Blind Nailer / Chisel Gauge

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I stumbled onto an ad for a blind nailer/chisel gauge and am intrigued. The concept seems simple enough, chisel acts kind of like a plane, takes a slice of wood off and the wood sliver is then glued back in place.

How well does this work in practice? Is this a tool that died out for a reason or just something that was to to other options?

I’d like to try one, but not willing to gamble the nearly $100 eBay price (newer veritas version is less, but Stanley 96). I found a seller in the UK remaking them, but the price seems too good to be true.

 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I used to see those in the 70s but never used one. So much easier to set the finish nail and putty the hole.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I can see where putty would be faster.

The thought of using super glue instead of regular glue for a quick repair also crossed my mind. I was thinking this tool may be simpler/quicker than using plugs for something like trim head screws.

I’ve also never had luck with putty matching and I really dislike seeing it on piece with a clear finish.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
It's a tool that was designed to hide the fact that you used mechanical fasteners (i.e. nails). The chisel lifts a sliver of wood, but does not remove it. After driving and setting the nail in the opening, you lay/glue the sliver back in place. When dry and sanded you should not be able to identify the location of the nail.

W/ today's modern glues and other methods of joinery (e.g. loose tenons, pocket screws, etc.) nails have become less critical in cabinet construction and this tool has gone the way of the buggy whip.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
I recall looking at this tool with curiosity and interest in the old, well-illustrated Garrett Wade catalog. That was 30ish years ago. That was before I knew a few more things about practical woodworking. I now see it as a tool perhaps for those who collect tools or practice strictly orthodox period furniture reproduction.

As an aside, a long ago visit to the Garrett Wade facility on the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan was a crushing disappointment. Based on the gloriously photographed catalog and J. Peterman-like product copy, I looked forward to a matching retail atmosphere. The store was off street-level and up and old stairway. I've been to estate sales that exceeded their attention to merchandising and the overall customer experience. Clearly, Garrett Wade was all about the catalog and what was then mail-order sales. It was like driving to Wally World to discover that it was closed. Carry on.
 

Brantnative

Jeff
Corporate Member
I bought one from Lee Valley many years ago. I know it was no where near that cost or I wouldn't have bought it. I never used it much because getting the shaving to sit back down in the hole never worked very well and it was always visible. And it's a very small plane so it's hard to control. May be easier to just use a small sharp chisel if you want to experiment first. There are better and simpler methods as explained above.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
Ed—I saw this tool in an issue of American Woodworker from the early 90’s. It was veritas branded, so I think it’s interesting that Garret Wade advertises the tool around the same time.

I have no plans to buy the original Stanley, but I may buy the footprint-branded reproduction if I can get it shipped from England.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
Update.

Finally found a veritas blind nailer for a reasonable price. It seems to work well and I anticipate it working better with more experience. I tried cutting in a scrap piece a few times before using in the trim.

The below picture is before sanding. The screw heads are slightly smaller than the groove created by the plane blade.

ADC7CAAC-5507-4B06-BA46-CE953903A00C.jpeg
8146B5FE-EF17-4297-8160-5EBFE9BDCDB4.jpeg
 

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