I love comics, almost all of them.
But not enough room to store them all, i love the physical aspect of a comic book or a graphic novel, but i also love reading them on the computer. E-comic.
But i dont like to read them on tablet, desktop computer or laptop. They are just not the right size or format.
So i build my own a big comic book out of a old book and a old computer, added a touch-screen and started reading.
Step 1: Get the Parts and Tools.
For this build you will need:
A laptop, i used a 17 inch 16:9, because i felt that it represented a real comic book the best. (no scrolling or stuff like that) My laptop was the Hp pavillion 9000something, with a old small ssd and a extra regular hdd.
A big book
A touch screen of some sort, i bough a china madeone of ebay (like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/15-4-Inch-4-Wire-Resistive...
You can get them pretty cheap if you look some. I think i payed 39 USD.
Some wood glue
A comic book
A sharp knife with extra blades
Some scrap wood
A glue Gun
You can also use whatever else you want to customize yout digital comic book
Step 2: Disassemble the Laptop
So, the idea is to remove all that is not necessary.
You find guides for almost all laptops about how to disassemble them, but if not itsjust about finding all the screws and unscrew them. Just be carefull when removing some of the wires, some are short and fragile.
I removed everything except the motherboard, the hdd, battery and the screen itself.
Take photos when you disassemble, it will make it much easier to get it togheter again, so many similiar wires with similar connections. The on/off buttons gave me some trouble, it was on a seperate breakout board that had 5 connections but some trial and error gave me the right wire in the right connection.
Then test, connect all (or what is left) turn it on and see if you have have broken anything.
Step 3: Get a Book and Gut It
I had to search a bit for a book big enough to fit the whole shzebang (17 inch), But i found this beautiful old book. Almost feelt ashamed to cut in it, but i saved some of the beautiful pages.
You have to take into account what kind of computer you got, where the fans and wires go to find out how to place the computer parts in the book. You can easly solder some longer wires if you want to have the layout a special way, but some wirescan be a bit small/many and tricky to solder.
I choose to turn the screen around back and make a sandwich of the computer. And with that settled, i find out where i have to cut and shape the book.
I also wanted acces to the usb port.
And i choose to cut out venting holes for wherever the motherboard had cooling ribs or fans to output air.
When i sandwhiched the computer, the motherboardfan became blocked by the screen, but i reckoned that it would do anyways, it had openingon both sides of the mothterboard. So take the fans into account when you layout your computer inside the book.
I stared with a knife and a ruler and started cutting out pages one by one. If you can, swap blades often, a dull blade just rippes the paper. I glued all the sides on the book with wood glue before istarted to cut (and used various things to pressure it down)
I also used the dremel for some parts with more or less success. I found out that the paper is pretty forgiving when you add some wood glue. So i cut and cut and cut and cut some more. I used a small scalpel knife in the beginning and swapped blades often, but the real work i did with a boxcutter knife. So just cut out paper from where you want your electronics to go.
Step 4: Add the Parts and Gut the Book Abit More
When i had removed most of the book i placed all the components where i wanted them and cut out all the things that needed cutting. More room for the fans on and off button hole and such
Step 5: Building Some Infrastructure
The great thign with a book, is that it`s made of paper, and with some wood glue it`really easy to shape.
I also cut out holes for usb access.
I used clamps and woodglue and some time to make the book sturdy and hard enough to cut into and to hold the components, but not so much that i lost the book effect.
Step 6: Dropping in the Components and Cut Some More
I then test fitted the components and started to glue things down with hote glue and press fitts. I was not so much concerned about looks, so it looks not exaclty like the inside of an apple computer.
But i still i tried to keep things as clutter free as i could. I used hot glue and some wood pieces to make support for the hardware. When everything was ok i fitted the screen and glued it all down.
Then the beauty part.
Step 7: Pretty It Up
After everything was glued up and thight and nice i started to shine the book up a bit.
Paper and woodglue is great combo to clean up with. Especially after the mess i made. I tried to keep the outside as "booklike" as i could. Some of the pages warped a bit, but i got most of it cleaned up. A sharp knife goes a long way :D
I put the front trough the cnc machine to carve "Comic Book" into it. Sanded and cut to clean the cnc-cut up, and folowed trough with cutting out the rest of the front by hand.
Then glued a page from a comic book behind the letters with a brown backingpaper. Also cut out some paper to clean up the edges around the screen, and to cover some of the edges of the lcd and touch screen.
Step 8: End Result
This is how my version came out.
Could have needed a bit more spit and polish, but the old book gives me some leverage when it comes to the finish.
And i should have used the extra time to solder the one of wire to another place, maybe next time.
The software part: windows 8.1 pro and CDisplay for showing the comics.
I will use one of the Windows store comid reader apps, but i havent tested and tried them yet.
Works great, the touch screen is a bit hard "rough" on the fingers, but nothing to cry about.
Just ask if you got any questions.