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

Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

A place to introduce yourself, and to meet other awesome people.
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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by Gerard » 04 Jan 2011, 07:59

hi Ryan_phx i would like to answer :) but this thread is to say hallo, just open an other thread, this will help to keep informations together

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by jimboh » 06 Jan 2011, 19:51

Hello. Currently unemployed. Scan mostly chess books. Main problems with ST relate to picture zones for chess diagrams. Will post on those separately.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by GeeBee » 07 Jan 2011, 04:52


i live in england and am part way through my first build. i have a sony PRS600 which i love and want to scan my books onto this. ive done a couple of dozen books the destructive way using a fuji document scanner, but it would be nice to not have to destroy them. plus i have a large collection of mountain bike magazines i want to archive.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by karlpete » 10 Jan 2011, 13:26

First "scan" was copying the thick workshop manual for my car in 1964 on Xerox Original Equipment which used plates and a -camera, a toner shaker and a toaster. I developed a technique to do it double sided.

Bought a half-frame camera to make copies then and loaded and developed my own film, like homebrew microfilm.

Used a Plustek serial scanner (with the plastic case removed to scan flat against anything) to do maps, broadsides and antique wallpaper on the wall (!) about 10 years ago, but it wouldn't get past Win98, so it's gone.

Now have a ten foot shelf of steam car books and magazines to scan which Google Books has totally missed in all their library mining. I use ABBYY, Adobe InDesign and make pdfs of the results, but if someone can tell me how to recognize faint type and ignore matrix flash between characters, I will be very, very happy.

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Drake Ravensmith
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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by Drake Ravensmith » 16 Jan 2011, 05:33

Hello! My name is *** but I go by Drake Ravensmith online ever since a character in a short story I wrote needed a flashy pseudonym.

Wow, after reading through this post I feel grossly undereducated and undermotivated. I'm afraid I don't have any useful skill that are likely to improve any designs. I can barely program my DVR so I guess I won't be fixing software bugs either. I'm not trying to build a scanner to preserve anybody's old documents or help pack away a mountain of books. It should also be noted that every single DIY project I have ever taken on has been functional but pretty ugly because I've had to resort to cobbling stuff together to make it work for my specific situation. I am lousy with tools. :lol: I've a good feeling nobody here really cares and will be super supportive anyway.

Seriously though, I love this forum. I used to read all the time. I practically lived in the Sci-fi/Fantasy section of the public library. Then I got a job. For awhile I had two. I still managed to get stuff read but it was definitely choking the passion. The real baseball bat to the head was when I got my first pair of reading glasses. I've read in just about every position imagineable. Mostly because I have this nervous energy which gets my fingers moving when I'm not doing anything. So when I read, I shift a lot. All of a sudden, I find that I can't lay on my side with my book nearly in my lap. I have to be somewhat sitting up and the book has to be in front of my head. So I dealt. After awhile though, it became frustrating because my vision is so futzed up. Turns out I'm sorta near sighted in one eye and really far sighted in the other. Between the two I didn't need glasses for doing stuff, but reading for more than a newspaper tired my eyes quickly. Worse still, if I was tired the glasses didn't help as much as advertised. I swear, god hates me just because I stopped believing in him.

Anyway, I basically went from reading a ton to just occasionally. I read the seventh Harry Potter book in one sitting. I bought it after work when it came out, read it, showered, and went back to work. My eyes hated me but I was ecstatic. However, that was the last thing I read (offline) for nearly five years. A year ago I found my reading glasses in a dusty drawer and put them on for a giggle. Turns out, I need glasses full time now. The near/far juggle act my brain used to see had become somewhat less efficient without my having noticed. Oddly enough my new glasses are almost the same as my old ones. Go figure.

Like I was rambling before, god hates me because I stopped believing in him. In the intevening years, I developed a chronic neck tension which gives me knots in my shoulders which often become headaches. Especially if I sit and click the ole compter mouse too much. Well, I'm reading a book online (I have no recollection of how I came across it or why I decided to read it out of the blue) and I sit back and start thinking. Why do i waste all this time reading random crap on the internet instead of books? I love books. So I dig out some Star Wars books I bought but never read because they were a series of nine and I got caught up learning to knit and power read them. Turns out the act of holding a med thick paperback book open with my hand will aggravate my neck just enought to piss me off. Luckily Amazon also doesn't believie in go-er.. understand that people don't like heavy books and released the Kindle 3.

Now in true me fashion, I 'acquire' digital copies of almost every book I own and many I've read. Quite possibly a thousand more. I get carried away. I also love Doctor Who. There are a ton of Doctor Who books. But only one series is available on the Kindle store. (US libraries suck, even the new online ones apparently.) So I googled book scanner and found the Book Liberator project. Available for sale this fall. Sweet, I'll just ride out the time and problem solved. Anyone who has ever been to the Book Liberator site more than twice is chuckling pretty hard right now.

