This book scanner uses simple materials and you can make it with ordinary hand tools. An electric drill, a saw and a glue gun are pretty well all you need. It also folds flat. I've put the whole scanner into a medium sized suitcase. Using it, as you'll see on the videos, is very, very light work. Just lift the light weight counter-balanced acrylic platen, turn the page, lower the platen and fire the cameras.

Some people have now made a larger version of the scanner that will scan documents like archive newspapers and ledgers. So it can easily be scaled up for scanning larger sized materials.

The video links on this page will give you an overview of the scanner and how it works.

Step 1: Parts for the Plastic Tubing Frame of the Easy Scanner


The plastic tube and fittings I used for this project are plumbing parts called overflow pipe and fittings. You will need push together tubing and fittings.

My tubing is 21.5mm in diameter, but you could use a slightly wider tubing and this might give the scanner slightly more rigidity.

The tubing and fittings are almost black in colour. Black is good, because this does not give unwanted reflections when you are making the scanning images. But if you can't get black, you could use white or grey tubing and spray it with matt black aerosol spray paint.


Ask your tubing supplier which glue to use. The glue I used is very aromatic, and you need an open window. It slightly melts the plastic, and dries very quickly indeed. So if you are at the gluing stage you have to act very fast and make sure everything is straight, because if is isn't it will be impossible to readjust after about 10 seconds! My glue was like a jelly. It came with a brush inside the container, and just required a medium smear of glue round the end of the tube just before pushing it into the L bend or Tee.

But don't glue anything until you have fitted it all together and ensured that everything fits, and nothing needs tweaking. Once it is glued you won't get it apart again.

<p>Hello</p><p>Thank you for your message. Here is a list of cameras that have remote control</p><p><a href="http://tinyurl.com/qa22aqq" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/qa22aqq</a></p><p>Click on the word &quot;connectivity&quot;. I hope you can find cameras that will not be too expensive. I would look for 16 megapixels cameras. I think some of these cameras can be controlled by smartphone. If you can do that it is better than Infrared control.</p>
<p>I've made a change to one of the components - that is the metal right angle brackets to support the book. </p><h4>Step 8 (revised)</h4><p>Four heavy duty right-angled corner brackets. Each side of the <br>brackets must be the same length. Mine measured <strong>9 cm</strong> <strong>(changed from 15 cm)</strong> each side, and 6 <br>cm wide. </p><p>They should not be much bigger than 9 or 10 cm long each side. On my previous description I said they were 15 cms on each side, and that is too long. Sorry.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>This looks great. I will definitely be looking at building one of these.</p><p>I have a suggestion to offer on the build process. I make all sorts of holders, etc., with PVC pipe. I have found that, once I have my pipe parts lined up and squared, I can hold things steady with a small sheet-metal screw, instead of glue. The press-fit of the pipe really only needs to be pinned in place.</p><p>I drill a small hole in in the 'joint', in a location that won't interfere with standing (or movement, in a project like this), and use brass screws for outside projects, or any screw for inside, and I've never had a bit of loosening.</p><p>I've found that this eliminates the fumes (obviously) and that I can tinker with projects in the future without throwing away all the glued-up bits, if I need to tweak dimensions. Since this sort of project doesn't need water-tight connections, pinning the joints in place should last for years.</p><p>Again, thanks for publishing this. Great work!</p><p>Cheers!</p>
<p>David,</p><p>What are your current thoughts for 90 degree vs 110 degrees?</p><p>Do you detail how you made your 110 supports?</p><p>Also have you ever considered 98% non-reflective glass or other glass vs acrylic, is it a weight issue?</p><p>I saw a comment about clarity and non-glare acrylic vs regular acrylic what are your current thoughts, I do have some books with small fonts?</p><p>I am planning on my first scanner build now and your comments are appreciated.</p>
<p>Hello Dave, </p><p>I have two questions:</p><p>you use rotating lowering method. Do you see a down movement and up movement after middle of book in the pictures? I mean the text sliding slightly down and then up again. Concern of me is, that the next line from page after is not on the same hight as page before.</p><p>When I understood it right your book cradle is fix. When turning pages the middle of the book pages goes slighly from left to right. How does your construction deal with this? Are the pictures then slightly turned or does it have no effect at all?</p><p>looking forward to hear from you.</p><p>By the way. The instructions are looking great. </p>
<p>David, do you have any photos of the Plastic Platen after you reinforced it using the white plastic corners?</p><p>I am a novice but I really like this book scanner and if you could post a photo of the revised plastic platen that would be great!!</p><p>Thank you.</p>
<p>Hi David, I would like to know whether I can use this for my business where we scan documents and does the output look very much like a scan as if it was scanned on a scanner?</p>
<p>Hello David</p><p>I am currently using a MAC operating system and would like to know if there if you have a preferred YASW software to be used for a Mac? I noticed the YASW site offers a windows download.</p>
Great David <br>Thank you for the input......
<p>Hi vts2101</p><p>Sorry. but I don't know anything about Mac software. It is quite possible that you could try Scan Tailor which might be available in a Mac form. Have you been to the diybookscanner.org website yet? There is loads of info there and you could certainly ask about what people with Macs have used for the post-processing.</p><p>Sorry I can't be of more help to you.</p><p>David</p>
<p>Hi David!</p><p>Thanks for <br>your very instructive description.</p><p>Before <br>starting on building one for myself I would like to check a few points:</p><ol><li>What SW are you using to create <br> searchable pdf file from the images? ABBYY, YASW or something else?<li>Have you measured performance, <br> i.e. what is approximate time to convert image file to searchable pdf file?<li>Reason for question is that I <br> tried to use ABBYY for processing images from an overhead scanner, here it <br> took appr. 70 seconds per double page image.<li>Hence with this performance a <br> standard flatbed scanner (like plustek optibook) is a faster option even <br> though you have to turn the book.</ol><p>Br</p><p>Peter</p>
<p>Hi Peter</p><p>I have been mainly using YASW (I've made a YouTube video on using YASW), and recently have tried ABBYY. Both of these handle the &quot;keystone&quot; effects very well. With YASW you need to also run the pages through Scan Tailor which gives a really nice black and white output. And its a further step to change to pdf.</p><p>I am actually only interested in retaining the rectangular black/white images for archival purposes without converting to pdf .</p><p>I need to do some timings using ABBYY on a full book. </p><p>However I also have a plustek optibook, and I think that for full books the manual handling of the book using the plustek is very complex. I reckon there are about 8 different manual operations to do a full cycle of two pages - lay book, press button, lift book, turn 180 degrees, press button, lift book, turn 180 degrees, turn page . It's hard on the operator and hard on the book.</p><p>My scanner is gentle on the book and easy on the operator, </p><p>Raise platen, turn page, lower platen, fire cameras.</p><p>Hope this helps - what kind of books are you likely to scan? </p><p>You can write to me direct at lixogm@gmail.com if you have any other problems or would like more information</p><p>David</p>
Great instructable &amp; very comprehensive indeed. Id like to make one however I wanted to ask... if you have two cameras, then you have a camera full of odd numbered page pictures and another camera full of even numbered page pictures - how do you combine to create a pdf, manually or does your program help with that as well.<br><br>Look forward to your reply. Thanks again. :D
<p>Hi Riahcrd</p><p>Thanks for your note and I'm sorry to have not replied sooner. In answer to your question, you are right - if you have two cameras you get two SD cards - one with the right pages and the other with the left pages. I copy these into two folders on the computer named Right and Left. Now if you use YASW software to do the post processing, YASW has two on-screen columns - one for the left pages and the other for the right. Simply highlight all the left pages in ntheir folder and add them to YASW left, and then all the right pages to YASW right. YASW then will merge the processed pages. Ive made a video on YouTube on how to do it, which you can see here</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/__a9urAtQD4" width="500"></iframe></p><p>Hope this helps</p><p>David Landin</p>
<p>Sorry for the typo on your name Richard</p>
<p>Your work looks great, and instructions seem simple to follow. I'd be interested in a rough idea of the global cost of your design, excluding or including the cameras.</p>
<blockquote>Hi Thomas - Please excuse the delay in replying. I've just seen your note. I have built several of these scanners now and the cost is around &pound;150 British pounds, not including the cameras. In the later models I have used DSLR cameras. These have been mounted on camera tripods because I found becuase of their weight, they were too heavy when being moved up and down on the rocker arm, and so they tended to shift position. However, with the tripod mount that problem of unwanted camera movement is completely resolved. The camera tripods are tied on to the frame so that there is no chance of movement in relation to the book during the scanning process. Hope this helps you.<br></blockquote>
<p>Very good instructions. I am planning to do this in the coming days, but im searching for this camera in ebay Pentax Optio VS20 and some other websites in Bulgaria and i cant find it and new it costs in Bulgaria 150 euro. I dont need it new one so can someone tell me some other cameras that can be used for this project. Thank you very! </p>
<p>Hi David,</p><p>Your work looks great!</p><p>Did you try scanning also photo albums?</p><p>can you upload some photos from your scanned pages?</p>
<p>No I haven't tried scanning photos, but they should come out OK. I'll try and load a sample page of text that I've scanned. This is an &quot;as is&quot; image straight from the camera, with no post-processing, which will straighten,, remove keystone effects and trim the images.</p><p>David</p>
<p>Way... superb... Instructable!<br>Pictures and illustrations are well done.<br>It is obvious you have been through enough variations to get through the inevitable &quot;Oh crap!&quot; spots.<br>This needs to be used as an example of how to put together an &quot;ible&quot;...</p>
<p>This is one of the best instructables that I had read... why?</p><p>Because you devoted a great amount of time to re-touch many of the pictures, in order to explain more detailed each step, so you know where the complications came from...<br><br>Thks for sharing this detailed work, for the time devoted...</p>
<p>Thank you for your kind and encouraging words Padbravo.</p>
<p>Nicely done.</p>
<p>Simple, easy to build! <br>Silvio Melo</p>
<p>Given the fact that the transparent sheets you have used have a glazed surface don't you face any glare problems with the snapshots?</p>
<p>If the light is vertically over the gutter of the book, I haven't had a problem with reflection from the light itself into the camera. But sometime the camera can pick up reflections from other parts of the scanner, and these need to be fixed by using matt black spray paint or by non-reflective black fabric to stop the reflection.</p>
<p>Awesome its very simple on first thought but as you said it would have taken good amount of iterations to reach at this stage where everything looks very smooth and easy. I would like to suggest two things is a anti-slip grips at bottom and secondly the IR remote gets fired from a switch on foot so one does not have to lift the remote and point and fire.<br>I like the counter balance and smooth movement of acrylic sheet with hinges. Thanks for such a treat.</p>
<p>Awesomely done!</p>
<p>Magnific project !!!</p>

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More by David Landin:Easy Book Scanner - Low cost, easy to make, 1000 pages an hour (Revised April 2015) 
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