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

Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Book scanning methods that involve taking books apart.
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mfmonk
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Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by mfmonk » 24 Jan 2013, 02:00

Hi all,
I am a "destructive" scanner. I picked up a few tips just reading through here and would like comments on the process I use (and how it can be improved). I think my process now is effective but I am always looking for new tips since I have a large amount of books I want to scan. I need the room on the shelves for other books.

My Process:

1. Take pages out of book: I usually do this while watching TV or a movie. I take a razor to the sides of the cardboard cover and peel it away from the book. I then peel off pages in groups of 10-20 pages.

2. I have a small paper guillotine and I use this to cut the peeled off pages at about 10-20 pages per guillotine cut.

3. I set the pages in a stack and when I have free time I scan them. I scan the front pages as one group. Next the pages in the book I duplex scan at 50 pages at a time and I do not skip blank pages. This is my way of error checking as if I do not get 50 new images, I know something went wrong.

4. I save as jpeg files - this is something I might change to saving as bmp files.

5. I then keep them in a zip archive (does not save any space for a jpeg) and I use adobe clearscan to make them into documents I can use as needed.

6. My primary reading device is a computer. Most of the books I scan are for studying or reference so I often have two books open at the same time. I also use a kindle dx for some reading at the library, but because moving back and forth between a problem and its solution answer in the back of the book is a pain on kindle, I like the computer the best. However, I love the battery life of the kindle (one charge per 2 weeks, no worry about finding a plug at the library and especaially older libraries) so it does have its purpose.

I scan with a Canon ImageFormula DR-2010C. I am happy with it and would purchase it again. I think I have something like 50,000 scans on it so far (maybe more).

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by daniel_reetz » 24 Jan 2013, 03:10

Thanks for starting by sharing your tips- I don't do much destructive scanning but plenty of people here do, so I hope you'll get some positive feedback.

tresho
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by tresho » 28 Feb 2013, 06:53

I've done something very similar to your method.
Last year I bought a Canon P-150 "Scantini". It costs about half as much as a Canon DR-2010C, will automatically take in a stack of 20 pages, scan both sides & send the results to a connected computer. Software & processing after that point is very similar to that of the DR-2010C.
I slash off the hard bindings with a Stanley type utility knife. Then I use a 6" wide metal straightedge pressed down on the resulting stack of bound & glued pages. I use the knife to repeatedly slash away along the straightedge to cut 10-20 pages at a time away from the binding, pull them off, and stack them in another pile. This generates a lot of cut-off paper strips, so this process isn't suitable to do while watching TV. You can cut off several hundred pages in a very few minutes with a sharp utility knife.
The stack of cutoff pages can then be fed into the scanner. I need a good size table to work on and a wide mouth waste basket to keep sweeping the scraps and debris into.
I have had a problem with my method -- using the knife to cut the pages free from the binding also tends to make them stick together at their freshly cut edges, and sometimes the pages stick together in groups of 2 or 3 and go through the sheet feeding mechanism together. I have to flip through the stack prior to feeding it into the scanner to make sure the pages separate cleanly.
I also prefer using a computer to read the results as a set of images. I don't OCR them. I am content to use my built in neurological capabilities to do that.
The process of removing the pages from the binding & feeding them into an ADF scanner is very much like shucking corn or shelling peas, mindless and repetitive. It would be more pleasurable to work side by side with a helper to do this but I don't know anyone as interested in scanning as I am.

waldemar
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by waldemar » 03 Mar 2013, 16:09

Here's my process(es), developed over about 4 years of doing this:

1. Cut the pages loose. We have a large guillotine cutter here at my university, which can easily and cleanly handle a 1000+ page hardcover. (I usually sever the covers first, though.) This is not necessariiy the best route, just the fastest. In many cases I find that some of the pages still have remnants of the binding glue, which obstructs smooth flow through the scanner. I've had my best success with the metal ruler and scalpel method of slicing the pages free.
2. Next, the scan. What I've been using up until recently is the Fujitsu fi-6130, being controlled by fScanX software on my MacBook Pro (now Air). I've tweaked things for the best OCR/image results (happy to share settings, if someone is using the same gear) and scan directly to pdf. On a recent test of a smallish (5x8") book with 174pp at 400 dpi, the resulting file was about 7 megs. Scan time was under 3 minutes, including measuring the pages etc. for a test I was running - actual raw scan time was 2:21.
3. Processing is done currently in Adobe Acrobat Pro, v.9. I'll probably upgrade to X11 soon. First comes OCR, and my standard setting here is image and searchable text, downsample to 600 dpi. Process time was about 4 minutes, resulting file size was 2.9 megs.
4. Ran the "optimize scan" process in AAPro with default settings. Process time about 1 minute, finished file size (can print "photocopies", fully searchable) was 1.3 megs.
Total time spent, about 7:40.

New process, still being fine-tuned:
1. As above.
2. Scan with the new Fujitsu ix500. Marginally slower per page, much faster process overall. Comes with Windows and Mac options, can scan directly to iOS/Android devices, or to Evernote or other Cloud solutions. This thing is incredible in terms of double-feed detection and ability to adjust itself to varied and mixed sizes etc. Kept the defaulted settings, and in 2:41 (under three minutes) I had a finished and OCR'ed pdf file, 10.6 megs in size. There's a processor built in to the scanner itself which takes care of the pdf generation - not sure if it does the OCR as well or whether that was handled on the fly by the software on my Mac (ABBY FineReader, came with the scanner). In any case, the pdf generation and OCR process was complete about 3 seconds after the last page came through the scanner. (BTW, both of these are duplex scanners.)
3. Played with Optimize on AAPro, ended with a finished file size of 1.6 megs.

Printed pages from my work at various stages of the above at 350%, and it looks to me as if the ix500 scanned at a somewhat higher dpi - less pixelation on the edges of the letters, more legible to my eyes, probably the reason for the larger file size. Still playing with settings and doing some tweaking, but right now the ix500 setup looks like a winner.

I don't rebind the books, but put them away for storage, reassembling them with the covers and holding them together with some taped-up strips of paper. (Tried elastic bands - they all fall apart within a few months, for some reason.)

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by daniel_reetz » 07 Mar 2013, 12:10

I've noticed the rubber band thing, too. Natural rubber ones fall apart, synthetics last much longer. Waldemar, if you ever have a chance, I'd love to see a picture of a guillotined binding from the cutter you mention.

stearn
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by stearn » 15 Mar 2013, 19:48

All guillotines work best with stacks of flat sheets, and books are generally glued/sewn folios. The thicker the book, the more prone to curvature the spine is unless perfect bound - something like ( side on instead of the | required. This means that when you cue it up for cutting you generally will lose more in the middle of the book. I have always manually split the book into smaller chunks where the curvature is minimised, and place card below and on top of the pages but not overlapping the spine area so when the grips are tightened you don't get as pronounced a bulge anyway.

waldemar
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Re: Looking For Ideas on my DestroTech

Post by waldemar » 31 Mar 2013, 21:43

Daniel, here are some photos on Flickr of a rather thick hardcover which was quite successfully guillotined, along with an overall shot of the trimmer and a closeup giving mfr and model info. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to embed images here - my apologies (advice gratefully accepted).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29115969@N ... hotostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29115969@N ... hotostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29115969@N ... hotostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29115969@N ... hotostream

As you can see, there's a bit of curvature to the cut, mostly due to the fact that this was a very well-used and loved book. (It's a duplicate of one I'd purchased years ago for a good chunk of money - got one to slice up on bookfinder.com for $5 including shipping.) A brand new book comes out perfectly straight, without any slippage or curvature - at least on our cutter.

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