Making a BookLiberator

Front view Focusing Angled view

These photos show what a finished BookLiberator looks like in use. Note that they are of a slightly earlier prototype than the Beta units we are now selling (the differences are minor).

Lifting Turning a page About to lift

How to Make Your Own

While we're very happy to sell you a BookLiberator, we don't want to have a monopoly on this design! If you'd like to build your own from scratch, the photographs and captions below may be useful.

A finished BookLiberator consists of two portions, both made of wood (painted black in model used for these photos). The top part is a liftable cube, with cameras attached and plexiglass spanning the two downward faces; the bottom part is a cradle that holds the book.

Sometimes we call the bottom the "cradle", sometimes we call it the "base". Also, note that the "cube" is not actually perfectly cubical, as you'll see in the measurements below.



Top view, from above the cube. The straight bar running across the top from foreground to background is called the handle. The cameras are mounted on threaded metal camera posts rising out of wooden pieces called the camera bars. All the faces are open except the bottom two, where you can see the reflection of the plexiglass panes:


This is what the cube alone looks like (before the handle is attached across the top front, and without the plexiglass panes and the clamps that hold them):


This is what the cradle looks like from above (underneath it are the base standing pieces to hold it up — you can't see that here, but they will be in later photographs):


All parts, unassembled:

All the parts of a BookLiberator, laid out:


All the parts for the cube, laid out:


All the parts for the base, laid out:


Cube face:

This is one face of the cube, seen from the outside. The two recessed screw holes on the lower right are for the handle — since the cube sits diagonally on the base, the screw holes have to be diagonal in order for the handle to be straight, i.e., parallel to the floor. The recessed screw holes in the lower left and upper right are for the camera bars (there are also some other smaller, non-recessed screw holes for the clamps that hold the plexiglass panes, which we'll get to a bit later):


A detail of part of that same outside cube face:


Clamp holes:

Unlike the recessed screw holes, the clamp holes do not go all the way through the wood; therefore you do not see any holes in the lower right corner above :-):


On the other side, though, you do see the clamp holes:


Detail on clamp hole positioning:


More detail on clamp hole positioning:


Camera post and mount:

Cameras are supported in the top diagonal open faces of the cube by metal posts that extend upward from a slot in the corresponding edge pieces of the cube. The posts have the right size screw thread to fit a standard camera mount, and two round nuts (one on each side of the wood) hold the post in place. The nuts are round, not hexagonal, because they are meant to be turned by hand; the post height can be adjusted up and down, and its position can be moved right and left in the wooden slot, just by manually adjusting the nuts and post:


Detail of the bottom of a camera post, showing round nut (the separate wooden cradle can be seen beyond the bottom part of the metal post):


A camera with a post attached, ready to be placed in the cube's edge slot. One nut is alread on the post, but the other is off because the post still needs to be put through the slot:


Detail of the post and the two nuts:


Camera post slot bar:

A cube edge with one of the camera slots (the cube is upside down here — normally the edge slot would be off the table):


Before cube assembly, this is the wooden edge piece, with a ruler for measurements:


Close-up of the edge-piece, from one end to the middle of the camera-post slot:


Close-up of camera-post slot dimensions:


Another close-up view of camera-post slot dimensions:


Top handle:

The top handle, seen from below:


The screws by which the top handle is attached (the top handle is visible at the top of the photo, stretching away toward the back. Note that the lighting makes it look like the top handle is turned (rolled) slightly; that is an illusion — it is actually flat and level with the ground:


Screwing the top handle across the top corners of the cube:


Another view of the same:


Close-up of the screws in their holes, with measurement:


The screw holes by themselves, with measurement:


Detail of the screw holes on the inside face of the cube top corner, with measurement:


Clamps (L-brackets):

Clamps on one side of a plexiglass pane, holding it to the cube frame (note that the camera is slightly angled — the corner right below the bottom clamp, where the plexiglass pane sticks out slightly beyond the cradle, is down):


Close up of an L-bracket clamp holding one of the plexiglass panes in place. Note that the screw is only on one side of the clamp; the other side just holds the plexi in place with pressure, with a piece of rubber between the metal and the plexiglass:


The bottom clamps holding two plexiglass panes:


Another view of same:


Measurement of one of the L-bracket clamps (note the rubber affixed to the inside of the clamp):


