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Soldier Course Theory

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  • Soldier Course Theory

    I've had some back and forth questions about the first course (the "Soldier Course").... and I've looked for an answer on the forums regarding the rationale for starting with the soldier course but couldn't really find it. I understand one could start with a full brick or a half brick and the load issues one might encounter with using a full brick. But why not start with laying the brick in the same orientation as the dome bricks (tapering the 2 edges so there is good surface to surface contact amongst the butting bricks) and laying the subsequent layers on top of that first layer? What is the reason for starting with the brick in the upright position with the 2.5 inch side facing inwards and the arranging the 4 inch side around the circle of the dome perimeter? Why not start with the 4 inch side facing down, the 2.5 inch side facing inward, in the same manner the rest of the dome bricks are oriented. I hope I'm explaining my question in an understandable way. Thanks!

  • #2
    You can use what is called a half height soldier and be fine. It is just that a full height soldier is subject to nor outward pressure from the dome and "MAY" require buttressing depending on the dome design. Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. But why not start with orienting the first course the same as the subsequent courses?