Easy Book Scanner - Low Cost, Easy to Make, 1000 Pages an Hour (Revised April 2015)




Introduction: Easy Book Scanner - Low Cost, Easy to Make, 1000 Pages an Hour (Revised April 2015)

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.

Step 2: Drilling Out Three of the T Joints

You will need to drill out the cross-bars of three of the Tees so that they can slip on to a length of tubing. I used a flat bladed drill bit to do this. Before drilling through the cross-bar I pushed a scrap length of tube into the remaining leg of the Tee (see picture 2) so I could hold it while I was drilling.

You need to drill through the crossbar until it is open enough to push a length of tubing right through the crossbar as you can see in the fourth picture above. The Tee needs to be a fairly tight fit, but loose enough so that it can be turned on the tube passing through it.

Step 3: The Counterbalance Frame

This diagram shows the L bends and Tees and the connecting tubes that you need to make the counterbalance frame..


Start by making the top section of the frame. Take two bends and the top three tubes and glue them together. As soon as you have glued them lay this section of the frame flat against a table and press it down firmly to ensure that both the side tubes are exactly parallel. Hold it there for about 10 seconds till the glue has set.


Repeat the process using the two Tees, the crossbar tube and the other two tubes. Before glueing, assemble the top and the bottom as a single unit. Make sure that the top section tubes fit snugly into the two Tees. After gluing press the whole of the counterbalance frame against a table to ensure it is all flat and everything is straight and true. Again, hold it there for about 10 seconds till the glue has set.

Step 4: Steel Tubes and Drilling the Counterbalance Frame


Next take the two steel reinforcing tubes (shown in green). These fit into the left and right sides of the plastic tubing.

This steel tube is very light weight, made of a thin steel. The reason I have inserted these metal tubes is to prevent the counterbalance frame from sagging at either end when it is loaded with the counterbalance weights at the back, and the cameras and platen at the front. However, If you use a slightly larger diameter plastic tube, (instead of the 21.5mm tube I used), there may be sufficient rigidity in the plastic tube itself to prevent sagging without this steel reinforcement, so you may be able to leave it out.


So, insert a lightweight steel reinforcing tube into one side of the the frame.

Drill right through the plastic and steel tubing at the lower end of one of the counterbalance arms as shown in the diagram above, and place a nut and bolt right through the hole to hold the steel in position.

Insert a steel tube on the opposite side. Drill through the opposite leg of the counterbalance frame, and again insert a nut and bolt.

Next drill right through both the plastic Tees and the steel tubes. This will make the pivot holes. The drill hole should just be large enough for the steel pivot rod to pass through the hole. Test the rod for size by passing it through the drill holes.

Step 5: Making the Counterbalance Support


The counterbalance support (shown in yellow in this diagram) needs to be a snug fit astride the Counterbalance frame (shown in pale blue) that you have just made. First, slide one of the drilled out Tees on to the top bar. This will be used to support the light. Just slide the Tee on to the top bar, BUT DO NOT GLUE IT.

Fit the three counterbalance support tubes and two bends together. Make sure that they fit snugly over the Counterbalance frame. When you are sure everything fits, glue these components together, and press flat on to a table to ensure they are all parallel and true.


Next drill both legs of the Counterbalance support. Drill from the inside, and only drill through one layer of the plastic tube. Don't drill right through. The drill bit should be the same diameter as the steel pivot rod. See the diagram above.


I used a piece of 5mm steel rod. Pass the pivot rod completely through the Tees in the Counterbalance frame to leave about 2 cm protruding at either end.

Put one end of the pivot rod into one side of the Counterbalance support, and stretch the other leg of the Counterbalance support and drop it on to the other end of the pivot rod, to hold the other end of the rod.

The counterbalance frame should now move up and down freely on the pivot rod inside the legs of the Counterbalance support.

Step 6: Making the Base Frame

The base frame is straightforward to make. In addition to the longer tubes, you will need to cut six short lengths of tubing about 3.5 cm long. Two of these are to connect the bends to one another at the front, and the other four connect the Tees to the bends at the back. These short lengths of tube are shown in white on the diagrams above.

Try assembling the frame before glueing. BEFORE you glue there are two things to check out.

1. Make sure the legs of the counterbalance support (that you have just made) fit into the Tees at the back of the base. If they don't, adjust the size of the base slightly until the legs do fit. These counterbalance support legs are the only part of the framework that are NOT glued. So when you have tried them for size, you might want to mark them with a bit of sticky tape to REMIND yourself not to glue them.

