Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
Doranwen
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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by Doranwen » 25 Mar 2021, 00:27

dpc wrote:
23 Mar 2021, 18:56
Rather than build a scanner large enough to handle that one large book, you might consider scanning that one book manually one page at a time with a single camera on something like a crude copy stand and a build your scanner based on the size of the majority of the books you have to scan.

The reason I say this is because the geometry of the scanner will need to change beyond just the platen/cradle size to handle larger page sizes. The light source will need to be raised to avoid reflections that will be visible on the platen surface and the farther the light is away from the page the less light will illuminate the page surface (you can lower the light for books with smaller pages though, provided your light position is adjustable). Your camera position will also need to be adjusted between scanning books with the large and small page sizes (for example, if you simply set the camera position to frame the largest books you'll ever scan, you will be throwing away image resolution when scanning smaller sized books). A physically smaller scanner is also almost always easier to operate and takes up less storage space. I would imagine that you won't want to try to scan a stack of paperback books with something the size of an Archivist.
Good point. This very large book will lay flat a whole lot easier than a lot of the books I'm trying to scan, and it wouldn't be that hard to get a plate of glass or acrylic to lay flat on each page; then it'd just be finding an angle to avoid glare. But there's a lot of things I want to scan for my personal use that are approximately A4 size, so they're not paperback books. I can't think of much that I would scan along the lines of paperback books. There are a few public domain books that were rebound as hardbacks by a library (and DEFINITELY need the platen help just to keep it open - an overhead scanner would never work with those!), and those are on the smaller side, but most books I'd be scanning are closer to the size of an 8½"x11" piece of paper or larger.
dpc wrote:
23 Mar 2021, 18:56
The reason for choosing a platen angle of 100 deg. over 90 deg. is to prevent a reflection of the adjacent platen pane into the camera's view. Daniel has a good video demonstrating the problem on this website somewhere (see links below) that I'd encourage you to watch. Building a platen with a 100 deg. angle is more complicated than the simple 90 deg platen, but if you're using acrylic where you can drill mounting holes through the platen you can use common 'L' brackets that have been opened up slightly from 90 degrees. If you're using glass panes for your platen you'll probably want to use grooved end plates, with the grooves being 100 deg apart. You can cut the grooves with a table saw or a router. Or you could simply attach some aluminum angle to the sides of the end plates to hold the glass against the lower edge of the end plate (the Archivist scanner uses this method).

The downsides of acrylic is that it does scratch and it attracts dust particles more easily than glass (triboelectric effect). The upsides though are that it's cheap, easy to work with (cut/drill), and crystal clear.
Good to note. Thanks for the info.
cday wrote:
24 Mar 2021, 03:29
In his video David Landin describes a method of fusing two pieces of acrylic to make the platen, if that works easily as described it should be simpler than drilling holes and using brackets. If the platen does over time scratch it could also easily be replaced. If brackets are used, it would be as well to search online for advice on drilling acrylic to avoid the risk of cracks, but maybe Doranwen's brother already knows that. Either way, it might be wise to buy more acrylic than is required initially unless it is readily available when needed.
He does mention that, but in the instructable he lists the three ways he came up with for setting up the platen, and that was the second try. His third (and final) suggestion was a "screw together approach".

See Step 11 here: https://www.instructables.com/Book-Scan ... ages-an-h/
He's got pics of the different ways to attempt that. So I'm thinking taking the L brackets and bending them slightly wider than 90° might be the easiest?

My brother isn't concerned about that part. When I asked him what he thought about the angle, he said: "Making the platen at more than 90° is doable, but it's going to make the trig on the cradle pieces quite a bit more complicated. The brackets that support them come easily at 90°, but I don't know if they come at 100°, and if not, we'd have to place them at just the right places."

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by cday » 25 Mar 2021, 06:25

Doranwen wrote:
25 Mar 2021, 00:27
cday wrote:
24 Mar 2021, 03:29
In his video David Landin describes a method of fusing two pieces of acrylic to make the platen, if that works easily as described it should be simpler than drilling holes and using brackets. If the platen does over time scratch it could also easily be replaced. If brackets are used, it would be as well to search online for advice on drilling acrylic to avoid the risk of cracks, but maybe Doranwen's brother already knows that. Either way, it might be wise to buy more acrylic than is required initially unless it is readily available when needed.
He does mention that, but in the instructable he lists the three ways he came up with for setting up the platen, and that was the second try. His third (and final) suggestion was a "screw together approach".

See Step 11 here: https://www.instructables.com/Book-Scan ... ages-an-h/
He's got pics of the different ways to attempt that. So I'm thinking taking the L brackets and bending them slightly wider than 90° might be the easiest?

