Blind stapler fixes face frames fast
September 3, 2020 | 1:40 pm CDT
The Topp Line Blind Stapler incorporates a pneumatic clamp and diagonal stapler to be able to affix face frames quickly and securely with hidden staples.

After more than 45 years of cabinetmaking, Stuart Topp was frustrated with the process of attaching face frames to cabinet boxes. His solution is a device that results in a fast and solid connection with no clamping or screwing and no nail holes to putty or fill.

How it works

The Topp Line Blind Stapler is a pneumatic tool with two parts. One is a pneumatic clamp to hold the tool in place while securing and spacing the part to be stapled. The second part of the tool is a pneumatic angled staple gun that shoots standard 1-inch staples from underneath.

Both parts of the tool operate from pneumatic plungers in machined aluminum handles. Not only do the handles give you a secure grip, but also they serve has a safety device, making sure your hands are out of harm’s way when you use the tool.

Trying it out

Precision machined and professionally finished, the tool is heavy duty. The pneumatic clamping cylinder comes with a variety of spacers. Topp provides standard sizes and even custom sizes to match what shops request. Some applications requiring different sizes include different faceframe overhangs, fixing applied ends, and non-faceframe uses, such as countertop noses and shelf edging.

For face frames, you put the cabinet box on its back, position the face frame on top, then put the tool on top of that. Activate the clamping plunger, then fire the staple. It’s so fast you can do a typical face frame in seconds with plenty of staples to secure it and no clean up afterward.

Charity connection

Most shops will consider the tool solely on the added efficiency and time savings. It replaces more expensive joinery, eliminates clamping, and allows for pre-finishing parts. But there’s also a charity angle. Topp and his wife Michelle have been funding water well projects in under-developed villages around the world. “Every time we sell 18 Blind Staplers, we use the proceeds to buy another well,” says Topp. “This is what we get to do for the rest of our lives. Everyone who purchases the tool gets a statement of where the well is going to be, information about the village, and its people, and when it is completed, they get a type of coffee table booklet that shows the entire process. That way, everyone is contributing to help others.”

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editor of FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.