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SCRAP Humboldt All Book No Hands book reader

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Poster of the All Book No Hands book reader.


SCRAP Humboldt is a non-profit organization that aims at educating local communities about creative and effective reuse through inventive and applicable projects. Through Humboldt State University and the Engr 215 Introduction to Design class, our group "Don't Just Scrap It" aimed at designing an effective solution for reducing the amount of binders that end up in the waste stream. The result is our device named the "All Book No Hands" which turns old binders into an effective book holder that allows you to read hands-free. We hope to see our solution exemplify reuse and upcycling in the community and how it can be effectively implemented.


SCRAP Humboldt is a creative reuse center that has access to a surplus of old binders that they wanted to find a way to reuse. Many campuses and offices have a surplus of old binders. The R.O.S.E Center at Humboldt State University is an example of a school resource center where binders can be found for free. Vinyl binders are considered to be too toxic to throw into the waste stream, so upcycling them is a useful way to reduce the quantity of binders in landfills while providing companies and individuals a way to re-purpose their unwanted binders.

Problem statement and criteria[edit]

This project must result in a product that reduces the number of binders in the waste stream.

Criteria Constraints Weight (1-10)
Cost Must be within budget. 6
Environmental Impact Only uses non-toxic materials. 5
Recycled Materials Used (%) 50% by weight. 8
Recreatability Must be possible to create at home. 7
Aesthetics Looks good enough to spark interest. 4
Longevity Expected to last at least 6 months. 6
Number of binders per project ≤10 5
Practicality Legitimately useful 10

Description of final project[edit]

Front view of All Book No Hands book reader.

The final All Book No Hands book reader is shown to the left and below. It uses string to fasten the book to the book reader, and paper clips to secure the several pages to be read. A page is turned by sliding it downwards out of one paperclip and into the other. The strings are fed through slits at the base of the top binder panel. The slits are lined with duct tape to improve durability and aesthetics. One skewer attached to a zipper piece acts as a hinged stand, which rests in a bottle cap peg. Multiple bottle caps can give different inclination options. A book light may be attached to the top of the book reader for nighttime reading.


Item Quantity Team Cost ($) Retail Cost ($)
Batteries (Sets) 3 1.00 1.00
Binders 10 Donated 2.00
Binder Pieces 6 Donated NA
Velcro Straps 2 Donated 5.00
Skewers (Pack) 1 2.99 2.99
Binder Clips 10 Donated 1.50
Scrap Wood 1 Donated 20.00
Tape 1 Donated 3.00
Paper 1 Donated 0.25
Solder & Iron 1 Donated 20.00
String 1 Donated 1.00
Weights 1 Donated 10.00
Books 1 Donated 25.00
Total $5.99 $91.74
Side view of All Book No Hands book reader.

Cost Per Book Reader[edit]

Item Quantity Team Cost ($) Retail Cost ($)
Batteries (Sets) 1 0.33 0.33
Binder 1 Donated 4.00
Velcro Straps 2 Donated 5.00
Skewers (Pack) 1 1.79 1.79
Paper Clips 2 Donated 0.20
Bottle Caps 6 Donated 0.10
Tape 1 Donated 3.00
Solder & Iron 1 Donated 20.00
Glue 1 Donated 3.00
Total $2.12 $37.42

Testing Results[edit]

Our testing results for the All Book No Hands book reader comes from direct hands on building and voluntary indirect observations of building as well as implementation. While first building the prototypes of the All Book as a group the most difficult part of building was finding a way to keep to the book open while also being easily readable. This resulted in a number of solutions but ultimately ended with Velcro straps and paper clips. However while gathering data on first time voluntary building the most difficult part was creating the slits in the binder. More explicit directions were needed in order for the slits to be cut open and the tape applied in an easy and non-confusing way. From implementation these showed that in comparison to just holding a book reading was deemed much slower. However while performing another task while also reading did allow for effective multitasking and was not comparable to reading and multitasking without a book holder. If paperclips are used to hold the pages open it takes only 2-3 seconds to turn a page. Glue was used to fasten the bottle caps to the base panel and the zipper piece to the top panel. Tape was used to fasten the skewer to the zipper piece. After a few weeks of occasional use one of the bottle caps fell off, and the skewer began to slide out of the tape. The zipper piece also came out when we tried to fix the skewer position. The glue fastenings can were then strengthened by using super glue instead of regular Elmer's glue, and by cutting small holes in the vinyl and glueing the pieces to the cardboard underneath the vinyl, instead of glueing straight onto the vinyl. Glue was also applied to the skewer-zipper connection in addition to the tape for increased durability. The book light provides adequate light, but it flickers if it is not set just right, which can be a little tricky to do.

How to build[edit]

All Book No Hands
How To
Step 1: Prepping the Top Panel.
Decide which binder panel will be the base panel of the book holder. If the binder is symmetrical with the rings in the middle it doesn't matter which side is chosen. If the rings are not directly in the middle make the base panel the side without the rings.  
Cut slits directly above the rings on the top panel of the binder. Slits should leave at least one inch of binder on the edges and middle of the binder panel. Line slits with tape. This is easiest to do if an object is used to hold the slits open while the tape is being applied.  
Feed Velcro or string through slits. A butter knife may make this easier.  
Step 2: Making it Stand.
On the back of the top binder panel glue zipper hinges a little less than half way up and an inch from each edge of the panel. Super glue is preferred, but Elmer's glue will also work. This is where the zipper hinges should be after they are glued.  
Cut skewers to about 6" and tape to zipper hinges.  
Glue bottle caps in desired locations on the bottom panel of the binder to create pegs to hold the skewers.  
Step 3: Optional Book Light.

To attach book light poke a tiny hole in the center of the back of the top binder panel. This will be where the book light will be inserted as shown in the image above.  
Tape the book light to an unwound champagne cork wire and insert the free end of the wire into the hole. The wire may need to be bent around the binder or glued in place to stabilize it.  
Step 4: Attaching the Book.
Open the Velcro and let the book rest on the Velcro and the rings. Adjust the Velcro so that it holds the edges of the book.  
Close the Velcro on all but a few of the pages that you intend to read.  
Use paper or binder clips to hold the free pages to the rest of the book if necessary.  
Step 5: How To Video.


Next steps[edit]

  • Implement solution into Humboldt Community.
  • Network solution into upcycling Movement.
  • Help exemplify to younger generations how used office supplies and other waste can be usefully upcycled.


Don't Just Scrap It (from left to right): Samuel Gunnerson, Jacob Burns , Dominick Triola