Book Scanner

From Ace Monster Toys Wiki

Parts in this kit

Where it goes
UPC/part #
Set of lasercut plywood parts
Cradle, platen, platen arms
Ace monster
4.5 inch long ¼-20 carriage bolts
Holding the cradle supports together
1/4-20 wing nuts
2 on the platen, 2 on the cradle supports
1.25" ¼-20 bolts
Cradle sliders, camera mounts, platen front & back
¼-20 nuts
1.75" 5/16-18 hex bolt
Platen pivots
2 or 6
22mm skate bearings
Platen pivots
½ pvc Tee, slip-slip-thread
Camera mounts
6" cut off irrigation riser
Camera mounts
0 or 2
½ threaded pvc coupler
Camera mounts
0 or 2
Sunterra 1/2" telescoping sprinkler head
Camera mounts
0 or 2
12" cut-off irrigation riser
Camera mount
1" conduit clamp
Camera mount
Halex 26781
½" galvanized floor flange
Camera mount base
Home depot A182-117
5/16-18 threaded rod, 15" length
Platen lifting pivots
¾" square dowel 30" length.
Platen lifting arms
5/16-18 nuts
2 connector euro connector.
Camera trigger
Digikey WM15907-ND or similar'
Momentary switch with wire lead
Camera trigger
Digikey 450-1127-ND or similar
9" long section of 1.5x1.5 board

Pivot supports


Final result

insert better picture.


There are four important parts of the scanner: The cradle that holds the book, the Platen, which holds the glass to press the page flat, the "tower", that provides a hinge point for lifting the platen, and the camera mounts.


Parts you will still need to buy





Cannon cameras

Need to be on this list of approved cameras: . Other cameras will make fine scans, but you"ll have to work out your own way to trigger them.


Panes of double strength glass, 7.5" by 9.99"

Glass to press against the book pages


1x6 board, 8 feet in total

Can be cut into lengths by the hardware store.


USB hub with a wall power plug

Don"t spend more than $10 for one.  USB 1.0 is fine.


USB cables

To connect your cameras to the hub


Bottle of wood glue


Box of 1.25" wood screws

(Probably 20 will do?)


1.75" wood screws


Lamp with Bright Tungsten or LED light bulbs

A swing arm lamp or shop lamp that can focus light down on the book. You may need to buy a bright directional bulb, but start with what you have.

Tools needed

You will really want to have a power screwdriver or drill to drive screws. You can still do it with a screwdriver.

A couple of big black binder clips will be helpful.

A crescent wrench or wrenches for ¼ inch and 5/16 nuts.

Pencil, ruler and 90degree edge or carpenters square.

Dictionary of Lasercut plywood parts.

Tower parts Tower-parts.jpg These parts make up the "tower" that the cradle lifter pivots on. The two triangles are "braces" the two shapes in the lower right are "bearing holders". The long piece is the tower spacer or spreader.

Tower base

The towers are connected to two pieces of board  Picture, which are secured to the base using these two "Tower braces" Tower-brace.jpg

Platen parts.


The two big U shaped parts will form the left and right half of the platen. The large triangles with teeth on the short sides will be the front and back of the platen. The small triangles with the long notch in the center are the "glass pushers" to retain the glass.

The platen swings on a pair of skate bearings.  Those bearings  rest in the two "platen bearing holders" with a circle in the middle & 8 holes.  Into those holes (and the platen sides) go 8 "Christmas trees". Platen-bearing-holder.jpg

Cradle parts.

The Cradle has 2 large shapes with four holes in the middle. These will touch the book, and are called "cradle faces". There are four triangles with teeth on the side. These are "cradle braces".  Cradle-parts.jpgNote that when installed, the point of the triangles extend beyond the edge of the cradle face.

' Cradle-back.jpg'

The cradle braces rest on the sides of the "Cradle Guide", which is the bottle shaped wood below. Cradle slide.jpg


The last part.

This part is used for two purposes. As one long stick, it"s used as a guide in gluing the tower together. It may be called the "top tower spacer".  When that"s done, you can cut it in half, and the two halves are used to hold bearings for the cradle to slide on. Then they"re called "cradle bearing holders".


Building the scanner.

Cut the 1x6 board to size.

This board will form the base of the scanner. You want two 30" lengths, a 10 inch length and two 13" lengths. All dimensions are forgiving of slop. ( you can go with three 12" lengths, but I think it looks better with one 10"). Cut the 10" section first, so that it has one of the factory edges on the short side.

Screw the cradle guide to the base.

Find the center of the 10" length of board. Make a line parallel to the long side to mark the center line. Screw on the cradle guide using the three screw holes. The single screw should be on the line you drew, and that edge should be on the factory edge of the 1x6 board. Cradle guide.jpg

Assemble the cradle.

There are four 3" triangles with teeth on the long side. Two have circular holes in them (font supports), two have square holes (rear supports). Match each round hole triangle to the square hole that has the same tooth pattern.Find the long carriage bolts (round heads). Push the bolt first through the square hole, then the round hole, then thread on a wing nut.The round head should lock into the wood on that side.

Next find the two large square faces of the cradle. They will have four holes in the middle of the face. Place one face on the other. One will have holes closer together than the other. This is the right hand side.

