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Old 07-12-2011, 03:14 PM
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Location: monroe,ct
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Default 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
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:41 PM
eprante's Avatar
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Default 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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Old 07-12-2011, 03:57 PM
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Default 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 (Cheesesteak's WFO build - Take Two.)

Soldier Course (Dino's 42" Pizza Oven Starts)

First Course on Insulating Layer (Karangi Kitchen 48inch ready to start)

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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Old 07-12-2011, 06:17 PM
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Default 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 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: soldiers cut at angle?

Quote:
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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Old 07-14-2011, 07:03 AM
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Default 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
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:28 AM
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Default 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 (The build has begun!)

Soldiers and Buttressing (Building my Oven with a mix of plans)

Good Post by Dino on arch buttressing (How much arch buttressing?)

Read here and later posts on arch cracks (4 years in the making - 42" dome)

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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