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.
Posts: 10
Joined: 31 Jan 2012, 23:07
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Houston, TX

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

Post by bea » 02 Feb 2012, 22:20

Hi y'all :D

My name is Beatriz and I'm from Houston. I am definitely not a builder, but I am doing my best to try to keep up when reading these threads. I have wanted a book scanner for quite a while. For about a month I thought I had one when I ordered and Ion Book Saver, but alas, it was not meant to be. A book scanner would have been a lot more useful when I was in nursing school. I will still need need one when I go back for graduate school. I hope to be building one in the near future. Thanks


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

Post by anoved » 02 Feb 2012, 22:55

Hi, I'm Jim. Last year I helped a friend build a book scanner, based closely on a guide he found on this site. You can see a picture of the result here (sans cameras and a few other details). Now I am thinking about building another one, in part because I no longer work at the lab where that one is located, but also to improve on the design based on our experience (and all the cool ideas I see on this site).

I'm also interested in getting up to speed on what people are doing in software to dewarp images. I have a little background in image processing at a different scale (satellite/aerial imagery) so I am curious to see if there is any useful overlap (correcting for surface distortions is, at least conceptually, a form of orthorectification, right?).

Alan Shutko

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

Post by Alan Shutko » 06 Feb 2012, 23:19

I just built my first cardboard box book scanner! Like Beatriz I'd been looking forward to the ION BookSaver but it was not meant to be. I was going to wait for a kit of the new standard scanner, but saw a link to the cardboard box and realized I had almost everything I needed to put one together.

So today I've scanned my first 96pg D&D module, realized I need a smaller piece of glass, figured out how to get Book Scan Wizard to work, and in general have been hooked.

A shot of my rudimentary rig is below. It's a Nikon D1x, being lit by an SB-28 flash, both in manual mode triggered by a remote release. I've shoved the flash in the handle of the file cabinet, but it puts it at the right place that I don't get reflections off the glass, and the flash swamps any room lighting and lets me shoot at minimal ISO and an f/8 aperture. It's a 28-70 f/2.8 lens so f/8 is right in its sharp point. The D1x isn't the highest resolution camera, but it does have a good sensor for being 11 years old, and with Adobe Camera Raw it gives me more horizontal resolution than the megapixels would indicate. It'll work for me, for now, until I can build a two-camera rig.

I must thank the many people here who have given tips and guides that have made it possible for me to put this together.
photo.JPG (102.6 KiB) Viewed 7541 times


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

Post by VIII » 07 Feb 2012, 06:14

Hello, I've been interested in the concept of ebooks since the '80s, and as a practical matter would like to have my personal library available electronically. I have a good number of books and collect science fiction magazines, but I just don't have enough shelf space, so a lot of my books end up in boxes. I've gotten to the point where I don't like to buy a new book because it means another book will be boxed. I've considered ebooks for new purchases, but while ebooks are available in some cases, they usually have DRM, which I consider unacceptable: If I buy an ebook, I expect I should have the right to read it when I want to, whether now or twenty years from now, with whatever hardware I have at the time. I don't want ebooks where my right to read can be revoked, or that can't be read on future readers just because of some snag (for instance, the rights granting company going out of business or a company not allowing a format conversion for another device). Well, to sum up, I have pretty strong feelings on DRM in ebooks.

I've made previous attempts to scan my library, with a fair amount of effort, but it wasn't practical with flat-bed scanners, especially since I wouldn't destroy books to scan them. I'd resigned myself to the idea that I probably would never be able to do much with my library, but every so often I'd do a net search to see if anything changed. So, I was pretty surprised to see this site. It's great to see where a lot of ideas have been tried, and so I can see what works and what doesn't. Now I'm looking to build a scanner, though I'd like to try to build something a bit more stowable than the standard design.

Also, I might be trying some experiments with the Kinect for depth measurement. The new Kinect for Windows is supposed to have a "near field" close-in distance measuring option, though it isn't clear if you get higher accuracy out of it.

Anway, that's all I can think of for my intro, for now.

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Posts: 2776
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States

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

Post by daniel_reetz » 07 Feb 2012, 12:47

Wow, a book scanner using flash! That's new around here.

Welcome, everyone... really glad you're among us.


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

Post by FoxintheStars » 07 Feb 2012, 17:43

Hi, I'm from Missouri, and I'm focusing on low cost and non-destructiveness rather than efficient e-book creation, but you all have inspired me. I'd been excited long ago when questioncopyright.org was making their Bookliberator, and they've since abandoned the project, but somehow through looking into that lately I found you. I'm going to post a thread for the cheap rig I built, but here's a picture of it:

DSCF0449 by foxinthestars, on Flickr


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

Post by JoGnet » 08 Feb 2012, 10:07

Hi, I am Joost, living in the Netherlands. As a volunteer I am taking part in FabLab Zuid-Limburg (Maastricht).

