Thanks, Jimmy. I did get my problem solved - by my husband, who studied your diagram. He tucked the brads tight to the left side of the slot (with the stapler upside down; it would be the right side with the staple right side up), and it worked! I am wondering about the strip issue though, as I haven't seen those. The brads I have and the ones I've seen at the stores here (San Francisco Bay area) don't have a strip, but are very lightly "glued" together in a row. I sure do appreciate your help, as I hate to lose a usable tool, even one as humble (but functional!) as this one is.