2. As you glue, make sure the whole base is sitting flat on the table, so it doesn't rock later. Press it down firmly before the glue hardens. And also try and make sure the whole base frame is as square as possible.

Step 7: Finish Assembling the Framework.

When everything is glued and dry, push the legs of the counterbalance support into the Tees at the back of the base.

You should now be able to rock the counterbalance arms up and down freely. Remember DON'T glue the legs into the base. You can then remove the upper half of the scanner and the whole thing will fit flat into a suitcase for storage or transportation.

Step 8: Making the Base Board and V Shaped Book Supports

To make the base board you will need

  • The base board itself - a piece of 1 cm thick MDF or plywood measuring 45 cm x 40 cm
  • The two book supports - two pieces of 1 cm thick MDF or plywood measuring 22 cm x 40 cm
  • an off-cut strip of MDF 2 cm wide and 40 cm long. This is to hold the non-adjustable left side book support.

  • Four heavy duty right-angled corner brackets. Each side of the brackets must be the same length. Mine measured 9 cm each side, and 6 cm wide. These are used to provide a 45 degree angle to support the books.

  • 2 lengths of Choc block electrical terminal block each measuring about 5cm long. These are sometimes called "terminal blocks" or "connector strips" - available on eBay. This will provide the adjustment postions for the right side of the book support.

  • A pair of ball bearing drawer runners approximately 1.7 cm x 41 cm. These are to allow the base board to roll freely left and right to allow for the changing position of the book as it is scanned. Also from eBay
  • Some short screws to attach the parts to the book supports and base board
  • A can of matt or satin black spray paint
  • Some black non-slip drawer liner

Step 9: Assembling the Base Structure and Runners

Spray paint the top of the base board also one side of both of the book supports, and the narrow MDF strip all in black, and let them dry. This will be touch dry in about an hour or so. It is best to spray the paint in the open air to avoid fumes.

Mark one of the 45 cm edges of the base board with a temporary label "FRONT".

Turn the board over with the black side downwards, and the front towards you. Screw on the drawer runners. These should be parallel to the front edge and the back edge, about 3 cm away from those edges. They should also be centralised left to right.

Turn the board back over so it is now resting on the drawer runners. Try rolling the board left-right on a table. It should move smoothly. If it doesn't run smoothly, the ball bearings may need a bit of lubricant to help it run - I used vaseline. It is important for the board to move quite freely left and right.

Step 10: Making the Book Supports

Screw the scrap 40 cm piece of MDF front to back along the left edge of the board.

Take one of the book supports and turn it over, so the black side is facing downwards. Screw two of the steel corner brackets to the back of the book support, one near the front edge and one near the back edge of the book support board.

The LEFT book support should have the bracket flush with the edge of the book support board.

The RIGHT book support should be about 1 cm from the edge of the book support board.

Turn these book support boards over so they are resting on the steel brackets. Each support should be roughly at a 45 degree to the surface they are standing on.

Push the LEFT side support up against the strip of MDF on the left side of the base board. This support has a fixed position.

However the RIGHT side support needs to be able to be moved to accommodate thicker books. So its position needs to be adjusted.

To provide adjustable positions I used the plastic terminal blocks called choc blocks.

First remove all the terminal screws and brass fittings so you are just left with a length of plastic moulding. Cut two pieces of choc block each one about 10 cm long.

Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of each terminal at a 45 degree angle as you can see in the photos.

Screw each length of choc block to the base board at right angles to the right edge of the base board. Position them so the right side book support angle brackets will slot into the choc blocks.

The base board and book supports are now complete. The whole unit should move freely left and right under the plastic tubing framework you made earlier.

One last thing . . . put a layer of black non-slip drawer liner on the upper surface of the left and right book supports. This will stop the book from moving or sliding about when you are turning the pages in the scanning process.

Step 11: Making the Plastic Platen

To make this I used two pieces of 3mm thick acrylic measuring 22cm x 35cm. You can use regular acrylic, but it is rather shiny and reflective. So I used XT Anti glare Acrylic from this source

Anti glare Acrylic suppliers in UK

Other people have obtained similar anti glare acrylic from picture framing and craft outlets. The Acrylic has a coating which really does cut down reflections.


My first platen actually a piece of acrylic bent into a right angle. But I found the bend was quite rounded and not "sharp" enough so it didn't fit well into the groove (gutter) of the book.

Second try was acrylic glued together in a V shape. The glue is a special acrylic cement used by model makers. It comes branded as "Plastic Weld" and is a liquid. The chemical name is Dichloromethane or Methylene Chloride. You need very little of this cement, and you do need a very crisp, clean edge to the plastic, so that the edge of the plastic make an excellent contact with the sheet it is being glued on to. The cement actually dissolves the acrylic and the two pieces of plastic become welded into a single V shape. It works OK, but is awkward to transport, because it is rather fragile and is a large bulky V shape just held together with a thin cement bond.


So for my third attempt I used a screw together approach. I found these small white plastic reinforcing corners that are used for making kitchen drawers. But if you can't find them you could use right angled metal brackets like the photo.


You have to drill the acrylic carefully to avoid cracking it. I use a variable speed drill and slowly drill through using a small drill bit to start with, then use a slightly larger drill bit to fit the screw. Make sure that you position the sheets carefully, resting the edge of one sheet on top of the edge of the other other to form a good right angle, with no protruding overlap.

Step 12: Making the Platen Hangers

The platen is suspended on both sides by a T-shaped metal piece. These are cheap and are generally used for reinforcing joints in furniture etc. If you can't get a T shape, then an L shape will do instead.

They come flat, and you need to bend the metal end to about a 45 degree angle using a vice and gentle pressure. Since they are made of thin steel they are easy to bend.

You are going to fasten the hangers on to the top edge of the platen just FORWARD of the mid point, so that the platen will hang with the rear end of the V slightly lower than the front of the V as shown in the photo. [NOTE this picture shows my earlier platen - glued not screwed]. To get a good position for the T shapes, try suspending the platen between your fingers on either side, so the platen is angled slightly back, Then mark the position on both sides and drill and screw the T shapes to the acrylic, using the same careful slow drilling aproach as you used before.

Step 13: Making the Camera Support Bars

When you have constructed the upper and lower parts of the frame, you need to make the left and right camera support bars. To do this will need the two remaining plastic Tees that you drilled out at an earlier step. These will slip on to the left and right arms of the counterbalance frame as shown in the photo above.

However, the camera support arms need to be adjustable and to move up an down to get the ideal camera position.

Step 14: Making the Slots in the Tees - Drawing the Pattern

These two images show what you are aiming for in this process, which is to make slots though the end of the Tee.

Start with one of the drilled through Tees - one of the ones where you drilled right through the crossbar of the Tee.

Make sure you can slip a length of tube right through it. If it is a tight fit, that is OK. Remove the length of tubing.

You have to make this oval shaped slot on either side of the Tee as shown in the picture.

Next take a piece of white paper or card, and draw round one end of the Tee.

Mark the approximate centre point of the circle with a pen

Draw two lines at right angles to one another though the centre point.

Draw one more line dividing one of the right angles. This will give you three lines going though the centre point.

Take a felt-tip pen and mark two of the curves like I've done in red on the picture.

Cut out the circle and stick it on the end of the crossbar, using sticky tape. Line up the remaining line with the leg of the Tee as you see in the picture.

Step 15: Making the Slots in the Tees - Marking and Cutting the T

Next you need to mark the plastic tubing using the red lines as a guide. I used a typewriter correction fluid to draw the white lines near one end of the Tee. You could use a bit of white paint or even some yellow or white nail varnish. The main thing is you need to see the line against the black background of the plastic.

Next you need to drill through both ends of the white guideline. and then flip the Tee and drill through on the other side of the Tee - at the same end of the Tee.

Use a saw to cut through from one hole to another using the white lines as a guide where to cut. Finally file out the edges of the oval shaped holes. I've pushed a piece of white paper though so you can see that shape you are aiming for.

You need to make two of these Tees, one for each of the counterbalance arms.

Step 16: Fitting the Camera Support Bars on to the Frame

Slide the two Tees you have just made on to the counterbalance arms. Insert and glue a 20 cm length of tubing into the leg of each Tee. This becomes a handle you can use to raise and lower the camera support bar. DO NOT glue the crossbar of the Tees on to the counterbalance arms.

Don't try to fasten the Tee on to the counterbalance support arm at this stage, because it should be positioned to hold the camera centrally over the platen. And you will need to make those adjustments later on.

But after you are all set up and the cameras are correctly positioned, as a last stage of fitting the camera support bar, you will need to drill a horizontal hole through the oval shaped hole in the Tee and out the other side, and use rubber washers and a wing nut to hold it firmly in position, as shown in the second picture

NOTE on the photos

1. The white scale shown is made of a length of plastic tape measure used for sewing work, glued on to the camera support bar. Its only function is to ensure the cameras are equally distant from the platen, but this tape measure refinement is not essential.

2. The photos show an earlier model of the scanner, and the oval holes in the Tees are in a different position from the ones you have just made. Follow the later pattern of positioning the oval hole.

Step 17: Camera Mounts

These are usually used for mounting a camera on bike handlebars, and I got them on eBay. I've shown three different models, but the one I like best is the one on the left. It grips firmly on the camera support bar. To fasten the camera mount on to the bar, use the lever on the right hand side. Twist the lever to loosen or tighten the grip on the bar, then press the lever down and you get an extremely tight grip.

The actual camera mount can be rotated and tipped in any direction, and so you have full mobility in all three planes - rotate, left and right, and up and down.

You will need three camera mounts - two to hold cameras, and one to hold the light over the platen.

Step 18: Counterbalance Weights

These are 0.5kg wrist/ankle training weights from eBay. Fasten them on to the rear of the counterbalance arm using velcro straps.

You need to adjust the position of the weights so that they almost exactly balance the weights of the cameras and platen. I use a grip clip like that shown on the second picture to stop the weights sliding too far back. But if you have heavier cameras you may actually need additional weight to balance the scanner well.

Step 19: Lighting

I have used a 20 watt LED floodlight, which I got on eBay. You need to get one without the PIR motion sensor. This gives a very bright and even light across the surface of the book.

You will need to insert and glue in a 25 cm length of plastic tubing into the movable Tee that you put on the crossbar of the counterbalance support.

Use the final bicycle mount attach the lamp to this tubing vertically above the platen.

You can move the lamp up and down vertically above the platen to find the ideal position with no reflections. When you have found this ideal position, drill right through the crossbar of the Tee and the tube and pass a bolt through the drilled hole to hold the lamp at the right angle.

Step 20: Cover to Remove Extra Reflections

If you have a problem with reflections from external light sources such as room lighting, you may need to cover the scanner to prevent this. I used a very inexpensive fabric wardrobe closet bought on eBay. Sometimes these are listed as canvas wardrobe, but it is really a very light weight black cloth covering a frame.

The tubular steel frame will need cutting down to about half its height. Just cut through the vertical rods. Actually I used some of these cut-offs to provide the steel reinforcing tubes when making the plastic frame at an earlier step. You will also need to cut the cloth so it just touches the table

The wardrobe has a central zipper, so you can zip it upwards and fold back the left and right flaps to see what you are doing.

Step 21: Cameras

You can use any of a wide variety of cameras, but they should both be the same make and model.

I used the Pentax Optio VS20 because it has 16mp specification, and also can be fired with an infra-red remote controller. A single press of the remote will fire both cameras, and it avoids camera shake. One of the Optio camera settings is "TEXT" which gives an ideal pre-set for black and white images of text pages.

I got both the cameras and the controller for low prices on eBay.

If you can't get the VS20, then there are other cameras that allow remote control firing of the shutters. Nikon is one manufacturer which has models that do this. You may want to get a DSLR camera with more sophisticated controls and a better lens.

Step 22: Original Output From Camera and Final Post-processed Image

Here is a sample page as taken with the camera.

The original image was taken with a Pentax compact camera with 16mp resolution.

The second picture shows how the free ScanTailor software can improve and correct the original photographic images.

ScanTailor software removes any keystone effects, rotates, straightens and crops the image and delivers a clear black/white text output image in tiff format, as seen in the second picture.

The third picture shows an enlarged view of the text as outputted from ScanTailor to give you an idea of the quality of output.

Step 23: Another Way of Making Adjustments for the Book Thickness

Some people have had difficulty in finding the plastic components I used for adjusting the right side of the book cradle. So here is another way, using what I hope will be an easy to find material.

This adjuster is made using a wire kitchen cooling rack. They are used for cooling cakes straight from the oven. I bought this in the cookery section of a hardware store.

I cut the rack down to a better size using wire cutters, and you can see the result.

I have not glued down this prototype, but you should fix it firmly to the baseboard using glue or screws. The red arrow shows how the right side of the book cradle can move to accomodate the thickness of the book.

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    David Landin
    David Landin

    7 years ago on Introduction


    Thank you for your message. Here is a list of cameras that have remote control


    Click on the word "connectivity". 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.

    David Landin
    David Landin

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I've made a change to one of the components - that is the metal right angle brackets to support the book.

    Step 8 (revised)

    Four heavy duty right-angled corner brackets. Each side of the
    brackets must be the same length. Mine measured 9 cm(changed from 15 cm) each side, and 6
    cm wide.

    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.


    1 year ago

    Thank you !

    This may be an old posting - but it is still useful !

    1. Forget gluing the perspex - cut a square of MDF/plywood/perspex diagonally. Along the edges fix strips of aluminium angle set away from the edge by the thickness of the perspex, to form a groove into which the perspex sheets fit. This means they can be stored flat; and are kept at 90 degrees when assembled. These end panels can be held in place by pins.

    2. I wonder about using copper pipe for the rotating part that carries the cameras ? Also, making it rectangular, with a bar across the near end to use as a handle, rather than handling the perspex ?
    3. The one thing that perplexes me, and you don't mention, is how to position the cameras (a) in line with the middle of the page, both along and across, and (b) adjusted for distance from the page, to focus and fill the screen (the third direction).
    4. Did you consider having everything fixed, except the book on a counter-balanced lifting cradle ? A whole new ball-game ;-)

    MY challenge is to photograph 100 photo albums each 18" wide x 12" deep x 2" thick !
    And they only open to 90 degrees.
    I'm not sure if they would fit on the dimensions you show ? what is the maximum size of book that would fit on yours ?


    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this! Any guess how long it would take to build and how much it would cost?


    4 years ago

    Hello David,

    Thank you for contributing this amazing design and the Youtube videos. After watching your updated design at the diybookscanner forum, I wonder if I can still use the PVC design featured on this instructable with two small cameras (Canon powershot A2500), yetusing two acrylic sheets cut at a 55 degree angle on one their long sides to form a 110 degree v-shapped object (as per your design variation). Furthermore, could you please advise on what are the correct dimensions of the acrylic sheets if I were to choose the PVC cutting list of Step 1; for example, should I use the 28x35 cm mentioned at Step 1, the 22x35 cm mentioned at Step 11, or another measurement based on my choice for a 110 degree v-shapped object. Many thanks.


    5 years ago

    I just want to say thanks for posting this. I've been looking at building a scanner, and this one seems like something I can actually do. It's so well done and a great instructable. Thanks!


    5 years ago


    This looks great. I will definitely be looking at building one of these.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Again, thanks for publishing this. Great work!



    6 years ago


    What are your current thoughts for 90 degree vs 110 degrees?

    Do you detail how you made your 110 supports?

    Also have you ever considered 98% non-reflective glass or other glass vs acrylic, is it a weight issue?

    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?

    I am planning on my first scanner build now and your comments are appreciated.


    6 years ago

    Hello Dave,

    I have two questions:

    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.

    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?

    looking forward to hear from you.

    By the way. The instructions are looking great.


    6 years ago

    David, do you have any photos of the Plastic Platen after you reinforced it using the white plastic corners?

    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!!

    Thank you.


    6 years ago

    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?


    6 years ago

    Hello David

    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.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Great David
    Thank you for the input......

    David Landin
    David Landin

    Reply 6 years ago

    Hi vts2101

    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.

    Sorry I can't be of more help to you.



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi David!

    Thanks for
    your very instructive description.

    starting on building one for myself I would like to check a few points:

    1. What SW are you using to create
      searchable pdf file from the images? ABBYY, YASW or something else?
    2. Have you measured performance,
      i.e. what is approximate time to convert image file to searchable pdf file?
    3. Reason for question is that I
      tried to use ABBYY for processing images from an overhead scanner, here it
      took appr. 70 seconds per double page image.
    4. Hence with this performance a
      standard flatbed scanner (like plustek optibook) is a faster option even
      though you have to turn the book.



    David Landin
    David Landin

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Peter

    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 "keystone" 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.

    I am actually only interested in retaining the rectangular black/white images for archival purposes without converting to pdf .

    I need to do some timings using ABBYY on a full book.

    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.

    My scanner is gentle on the book and easy on the operator,

    Raise platen, turn page, lower platen, fire cameras.

    Hope this helps - what kind of books are you likely to scan?

    You can write to me direct at lixogm@gmail.com if you have any other problems or would like more information


    Capt Zen Petabyte
    Capt Zen Petabyte

    7 years ago

    Great instructable & 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.

    Look forward to your reply. Thanks again. :D

    David Landin
    David Landin

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Riahcrd

    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

    Hope this helps

    David Landin


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.