Long-time customers know we have struggled to ship our products directly to Canada. It’s been an on-again, off-again situation without any solution that makes Canadian customers happy and keeps us from burning money.
As some of you have noticed, Canadians can now order books and other products through our website, but the shipping costs are steep. The service we use is FedEx International Economy, which is the only way we avoid brokerage fees when bringing parcels across the border.
We know it’s expensive, but that is the actual cost. Books are both heavy and bulky, which prevents us from using USPS Flat Rate boxes and other services.
For those Canadians who don’t want to pay that price (and we cannot blame you), we recommend you buy your Lost Art Press books through Lee Valley Tools. They carry about everything we publish. Type “lost art press” into the search field and you’ll see all 28 products come up. Shipping there is reasonable because Lee Valley is big enough to move products back and forth across the border. We aren’t.
Very shortly, Lee Valley will start selling “Shaker Inspiration,” and you’ll be able to order it from them with a reasonable shipping fee.
So why offer the shipping to Canada? To ensure that our northern neighbors can order products that Lee Valley might not carry, such as bandanas and chore coats.
We wish we had a magic wand to make shipments to Canada easy and inexpensive. But we don’t.
I first encountered the étaux in the La Forge Royale catalog many years ago, along with a bunch of other French workbench contrivances. I always meant to build one, but Benchcrafted beat me to it.
Benchcrafted calls its version the HiVise, and the thing is absolutely indispensable in our shop (in some cases Brendan and I both need it at the same time). If you make chairs or other curved objects, the HiVise will make your life 32 times easier. It grips odd-shaped parts firmly, easily and at a height where you can work on them comfortably.
If you have a tricky spine or the need to do detail work, the HiVise will make your life 14 times less painful. The jaws hold the work close to your eyeballs without you stooping.
The HiVise has a Crisscross mechanism, which keeps the jaws parallel at all times. But the vise has enough flexibility in its jaws that you can easily grip curved or tapered pieces – something that is tricky with metal-jawed vises.
We also love the HiVise’s optional mounting screw, which allows us to put the HiVise almost anywhere. I have clamped it to our thickness planer and table saw when I needed to work in the machine room. Thanks to the mounting screw, the HiVise clamps to the kitchen table or a picnic table at a state park.
For me, the HiVise has become such a part of my daily life that I might need to revise my book “Workbenches: From Design and Theory to Construction and Use” again. The vise is that good.