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Old 06-10-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
katysax
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Cutting Books

I want to convert some of my library of books that are not available for purchase in ebook format into ebooks. So, I've been cutting the binding with a box knife, feeding the pages into a dual sided fujitsu scanner and using Acrobat to combine the files into a single book. This method makes a pdf version of a book very easily. But the hardest part is cutting the book.

What is the best method and tools for cutting paper back books for scanning?
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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If it's a paperback, it can usually be debound by applying some heat to the spine which softens or melts the glue. There are many approaches: oven, iron, microwave or a hairdryer.
I think I've also heard Kinko's can strip the spine for you, if you have one nearby.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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If you have a local printer, they will generally cut it for you with their guillotine for a nominal fee.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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I use a large exacto knife and a metal ruler. Not subtle, but it works fine.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katysax View Post
What is the best method and tools for cutting paper back books for scanning?
I'm not sure it's the best method, but I used a 12" miter saw to cut two books. The total time took about 25 min, time to cut took 2min per book.

The cuts where straight so the actual scanning process was great, no skewed images or jammed leafs.


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Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
If it's a paperback, it can usually be debound by applying some heat to the spine which softens or melts the glue.
Great idea, how long does this process take.

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Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
I think I've also heard Kinko's can strip the spine for you, if you have one nearby.
I had some flyers cut at kinko's it was $1.25, I wasn't sure they would cut books this might be the best solution.

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Last edited by =X=; 06-11-2009 at 10:48 AM. Reason: wiki tags only work for mobiread wiki
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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Yes by all means take it to Kinkos and let them cut the spine. I've done it with several large textbooks and it's taken less than 5 minutes and less than 3 dollars each time I've had it done.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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Thanks I checked out the local Office Max and they said they would cut the spine for $1.09. Even a couple bucks is worth it. Cutting by hand is a pain. The actual scanning is easy and quick but the cutting the books without the right tools is too hard. An exacto knife is too much work.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #9
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They can also rebind the book for a pretty nominal cost. Not with the original binding, but still...

I took something in today. Now that I have a DX, its worth my time to scan some things.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:41 PM   #10
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Now that I have a DX, its worth my time to scan some things.
Did the extreme weather condition turn out to be a doughnut shop on the way?

- Ahi
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:50 PM   #11
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I use a large exacto knife and a metal ruler. Not subtle, but it works fine.
That is also my method. I find that with a bit of pressure I can go through several pages at a time. Of course, I don't have a Kinko's anywhere near me, and it's not worth the $20 in gas it would take to get to one.

I hesitate to put things in the microwave simply because I've managed to destroy so much stuff in there.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:55 PM   #12
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Did the extreme weather condition turn out to be a doughnut shop on the way?

- Ahi
I have no earthly idea what it was. But that is my guess, yeah.

The book I took was actually the Bicameral Mind book.. I'm scanning it right now! Almost done!
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:31 AM   #13
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Ugh! I worked for a printing company a few years ago. You guys bring back some bad memories of all the books we had to scan. At least my department got $60 per hour to cut the spine, scan and format (OCR).

My advice. Look into a used Xerox digipath system. I good cutter can be used for the spice. Do not try to melt the glue in a perfect bound book. The temperaures used to melt that glue are high, and the damamge it will do to your scanner is more than you can imagine.

My advice. Read your books and pass them on to others and don't worry about the scanning unless they are really valuable to you.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:08 AM   #14
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Ugh! I worked for a printing company a few years ago. You guys bring back some bad memories of all the books we had to scan. At least my department got $60 per hour to cut the spine, scan and format (OCR).

My advice. Look into a used Xerox digipath system. I good cutter can be used for the spice. Do not try to melt the glue in a perfect bound book. The temperaures used to melt that glue are high, and the damamge it will do to your scanner is more than you can imagine.

My advice. Read your books and pass them on to others and don't worry about the scanning unless they are really valuable to you.
I'm available for cutting and scanning books for $60 an hour. I'm quiet and I do my work
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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The scanning is the easy part. The Fujitsu S1500 scanner does dual sided scanning with ease, and its paper handling is fantastic. It will take sheets of different sizes and cuts and even raggedly cut and handle them perfectly. It is also very fast and very compact. The "hard" part is cutting the books.
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