My brother isn't concerned about that part. When I asked him what he thought about the angle, he said: "Making the platen at more than 90° is doable, but it's going to make the trig on the cradle pieces quite a bit more complicated. The brackets that support them come easily at 90°, but I don't know if they come at 100°, and if not, we'd have to place them at just the right places."
I well remember the Sunday afternoon in 2013 when David Landin revealed the design of his very original book scanner, I followed the thread for a while, but hadn't read the later Instructables article with updated details.

I see that David now recommends using an anti-reflective acrylic, which he says should be readily available, presumably using that essentially obviates the need to use a 100° platen angle to avoid reflections?

Nonetheless, if a 100° platen angle is used, I would think that a mitre saw that can be set to any cutting angle could probably be used to cut suitable brackets for the platen as blocks cut from sheet material of suitable thickness. Supports for a book cradle with a 100° rather than 90°angle could also probably be cut from sheet material, although those might be more easily cut using a circular saw. Would using a 100° angle create a problem with any other parts?

Looking at more of the Instructables article reminds me that using anti-reflective acrylic or glass is likely to slightly impact the clarity of text, so that, and the likely easier availability of regular perspex, could be a factor to consider when deciding whether to design for a 90° or 100° platen angle.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by Doranwen » 29 Mar 2021, 11:34

cday wrote:
25 Mar 2021, 06:25
I see that David now recommends using an anti-reflective acrylic, which he says should be readily available, presumably using that essentially obviates the need to use a 100° platen angle to avoid reflections?

Nonetheless, if a 100° platen angle is used, I would think that a mitre saw that can be set to any cutting angle could probably be used to cut suitable brackets for the platen as blocks cut from sheet material of suitable thickness. Supports for a book cradle with a 100° rather than 90°angle could also probably be cut from sheet material, although those might be more easily cut using a circular saw. Would using a 100° angle create a problem with any other parts?

Looking at more of the Instructables article reminds me that using anti-reflective acrylic or glass is likely to slightly impact the clarity of text, so that, and the likely easier availability of regular perspex, could be a factor to consider when deciding whether to design for a 90° or 100° platen angle.
I sent my brother this; we'll see what he says, lol. It's already getting to where I really have absolutely no idea what to go for.

From what I've read, the only real advantage of the 100° platen angle is the avoiding reflections. Otherwise 90° means opening book less (so less spine damage), getting deeper into the book gutter, and much easier to build as it fits standard angles of parts. So if it's possible to avoid reflections while sticking with 90° angle, that's probably the simplest solution.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by cday » 29 Mar 2021, 12:12

Doranwen wrote:
29 Mar 2021, 11:34
From what I've read, the only real advantage of the 100° platen angle is the avoiding reflections. Otherwise 90° means opening book less (so less spine damage), getting deeper into the book gutter, and much easier to build as it fits standard angles of parts. So if it's possible to avoid reflections while sticking with 90° angle, that's probably the simplest solution.
If you are able to source anti-reflective acrylic, and don't expect to need to image particularly small text or aren't over-concerned with quality, then sure that would be simpler. On the other hand, if your brother has the interest, tools and time to maybe make some small parts before visiting, you could then be sure of avoiding reflections which evidently are a real issue without any risk to the quality of the images you produce.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by Doranwen » 31 Mar 2021, 09:14

cday wrote:
29 Mar 2021, 12:12
If you are able to source anti-reflective acrylic, and don't expect to need to image particularly small text or aren't over-concerned with quality, then sure that would be simpler. On the other hand, if your brother has the interest, tools and time to maybe make some small parts before visiting, you could then be sure of avoiding reflections which evidently are a real issue without any risk to the quality of the images you produce.
Where does one look for anti-reflective acrylic? I have no idea even where to start, really. I've never shopped for anything like that. The PVC pipe is pretty straightforward - we have a Home Depot in town - but it's anything that's not the typical hardware that I'm more "I have no clue where to source this".

I am pretty sure he won't have the time to do anything before he comes here. I don't think he has good access to tools where he is, either, but the time is the real factor. He works at one of those jobs that is kind of one's life - not a regular 8-to-5 kind. So he wanted me to have all the parts here and he'd just assemble. Which is why I'm thinking i may have to go with 90° just because I probably wouldn't be able to get him the parts for anything else and I don't want to risk running out of his time while he's here and not having it completed.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by cday » 31 Mar 2021, 10:41

Doranwen wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 09:14
Where does one look for anti-reflective acrylic? I have no idea even where to start, really. I've never shopped for anything like that. The PVC pipe is pretty straightforward - we have a Home Depot in town - but it's anything that's not the typical hardware that I'm more "I have no clue where to source this".
I'm in the U.K. so someone in the U.S. should be better able to help with that, but in general Google is a very powerful search resource given the ability to design a good search, which shouldn't be difficult...

