Instructables
Picture of Endless Sketchbook
I came up with the idea of the endless sketchbook a while ago. I fell in love with the idea almost immediately and began my pursuit to build out this invention. This instructable is more about the process of developing an idea. The end result is a working prototype of an Endless Sketchbook.
I am an idea person, not a woodworker. Please keep that in mind as you read about how I built the prototype of this project. I also like to comment on photos a lot.
Developing an idea is going to be different each and every person, with this project I'm sharing how I went about it. I'm sure I could have done things more efficiently or better but, the way I went about it is right for me.
The endless sketchbook might turn out to be an endless project. A working prototype is really just the beginning.
I hope that after reading this instructable, you will be inspired and go about making your own endless sketchbook. This truly is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing the inevitable evolution of this idea. Let's get started!
 
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Step 1: Materials needed

For this project it is advised that you use materials and tools that you have access to. I also advice not to go out and spend a fortune on your first endless sketchbook.

If you want your endless sketchbook to look line mine then here are a couple lists to get you might want to look over.

Materials
Paper or sketchbook to draw on
MDF (maximum density fiberboard)
An old bike wheel or spokes (generally free at bike shops)
Drill bit rings (I'll talk about these later)
Aquabee Super Vel 565 (or paper equivalent)
Double sided tape
Rubber bands
Sandpaper

Tools List*
A Drill
A Saw
Scissors
A paper cutter ( nice to have )
Wire cutters
A screwdriver
Ruler or measuring device


*I don't have a lot of tools and actually bought a scroll saw off of craigslistcraigslist for this project. As I plan to actually create more things, I plan on getting the proper tools.
Pippikins1 year ago
wow! I know so many people who would so love one of these!
Thanks for posting this! I've been playing with ideas and remembered reading this a while back, so I wanted to re-check it out. If and when I make a working one, I'll definitely make a reference back to this instructable!
MoHDI (author)  KwartzKitten2 years ago
Please keep me posted. It's so funny that this was done so long ago. I think I would make a few changes in future versions. Feel free to contact me if you want to bounce some ideas around. I look forward to seeing what you develop!

Drew
drew at mohdi.com
all my contact info is on mohdi.com

eyebot1173 years ago
Ahh. This is how all sketchbooks ought to be. Endless! I like working with sketchbooks myself, but I usually only end up working with fixing up the ones I've already mostly filled. If you were to use a mobius strip, you'd actually be able to double the length of your paper loop as well, since the loop you used has a side that is left blank, and a mobius strip only has one side. I wonder what I could come up with if I tried this..... God only know! Perhaps I'll make a few concepts sometime. Great job!
hondagofast7 years ago
My ideas stay in my head. If I put them on paper, I have no idea what I was thinking about later.
same here when i look at it later i say; "WHAT IS THIS RUBBISH!!!!!!" then in like 3 hours i say; "oh"
lol :)
1nstru5 years ago
very cool idea! i like it very much, especially the concept of continuity: each sketch is part of the previous one and at some point you'd even start drawing over previous sketches and adding to them. one technical hint: get rid of the rubberband spacers. they are probably a BIG factor considering friction in your design. try plastics, thin plexi/acrylic glass/perspex/lucite (a rose by any other name) maybe. you should be able to score four small plexi pieces from the trash at your hardware or sign store. glue them to the corners of your backing board and there you have it: prectically frictionless spacers. be sure to sand down the edges with some fine sanding paper (400 or up) or the rough edge of the plexi might wear down the edges of your paper quickly.
wow i never thought it was possable to make a never ending paper roll!!!!!
Mfmalive7 years ago
WOW..thats really unlimited.hahah
He said endless not unlimited. There indeed is no end till you decide to cut it.
Well done, Mr Hurdy Gurdy Man! I do approve.
piaferre6 years ago
Look what i've found for you! My mom used to do these for me when I was a kid. If you put blank paper instead of paper with drawings you can build your endless scketchbook
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sharp-Pencil-Quality-TV/
piaferre6 years ago
Cool, but why don't you use two rolls? one on each side of the box so you scroll to the side everytime you want more paper. You can use fax paper wich is a long enough for any sketchbook. I have done this for my final art proyect and it works great! Good luck!
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hierarchy6 years ago
this is wayyy cool and one that is actually do-able. i thought of making this in a cool box message card thing. i understand that there is no handle but if u ever make one with a handle please post it! this is simply great! great job!
Chaz-imus6 years ago
Very nice! Any tips on where to find that mighty nice pen you have shown?
Nice! It reminds me of First Grade, where we made a really primitive version with a shoe box and a strip of paper around two paper towel rolls for a "television set", similar to a simple conveyor belt. :)
rocketkid7 years ago
ok i am amazed. i also have notebooks full of ideas but none is such great detail. this is simply awesome.
Freedster7 years ago
Love your idea, and also your philosophy of errordynamics. My first thought reading this was, while it's not great paper, thermal fax paper comes on a very long roll already. You could do something to just feed that from the roll it came on onto another roll. Then you wouldn't have a continuous loop of paper, but you'd still have a single long run of paper to work with. Now that I think about it, the fax paper might be a great solution if you're like me and have a kid that loves to draw and just needs lots of cheap paper. Yours is much better for the serious doodler though. :)
lootsvele7 years ago
Hey Drew! This concept is pretty cool! Thank you for sharing your thought process too. I also like to sketch out my ideas and let them "percolate". I was clueless what you were going to do with those blue things (sorry, forgot the name!), but I like what you came up with! Very cool... Thanks! Lotus
wwwaaahhh7 years ago
Hey, very cool idea. I think it would be even cooler if you somehow fed the paper in as a mobius strip, that way you'd double the drawing length for the same amount of paper.
MoHDI (author)  wwwaaahhh7 years ago
I tried to do the mobius strip thing although it's really difficult for the paper to make that turn without making the box a lot thicker. Perhaps the next version I can work out the turning thing...
Spokehedz MoHDI7 years ago
If you put a roller at a 45 degree angle in the middle of the box, you can send it moving at a 90 degree angle from the inital direction of the paper.

