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Soldier row on top of floor?? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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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Soldier row on top of floor??

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  • Soldier row on top of floor??

    I am a little anxious about starting the oven. I built three stands with a grill to the right and a smoker to the left. I screwed up the hearth for the oven by mixing the perilite with concrete rather than cement. I had to take it out and redo it. I did the grill and the smoker because I felt comfortable doing it. Now I am wondering if it is easier to just start the soldier row on top of the floor. I am afraid that the gaps between the floor and soldier row will be greater if I cut the floor to be inside. I know it is easier to replace bricks inside, but is it worth it?

  • #2
    Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

    Barry, how large would the gaps be? When you get to that area of the floor, it's a non issue. It will fill with ash and you would never cook in that space anyway. I know I was concerned about the ability of replacing brick in the beginning, but after using my oven for a couple of years, I don't see the need. With that said, you are good whichever path you choose.
    Les...
    Check out my pictures here:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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    • #3
      Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

      "I know it is easier to replace bricks inside, but is it worth it?"

      Either way works OK. I built on the floor. There is less precise cutting required. In the remote chance that you have to replace bricks, most of your floor area would be readily accessible anyway. If the ones under the soldier course need removing you could "wiggle" them out one at a time and replace them as well.
      Last edited by Neil2; 06-04-2010, 10:16 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

        That is what I was thinking. I was hoping that I would never have to replace a brick and if I did I could get it out. Then my cuts can "looser" and not as percise. I am looking forward to starting tomorrow. Thanks.

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        • #5
          Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

          I have seen the mention of replacing hearth bricks mentioned frequently, has anyone on the forum had to actually replace hearth bricks?
          Eric

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          • #6
            Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

            good question

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            • #7
              Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

              Originally posted by eprante View Post
              I have seen the mention of replacing hearth bricks mentioned frequently, has anyone on the forum had to actually replace hearth bricks?
              Eric
              There was a post about it just this morning - here is the thread.

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/s...rth-12025.html

              Les...
              Check out my pictures here:
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

              If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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              • #8
                Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                As long as this subject is front and center, I have the following question:

                It has been said that the 'dome outside the floor' configuration is more efficient than the 'dome on-top of the floor' configuration because the floor heat is contained within the confines of the dome wall.

                Given that the floor typically does not attain as high a temperature as the dome, wouldn't this be counter-intuitive? Besides, don't all bricks in an oven, once fully thermally-saturated radiate whatever heat they have outwards equally?

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                • #9
                  Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                  "It has been said that the 'dome outside the floor' configuration is more efficient than the 'dome on-top of the floor' configuration because the floor heat is contained within the confines of the dome wall."

                  It's exactly the same thickness of firebrick either way. The temperature right at the bottom of the wall exactly equals the floor temperature at the same point. The temperature may be higher as you go up the dome.
                  Last edited by Neil2; 06-05-2010, 04:46 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                    I've said it before: I don't know what the soldier course is for. I don't see any reason not to lay your first chain of dome bricks right on the oven floor. I think the full height soldier course that has become more popular lately causes the sharp corner of the dome to exert a lot of lateral force on the side walls.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                      Yes, it does.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                        The soldier course is used to give a vertical wall at the perimeter. This is easier to clean and also increases the effective floor surface somewhat. Having said that, I agree that a half block soldier would give you most of this benefit and at the same time minimize the lateral force that starts with the first bevel course.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                          The vertical wall for the first 2 courses is certainly a good idea, I just question the use of soldiers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                            Originally posted by Tscarborough View Post
                            The vertical wall for the first 2 courses is certainly a good idea, I just question the use of soldiers.
                            That's exactly what I chose to do.
                            George

                            My 34" WFO build

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

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                            • #15
                              Re: Soldier row on top of floor??

                              Greetings Gentlemen: Sorry this is a little off subject. But I am at the same point of the build. I am a bit confused. Pompeii Oven Instructions page 37 Ver. 2.0 suggests using the vertical full height soldier if you are building the Naples-style. I thought this was to give the vertical height quickly & the narrower 2.25 brickface looking into the oven would more closely track the circular perimeter. Since the oven will be assaulted with repeated heating & cooling extremes, I want to build as sturturally sound as possible. I have completed the hearth & will lay the initial vertical course atop the hearth bricks. I understand the first course should not be mortared to the hearth course due to expansion & contraction.

                              Is it structurally preferable to use four (4) chains of 1/2 bricks on the flat to obtain the initial vertical height equivalent to a full soldier course?

                              Another concern about construction is that the Heat Stop 50 recommends only 1/16-1/8 inch mortar width. The gap at the outer diameter of vertical soldiers is approximately .45 inches. Since my wet saw has a height limitation of amout 2.5 inches, I don't see an easy way to bevel the soldiers to close the gap. Has this been a problem? Do builders recomend the use of firebrick wedges to close the rear gap? Thin wedges of firebrick does seems a little brittle. Use of half bricks on the flat would take more time initially, but it would allow beveling each side of the brick to facilite a closer fit & less mortar at the rear. Since it looks like the builder is eventully confronts to a lot of bevel cutting anyway, whats a few hundred more cuts?? Anyway I would greatly appreciated the input of the experienced builders. Am I worrying about nothing?? Am anxious to proceed with the build. Initially though it might take weeks. Now its looking like months. Thank you for your advice. Glosta aka 7/8s
                              Last edited by Glosta; 06-13-2010, 07:10 AM. Reason: typos

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