David Landin was writing from the U.K. and stated that anti-reflective acrylic was easily available there, so I imagine it probably also is in the U.S. However, reading the Instructions file recently I was slightly concerned about the availability of the thin steel tubes he used to stiffen some pipe sections: he happened to be able to buy some product on eBay that came with suitable tubes, but that can't generally be taken for granted. Possibly tubes you buy could be stiffer or maybe reinforced in some other way, if necessary.

The more background you reveal the easier it is to see the constraints within which you have to work; if the forum were more active as it used to be possibly someone in the U.S. with a workshop could make you some small parts to enable you to use the 100º degree option, if it would be easier.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by Doranwen » 31 Mar 2021, 19:28

cday wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 10:41
I'm in the U.K. so someone in the U.S. should be better able to help with that, but in general Google is a very powerful search resource given the ability to design a good search, which shouldn't be difficult...
Lol, well, I wasn't asking for someone to tell me "go here", but rather - what *sort* of place in general? Is that the kind of thing I could reasonably expect to find in local stores or is it something one has to order? (Which I recognize you may not be able to answer, being in a different country.) What sorts of stores carry that? Craft stores? Hardware stores? I would have a better idea of which local places to check out if I knew. I really don't relish running all over town driving to store after store in hopes this is something they carry, and where I'm living right now, our cell phone reception is so terrible the phones have to live in one spot on the kitchen counter. (Our Internet is bad as well - it has issues with establishing new connections, packets are dropped in high numbers. I do a LOT of refreshing in hopes it will work that time.) So to call stores, I'd have to make lists of phone numbers, go to the window, hope the phone doesn't drop calls as I'm talking to someone, etc. (I don't have a smartphone with 'net access and I only have desktops, so it's actually quite impossible for me to look at a website at the same time that I'm making a call.) Because everything to do with the phone and Internet is more hassle than it normally would be, I was trying to narrow down the list of things to try and reduce the number of times I have to refresh pages and hope the websites will load well enough. (Ordering anything online is even more problematic because of those dropped packets; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.) Everything's worked better of late than it used to but it's always up and down.

So yeah, that's the kind of thing I don't tend to find easily with a search online - I might run across a few online places here or there to purchase, but not generally whether it's in local stores. And hopefully there are no quality differences to look out for; I'm assuming any anti-reflective acrylic is equal no matter where it is sourced…
cday wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 10:41
David Landin was writing from the U.K. and stated that anti-reflective acrylic was easily available there, so I imagine it probably also is in the U.S. However, reading the Instructions file recently I was slightly concerned about the availability of the thin steel tubes he used to stiffen some pipe sections: he happened to be able to buy some product on eBay that came with suitable tubes, but that can't generally be taken for granted. Possibly tubes you buy could be stiffer or maybe reinforced in some other way, if necessary.
I believe he mentioned that bigger diameter tubes would probably be stiff enough, so I may suggest that to my brother. But definitely something to keep an eye on. I know all the old ebay links were dead so I would have to do separate new searches.
cday wrote:
31 Mar 2021, 10:41
The more background you reveal the easier it is to see the constraints within which you have to work; if the forum were more active as it used to be possibly someone in the U.S. with a workshop could make you some small parts to enable you to use the 100º degree option, if it would be easier.
I like the 100° option because of the better reflection avoidance, but yeah, the cradle would be a challenge with that without special parts made, as my brother pointed out…

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by dpc » 02 Apr 2021, 11:52

I just read Landin's Instructable to look at his cradle design. All you need to do to support a different angle than 90 deg. is to bend the 90 deg 'L' brackets to whatever angle you decide to use (i.e. 100 deg). You're going to do this for the brackets you use to hold the platen panes together so it's the same process.

You're going to find that the anti-glare acrylic sheet is a bit expensive at the thickness you need to use for a platen. Even with a platen angle of 90 deg. it might not be a tremendous problem for you depending on what you're planning to scan. White pages with black text don't show reflections/glare as bad as dark pages, say from magazines or pages with photos. You could always try it at 90 deg. and if that didn't work, then remove the brackets and open them up to 100 deg. and reassemble the platen and cradle.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by Doranwen » 04 Apr 2021, 00:34