like this:

_________________                 \                  \ -> -> -> -> -> -> \                    \_____________________\                 | | |                 | V |                 |   |                 | | |                 | V |
Obviously it looks a bit strange in ASCII, but with this, you can loop the paper the other way around the rollers. Also, buying some cheap ball bearings and spacing them out using your... umm... spacers would let the paper move smoothly--you'll need it when you've got that much paper turning on them.
MoHDI (author)  Spokehedz7 years ago
Nice. I'll try to get a more detailed drawing for people and actually try to build this at some point. Although, I still think it's going to take up a lot of room in the box and or create a bit of friction.
wwwaaahhh MoHDI7 years ago
Yeah, I just had a go at making a prototype out of a few pens and it seems it has to be a lot longer than wide, making the box dimensions a little odd... anyway I'll keep thinking, and thanks for the inspiration.
MoHDI (author)  wwwaaahhh7 years ago
When you get yours working, you should post some pics. I would love to see!
_ro7 years ago
As this instructable is aimed at those with limited woodworking skills, I might just add the following: MDF is Medium Density Fibreboard, not Maximum Density Fibreboard as posted. The name doesn't really matter, but I guess I'm just a bit of a pedant! What is important is that it is made with a toxic resin that becomes airborne when you cut and sand the material. So all you newbies that are using MDF for the first time, work outdoors and with a dust mask on. Keep sketching!
MoHDI (author)  _ro7 years ago
Thanks for the heads up. I guess if MDF was maximum density, there would be less damage to the stuff when dropped. Perhaps the next box will be made out of a less toxic material.
_ro MoHDI7 years ago
Don't let me put you off MDF. Even natural timbers can be dangerous if the sawdust is inhaled. You just need to take a few precautions :)
BobbyMike7 years ago
Nice job. I'm old school enough to still enjoy the visceral process of sketching by hand still. For a "non-woodworker" you did great. I can't find any flaws in how you put this together (as a "professional woodworker"). You have a promising future as a creator and inventor!
dlfuller7 years ago
Thanks for posting the Instructable and the effort that went into it. I do get the procedure but not the end result. Not now with sketching and idea generation software on desktop and portable hardware that includes storage and retrieval. While I do fundamentally prefer sketching concepts on paper, there are too many benefits to ignore the digital approach.
PocketSized7 years ago
This is cool. Im an constant sketcher, but buying the posh sketchbooks from WHSmith (British shop) costs me around £2.99 each month. Which I don't really want to pay, especially not if I can create something like this :D