good luck with your build.

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          • #6
            Re: soldiers cut at angle?

            Good Morning All,
            I did a solider course outside the hearth because I didn't want a mortar joint at the same level as the hearth bricks. I just thought my clumsy self would be sliding the peel into the mortar joint.
            As for buttressing concerns between the two methods? I can't from an engineering perspective "see" the difference. The forces would be the same and loads carried the same. The soldier is just two half bricks put together without mortar. So unless the mortar breaks the loads and outward forces would be the same. Am I missing something here? If so, please let me know so I can add some lateral support around the base of the oven while it is still feasible.

            Thanks
            John
            Build Thread:http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/i...ome-15521.html
            Photos: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brick-...67884/pic/list
            Oven Blog: http://johns-brickoven.blogspot.com/...ven-folly.html

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            • #7
              Re: soldiers cut at angle?

              Aegis -

              The thought and concern that has been consistently expressed is that arches that aren't "perfect" arches have less structural strength.

              This has been most evident with outer arch / flue design and construction - where folks have seen cracks develop where the outer arch is more flat.

              The force of an arch pushes out and down. Where you have a soldier course - you create a hinge point of sorts at the top of the soldiers - and the force wants to push the top of the soldier outward. Again - I/m not sure that it's that big of a deal - but it's an issue that's been raised and one of the reasons I didn't use a soldier course and built both of my arches with "perfect" arches.

              Outer Arch Buttressing

              Soldiers and Buttressing

              Good Post by Dino on arch buttressing

              Read here and later posts on arch cracks

              This issue has come up with upright soldiers - some have installed cables for solider support, some have poured concrete / vermicrete around the outside of the solider / domes.

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