A Wee Bit of Broken Grout

When our house was built around sixty years ago, the carpenters fully planked the exterior walls before nailing on the cedar lap siding. As a result, the wall was thicker than the width of the jamb on the new replacement door unit I recently installed. So, I had to build out all around the new door jamb in order to make it flush with the finished wall on the interior.

I saved the floor jamb until last. There might have been a bit of avoidance going on as it seemed to be more challenging. Filling in the small void required notching both ends to fit the existing flooring and framing. It also required cutting a taper of about three-eighths of an inch from one end to the other of a piece that was just over three feet long.

After a freehand cut for the taper on the table saw, I cut the notches. Then, I used a hand plane to get a close fit on the piece. After the third try and trim, I noticed that it wouldn’t set down fully into the opening. It had set down just fine on the previous attempt. So, I tapped it with a hammer. Then, I hit it with a hammer. Before going out to the shop to get a bigger hammer, I pulled the piece up and checked beneath it.

A tiny piece of grout had broken loose from the edge of the ceramic floor tile and dropped into the opening. No amount of pounding on the surface of the wooden fill piece was going to make it fit flush. I suppose I could cut out a notch in the wood to fit over the piece of grout but it seemed like removing the piece of grout was a simpler solution.

I remember times in my life when a small bit of genuine repentance would have saved a whole lot of repair cost and effort. And required fewer blows from the hammer.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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