Place the teeth on the triangle into those holes so that the long face of the triangles touch the flat cradle faces as much as possible. There should only be a short distance between the edge of the cradle face and the point of the triangle.

Flip the face & support assembly over, and place the right cradle face over the right side of the cradle support. Tighten the wing nut. The result looks vaguely like Lame-cradle.jpg

Assemble the scanner pivot mechanism.

Find the following parts

tower, corner brace, spacer, bearing holder. Need photo here.

Using wood glue, glue them into the following shape.

Detail of one corner before the bearing holder goes on.


To help keep things straight, use the two bearing holder parts as a spacer. DO NOT GLUE it on, just pressure fit it on the top to keep things square while the glue gets tacky. ( NOTE : if using the alpha kit, this may be two boards that can be taped together, beta has one board with perforations in the middle to break apart. Biplane-1.jpg

Push bearings into the bearing holders. Don"t glue the face of the bearing to anything, but do put a drop of glue on the edge to keep it stable.

Screw the plywood pivot brace/tower to the 1.5" supports.

Use wood screws through the provided holes. Do your best to keep the 1.5" supports square to the faces of the plywood. Do the hole in the triangular spacer, then the bottom hole of the vertical L shape, THEN remove the top spreader and screw through the spreader bar.

Push one of the threaded rods through the bearings and thread a nut on both sides until it is flush with the bearing. Tower-corner-rod.jpg

Mark the center of one of the 30" boards. Measure points 6.5" on either side.

Line up the 1.5 board with those marks. Use the bracing trapezoids to attach the 1.5s to the supporting board.The base of the trapezoids should be flush with the board. Tower-base.jpg

Cradle rollers.

Find the center of one of the 30" boards. Mark the centerline.

Break the spreader bar into two halves.

Thread a ¼ bolt through 4 of the skate bearings. If you"re being cheap, thread it through one of the wooden circles. Put a nut on the other side & tighten so that the bearing pivots freely but can"t wobble.  Push the bolts through the holes in the center of the roller support. Line up the center of the roller support with the centerline of the board, lining up the bottom edge of the support with the bottom of the board. Screw supports to board.


Finishing Cradle

Place the board with the cradle on the rollers. Roll back & forth & feel smug. Find out where the board tips over. Put a wood screw in the support board to keep the cradle from rolling too far & tipping over.

Build the platen.

Find the platen front, back & sides. Place glue along the teeth of the platen front & back and press into sides. Use binder clips or a vise to keep things straight while the glue sets.


Find the 5/16 bolt, and thread them through the two remaining skate bearings.

Put on the platen pivot holder. Practice putting the little christmass tree shaped parts into both the platen and the pivot holder. They may be so tight you need to scrape them with a knife or sand them. Put glue on the teeth of the little christmass tree shaped pieces. Quickly put them in both the side of the platen and the platen pivot holder. picture of pre-alpha, showing 3 christmas trees in place:


Put a very small amount of glue on the edge of the large hole in the bearing holder wood and press in the bearings, with the bolt head towards the center of the platen.

Let everything dry

Place the glass into the platen. One side should go on the bottom, and the other should but into it, in the shape of letter L.

Place a 1/4 " bolt through the two 4" triangles with a long slot in their center.

Place the triangles on the inside of the platen, touching the glass & thread the bolt through the front& back of the platen. Thread a wing nut on the front and back.Press down on the wood & tighten in place.


Attach one of the long 1x1 arms to the left side of the threaded rod going through the tower.Put the rod through the hole 4" from the edge of the board. Put a nut on either side of the arm.

Put the other threaded rod through the opposite end of the arm (the hole one inch from the edge), using a nut on either side.

Put the platen on the cradle & line up the two 30" boards on their center lines.

Put the platen pivot bolt through the hole in the center of the arm with two rods going through it.

Thread the remaining arm onto the right hand of the two threaded rods and the pivot bolt.

Tighten the nuts holding the arms so that they are as square as possible to the threaded rod, there isn"t any wiggle, and they clear the wooden framework of the tower.

Put a nut on the outside of the platen pivot bolts. Tighten enough to center the platen, but don"t worry if there"s a lot of slop.

Lift the platen up and down. If it"s very crooked, try to improve things by tightening or loosening the bolts.

Place a 12" board on either side of the platen, at the ends of the 30" board so that they form a square with the two long sides.

Assemble the camera stand


Place the camera stand on the 12" boards, turn on the camera, and take a look at the glass face on the opposite side. Figure out how tall and how far back the camera will have to be to exactly frame that glass, while not getting hit when the platen is lifted. You want to be as close to 90 degrees from the glass as possible.(insert image of testing with string from center of platen)

Once you have found the right place for the base of the camera stand, mark it with pencil & also mark where the 12" side board needs to screw into the front & Back 30" board. test twice, then screw everything together.

Finish hardware assembly You are done!

Electronics Find the power cord for the USB hub. Carefully separate the two wires of the cord. Cut one in half, strip the leads, and thread into the euro connector. Tighten down with screwdriver. Put the leads to the pushbutton into the other side of the euro connector. Now when you press the button, power will flow to the hub.

Put USB cables from the hub to the cameras.

Get CHDK working ,triggered by USB (should I even bother to try fitting this in the manual now).

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