So now I'm here. I was pretty intimidated by the original Instructable while being simaltaneously impressed that it was made out of garbage. A slower second read boosted my confidence and I became determined to make a standard scanner. Until i realized the instruction were not finished. See above paragraph on my previous DIY attempts. I eventually manned up and decided to go for it. By that, I mean I found a coworker who is helping his dad finish his house (Who buys a three quarters finished house?) and is intrigued by the nature of the project. He doesn't read but he want to make one just to say he did. He's not going to have free time until late March which is inconvenient since I possess neither patience nor a table saw. I guess that gives me time to actually read through the various builds and have a plan ready before I start. What a novel idea. With that in mind, I vowed not to go crazy like I usually do with a new hobby (that Kindle just got used for the first time nearly four months after I first bought it. I seriously need more focus.) Naturally, as soon as I got some unexpected Christmas money I went to ebay and purchased two used Canon A590 IS's. Impluse control.

So keep an eye out for my build thread in March/April. Like I said, I going to spend the next several months looking through the site for idea variations on the Standard Scanner. I'll probably use a glass platen since years of aquarium keeping has me convinced glass is clearer and the weight will flatten the page better. *** I would also like to explore LED lighting. I used a DIY manual to wire moonlights for my two remaining aquariums, (Hey, I can solder two wires together! I do have a useful skill.) so I could probably handle the wiring for this. We'll see.

The hopefully humorous nature of this post aside, I am committed to making a book scanner. The Kindle doesn't eliminate the potential for neck knots but it does greatly reduce them so I see a scanner as a huge factor in continuing to enjoy books. Which I do immensly. While I could limit myself to the mountain of ebooks I already have, I refuse to. I want the lastest Fate of the Jedi book the instant I can save six bucks on it used. Something that is probably never going to be possible on DRM ebooks. The friend who is going to help me put this together finds it odd that I'd want to go to that much tedious trouble just to scan a book but I'll be listening to Doctor Who audio dramas the whole time and I can thrive on tedious so 'I' find it worth it. I'd like to think this forum does to.
Last edited by Drake Ravensmith on 24 Mar 2011, 03:50, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by rob » 16 Jan 2011, 13:11

As Mark Frauenfelder (editor of Boing Boing and author of Made By Hand) says, in DIY, you have to be willing to fail, because only by failing do we learn. Sadly, we in the U.S. are a failure-averse society, but by overcoming that stigma, you can achieve some great things. My own personal story is that every single piece of wood I've ever cut has been off. Sometimes by as much as two inches! But I've learned (slowly) from these mistakes, and now I'm usually off by as little as 1/16 inch, which is near enough not to matter.

Pick up a screwdriver and put in a screw wonky! Drill a hole off center! Cut some wood not square! Fail! But eventually you'll put something together, and be proud!
The Singularity is Near. ~ http://halfbakedmaker.org ~ Follow me as I build the world's first all-mechanical steam-powered computer.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by StevePoling » 17 Jan 2011, 20:09

rob wrote:Sadly, we in the U.S. are a failure-averse society...
Malcolm Gladwell has advanced the thesis that you can't master anything until you spend 10,000 hours doing it. That means we all suck when we start. If you've been blown sunshine up your butt through school this little bit of reality might not penetrate your noggin. So. Suck it up. Tough it out. And be the best you can. It won't be good enough at first, but keep plugging at it and you'll get good if you stick with it. Just remember that 10,000 hours business.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by giacomo.ritucci » 28 Jan 2011, 16:24

Hello, I'm Giacomo from Italy.

I like the idea of having a lot of heavy books on my small and ligh netbook.

Also I have bought a Kindle, so I want to digitalize content to have it on the go.

I'm starting from the bargain book scanner because I have no experience in wood cutting (nor I have the place nor the equipement).

I bought a Powershot A480 at a very good price on ebay. I have a lovely and patient wife that is enduring her husband experimenting with glass, cameras, tripods and books on the living room table.

So, I have all I need to scan my whole library :D

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by daniel_reetz » 28 Jan 2011, 17:25

Welcome, Giacomo! Be sure to check out this recent build by ChrisG, which is nice and cheap. Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself and your project! We always love it when people drop in and say a few words about themselves.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by TomHorsley » 30 Jan 2011, 13:37

Tom Horsley here, from Delray Beach Florida (with a home depot within walking distance).

I have no more space for books, and found this forum just this weekend. I immediately wanted to build one of my own so I could put a lot of books in boxes and clear off some shelf space. I have way too many books because the librarian at Grady Elementary school in Tampa once refused to let me check out a book because it was "too hard" for me. Put me off libraries permanently, and I've been buying books ever since.

Having poked around on the forum some, I have come up with a couple of ideas and I wonder if they have been shot down already:

Has anyone ever used what I'll call an "open" platen? No glass or acrylic or anything, just a plate that presses down on the margins of each page and exposes the printed part of the page. Seems like it would cut way down on glare (unless the pages were glossy), and give you sharply defined borders for each page. Of course, you'd need a collection of interchangeable plates for different size pages, but they might be easy to make out of something like relatively thin particle board with a small router or scroll saw. And if you did have a book with no margins to speak of, you could always have one of your interchangeable plates be acrylic or glass.

On the simpler idea front: I noticed one thread where folks were looking for good counterweights. I've used chains a couple of times for weights. They aren't as compact as solid metals, but you can adjust the weight easily by simply cutting off the right number of links and you can hang it from hooks, so mounting is no problem.

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