I am looking for people in the Netherlands / Belgium or Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia) who own, build or are building a bookscanner and maybe are prepared to asist in building one in Maastricht at the FabLab.

Posts: 3
Joined: 17 Nov 2011, 13:42
E-book readers owned: Mac, iPhone
Number of books owned: 2000

I also was waiting for the Book Saver

Post by Dickison » 08 Feb 2012, 21:23

I also had been waiting with high anticipation for Ion Audio's Book Saver because it seemed to be such a compact, light-weight, uncomplicated design


Another design that looks interesting would be to reverse the Book Saver design where reflections may interfere and put the cameras in a box. The image shown isn't actually for a book scanner, but rather a book projector, made by Tamtus. But making it as a scanner would be great if someone could come up with a design like these that worked.


I'm hoping someone on this site can come up with similar small, compact designs and sell them to us non-builders.


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

Post by david_b » 12 Feb 2012, 16:15

Hi everyone, I'm David. I'm a database administrator in my day job, and like to read in my spare time.

I've read ebooks for a long time - I used a Franklin eBookman for many years until my wife bought me a Kindle, which is great.

I've got hundreds of paper books sitting in my bookshelves which would be nice to have in electronic form as well, so I figured I give making a scanner a try.

I enjoy working on projects even though I'm not very good at construction.

Here's a photo of my progress on a scanner so far. It's mostly particleboard, initially hot-glued together then fastened with wallboard screws. I bought a Canon A495 from Amazon for $50 and mounted it on a hinged frame over the V platform.

Today I'm planning to add two lights onto the hinged frame on either side of the camera, then try to figure out whether to use an acrylic or a glass platen. As soon as I add the lighting and platen, it should be ready to test.

My main concerns are how much this can be automated. I have an old copy of ABBYY FineReader which works great, but seems to be designed such that each file has to be manually selected, OCR'd, browsed for errors, then manually saved.

While that's great for making 100% perfect copies, one at a time, it just won't work for scanning 200 paperbacks of about 400 pages each. I'd be better off with an OCR that may only convert at 95% but which is able to be run as a batch job, to convert 400 files automatically.

Anyway, this is my progress; I'm happy to have gotten started, and I really appreciate how so many people have shared their designs.


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Posts: 70
Joined: 19 Feb 2012, 21:04
E-book readers owned: None
Number of books owned: 500
Location: Randers, Denmark

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

Post by Heelgrasper » 21 Feb 2012, 12:43

Since my original post went lost cause of the hacking I better post something similar again.

Hi, my name is Jakob and I’m from Denmark, living in the town of Randers.

I’ve been photo copying books since the mid 1990’s and flat bed scanning a little (mainly short articles) since the 2000’s. I have a BA in history and for some years studied to take a MA degree in the same subject but never managed to complete my master thesis (not an uncommon problem here). During my study years (started in 1997) I copied quite a lot of books and also got a large number of articles from periodicals as copies since the university library (also the State Library) offerede free photocopies of them. You just placed your order and picked up the copies two days later.

After giving up on the studies I worked for a few years and put in to many hours to really have much time for reading. Currently unemployed for some time I however have more time and realised that I now still can get free copies of articles but now in the form of scans (low quality though). Most of the time much better than having a bunch of papers and I can always print them if I need a paper version.

Not long ago I needed to make a copy of a chapter in a book from the library but I didn’t want to go through the slow process of flat bed scanning and at the same time the prices of photo copies on the library are quite high and by the letter of the law here that was my only option since it’s not allowed to copy copyrighted material at copy shops, even though it’s perfectly legal for me to make the copy.

So I found myself taking pictures of the chapter with the book in the window for lighting. And realising that this was something that could really work great for making copies in general if I worked a little on it. Thanks to Google I soon found myself here.

At the moment I’m at the early stages of thinking about building a book scanner but I figured I better sign up so I could interact with other builders and perhaps sometime give my input. My plans so far is to build something like the DIY Kit but I need to modify it a bit since I have some books for scanning that are a little to large (1-2 cm) and using a CNC is pretty much ouf of the question for me.

Final disclamer: I understand written and spoken english/american english quite well but I suck at writing it. Consider me a dyslexic and ask me to rephrase if you can’t understand what I write. And most of the time I’ll be using the metric system rather than imperial units - you’re the one with the weird system, you do the converting :D
Jakob Øhlenschlæger
Randers, Denmark

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
L. P. Hartley

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