dpc wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:52
I just read Landin's Instructable to look at his cradle design. All you need to do to support a different angle than 90 deg. is to bend the 90 deg 'L' brackets to whatever angle you decide to use (i.e. 100 deg). You're going to do this for the brackets you use to hold the platen panes together so it's the same process.
*nod* I think my brother's worried about being able to bend stuff to the right angle but you're right, looking at it again, I do see that it's pretty much a matter of doing that for all of them if I need 100° instead of 90°. I'm thinking we assemble it with 90° first and then see if it needs to be redone to avoid reflections, as you suggested. Thanks for that advice! That gives us a plan, at least.
dpc wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:52
You're going to find that the anti-glare acrylic sheet is a bit expensive at the thickness you need to use for a platen. Even with a platen angle of 90 deg. it might not be a tremendous problem for you depending on what you're planning to scan. White pages with black text don't show reflections/glare as bad as dark pages, say from magazines or pages with photos. You could always try it at 90 deg. and if that didn't work, then remove the brackets and open them up to 100 deg. and reassemble the platen and cradle.
You're suggesting not to worry about the anti-glare acrylic and go with regular acrylic? I'm thinking the PVC pipe build is probably going to save enough money on that end that I can afford to spend a little more to get quality scans, but there's definitely always that balance between cost vs. quality. I can't afford to build the top-of-the-line but if it's going to produce poor-quality scans than I would want to spend a little more to get something that'll work better overall. So I'm definitely interested in hearing your reasoning one way or the other.

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Re: Archivist Quill Kit Plans vs. Archivist Book Scanner Plans?

Post by cday » 04 Apr 2021, 14:37

Doranwen wrote:
04 Apr 2021, 00:34
dpc wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:52
I just read Landin's Instructable to look at his cradle design. All you need to do to support a different angle than 90 deg. is to bend the 90 deg 'L' brackets to whatever angle you decide to use (i.e. 100 deg). You're going to do this for the brackets you use to hold the platen panes together so it's the same process.
*nod* I think my brother's worried about being able to bend stuff to the right angle but you're right, looking at it again, I do see that it's pretty much a matter of doing that for all of them if I need 100° instead of 90. I'm thinking we assemble it with 90° first and then see if it needs to be redone to avoid reflections, as you suggested. Thanks for that advice! That gives us a plan, at least.
I have been concerned about that too: David Landin indicated, I think in the relevant video section, that the brackets should be reasonably heavy duty, presumably due to the load on them when supporting a heavy book, when a tendency to sag could change the angle. When buying brackets that are to be bent, it would be important to ensure that they don't have the small reinforcement in the centre shown in one of the photographs, which would preclude bending them.

To bend heavy duty brackets successfully I would think that one side would have to be held in a reasonable-sized vice, maybe between pieces of board, while the other side is clamped between stiff boards and bent, possibly using the leverage provided by the clamps.That might work, but I would suggest testing whether bending is a practical solution before deciding whether to use a 90° or 100° platen and ordering suitable acrylic.

However, sitting in the sun and thinking about the problems presented by Doranwen's project, which I've been doing a lot the last few days, I see some other ways in which standard 90° brackets might possibly be used with a 100° platen build:

1. If one leg of each bracket were extended by attaching an overlapping piece of metal or board, the angle at which they sit could be increased from 45° to 50°, the angle being set by the overlap.

2. If one leg of each bracket were shortened slightly, that would also change the angle at which the brackets sit.

3. If the outer leg were bent upwards slightly, that would similarly change the angle at which the bracket sits.

4. One leg of the bracket could simply be placed on a thin board of a thickness that raises it so that the required 50° angle is achieved, the angle if necessary being set accurately by shimming with thin plastic sheet, available from model supplies shops, using multiple layers if necessary!

But if David Landin hadn't mentioned using standard brackets, which he used because it meant that a 90° platen scanner could be made a easily as possible, surely the obvious way to support the two book support boards at 100° angle would have been using pieces of, for example, 3/4" plywood cut at a 50° angle, possibly two per side screwed to the sliding base or to the book support boards? Such supports could be easily cut accurately using basic workshop tools, and probably if necessary using a hand saw with perhaps with some sanding.

Regarding the platen 100° brackets, if standard 'L' brackets are obtained they should be much easier to bend, but possibly not quite as easy to bend neatly and accurately as expected. It would probably be best to use fairly small brackets so that the mounting holes, which are likely to be countersunk, are not too large for the small screws needed to attach the brackets to the thin acrylic sheets.

But two suitable brackets could again be made as previously suggested as blocks of MDF or other suitable board, and would probably actually benefit from being rather larger, although David's small plastic blocks evidently did the job well enough. Screwing the acrylic sheets through holes in the sheets into a block seems better than screwing from inside into 3 mm acrylic, although that worked for David. Those fitting could again if necessary be made easily using hand tools: take some, for illustration purposes, 1"x1" planed timber (in the U.K. actually about 3/4" square), position them accurately against marked lines at 100° angle on a piece of thin board, then screw them to the board or sandwich them between two pieces of thin board, trim and sand to finish. The Instructables article, in the reader comments at the end, alternatively suggests a way of using board plus angle extrusions to make mountings which enable the acrylic sheets to be slid out for storage.

[Edited slightly in some details since first posted].

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