The vertical slot in the clamp is for the screw that affixes the clamp to the cube, so the clamp's position can be adjusted for the thickness of the plexiglass pane:


Another view of a clamp, with measurement:


The clamp, with the rubber peeled away to show the bare metal (we don't have any use for the small, circular screw hole, it's just that we can't get L-brackets without that hole):


One of the clamp screws:


Plexiglass panes:

Measurement for the short edge of the plexiglass pane:


Measurement for the long edge of the plexiglass pane:


The plexiglass panes meeting at the bottom of the cube. Note that this photo is now slightly inaccurate! Instead, the plexiglass panes now each have a 45-degree bevel along one edge, so the the edges that meet at the bottom of the cube form a single sharp edge (to settle easily along the inside spine between the pages of the book being scanned):


One of the plexiglass panes attached to the bottom of the cube, resting on one of the diagonal base face plates (i.e., one half of the "cradle"):


Camera bars:

Screwing in one of the camera post bars:


The edge of the cube frame, showing the attachment of one of the camera bars to the left corner, with measurement:


The camera bar screws go next to the clamp screw:


Measurement for the screw holes on the cube frame where the camera post bar attaches, next to the clamp screw hole:


Detail of camera post bar screw holes:


A single camera post bar screw:


The camera post bar screws going in:


The camera post bar screws, all the way in:


The screw holes on the inside of the cube frame, where the camera post bar attaches:


The screw holes on end of the camera post bar itself, where it would attach to the cube frame:


Close-up of the other end of the camera post bar — they are symmetrical:


Base tongues, overview:

The two halves of the base, slid far apart (as though to hold a very very thick book), so you can so how the two tongues on one half go around the single central tongue on the other half:


The two halves of the base slid as closely together as they can go, such that the single central tongue from one half actually protrudes a bit out beyond the end of the slot on the other half:


The other half of the same base — you can see the two tongues from the far side wrapping around (and slightly gripping) the standing pieces that support the near side (the near side being the one that holds the central tongue, which is pointing toward the back of the photo):


Close-up view of those two tongues wrapping around the base standing pieces (the ones that go around the central tongue):


The half of the base that has the two tongues, by itself:


Base, single-tongue half:

The half of the base that has the single central tongue, by itself:


A diagonal base face, being screwed into the diagonal edges of the standing pieces beneath it (you can't see them, of course, but they're the ones that surround the single central tongue):


Detail of the base face screw positions, with measurements:


One half of the base, before the diagonal face has been screwed on to the standing support pieces:


The back (bottom) of a base face:


Close-up vertical measurements of the base face screw holes:


Close-up horizontal measurements of the base face screw holes:


Measurements for the corresponding screw holes in the diagonal tops of the standing pieces that support the base face (note that the black area at the bottom of the photo is just the base face lying on the table — it's not part of the standing support):


Close-up measurements of a standing diagonal top piece's screw holes (in inches):


Close-up measurements of a standing diagonal top piece's screw holes (in centimeters):


How the standing pieces screw onto the bottom tongue:


Lining up the standing piece bottom screw holes with ones in the side of the tongue:


More of the same:


Still more of the same, closer:


Really close view of the same:


Base, double-tongue half:

The standing pieces that attached to the two tongues of the double-tongue half. Everything has been laid flat in this picture, both the standing pieces and the tongues to which they attach, so you can see how the screw holes correspond:


Close-up of same:


How the standing pieces attach to the two tongues (later, the thing that will hold the two sides in place is the base face, which is not shown here, although you can see the screw holes it will screw into):


The corresponding base face, laid face down, so you can see where its back (bottom) screw holes will meet the standing piece front (top) screw holes:


Measurement of the base face (still in face down position):


Close-up of the base-face screw hole vertical measurements:


Close-up of the base-face screw hole horizontal measurements:


Screwing the base face onto the standing pieces of the double-tongue half:


Another view of same:


(Moving slightly backward in time now, sorry.) Some measurements of one side of double-tongue half of the base:


Close-up of the two tongues on that side (I'm not sure how this measurement particularly helps — but hey, we had the photo, so let's use it!):


Base bottoms:

Bottom view of the single-tongue half of the base:


Close-up of the same screws:


Bottom view of the double-tongued half of the base:


Close-up view of some inside screws (from between the two tongues) on that half of the based:


We attach flat rubber strips to the bottom of the base, so its halves don't slide around when a book is placed in the cradle the and the cube is being lifted and lowered: