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Scan Project

Approx. 50 pages, from Leichtung.  Leichtung was absorbed by Woodworkers Supply when Rick Leichtung retired some years ago.  I have a set of the brad-point drill bits they sold.  Woodworker's Supply web site is


I became interested in woodworking about 1977.  That would have been my first year of middle school wood shop.  When waiting for a tool to become available, I often thumbed through the woodworking catalogs scattered around the shop.  Catalogs from places like "The Woodworker's Store" (became Rockler), Leichtung, and others.

I'm a nostalgic sort of guy, and often wish I would have saved some of those catalogs.  I figure I'm not the only nostalgic guy around, maybe some other middle-aged woodworkers would enjoy thumbing through them.

Well, about a month or two ago, I stumbled into a great deal on a high-speed document scanner.  Someone listed a broken Canon ScanFront 300 on eBay with a starting bid of ninety-nine cents.  The ScanFront 300 is a network document scanner with auto document feeder, color touch screen, built-in OCR, etc.  It is a current model, they're still being manufactured and sold (about $1800, I think).

The eBay listing said the unit made noises, but wouldn't feed paper.  The seller was one of those liquidation outfits that sells all sorts of broken gear they get by the truckload from only God knows where.  An "all sales final" sort of outfit.

I figured I'd take a chance and bid $25.  If I won the thing, I'd try to fix it.  I'm pretty good at fixing stuff, I support my family by repairing computers and maintaining networks.  I was pretty sure someone would outbid me, the touchscreen alone is certainly worth more than $25.

So anyway, I bid $25 and went to sleep (the auction ended at some ungodly hour).  When I woke the next morning, I saw nobody else had bid.  I had won the scanner for $.99.

In fact, this is a confirmation E-Mail I received:

Congratulations, it's all yours!

We hope you enjoy your BROKE Canon imageFORMULA ScanFront 300 600 dpi x 600 dpi Document scanner. The next step is to pay. Pay now to get your item as quickly as possible.

So I paid my money, and a few days later, FedEx delivered one broken Canon scanner to my shop.

I opened the box and confirmed that everything seemed to be working, except for the paper feed.

I was busy with other stuff, but figured I'd just take a quick peek inside the unit.  After removing the side panel, I discovered a belt  had popped off a drive gear.  I simply hooked the belt back onto the gear, replaced the side panel, and was scanning documents a minute or two later.

In poking around the menus on the touchscreen, I discovered that the unit had only ever scanned about fifty pages.  That belt came off early in its life.  Overall, I'd say the scanner looked pretty much like new!

Now, time for full disclosure:  The $.99 purchase price did not include the $24 I had to pay in shipping.  So I'm actually into the scanner for $25.  Still, I'm pretty happy with the deal.

The scanner has come in handy for all sorts of jobs.  We had a customer, for example, that had a rather lengthy telephone bill they needed scanned (don't ask).  This little Canon scanner was able to scan about fifty double-sided pages in two or three minutes.  VERY HANDY!

And now that I have it, I'm thinking it would be neat to start accumulating old woodworking catalogs, scanning them, and putting them online for anyone interested.  In fact, I've already done an old Leichtung catalog (above).

Some catalogs may be copyrighted, and some catalog sellers may not be keen on having their old catalogs scanned and placed online.  I will only scan/post catalogs that are not copyrighted, or where the copyright holder grants me permission.

If you have old catalogs, please feel free to submit them for inclusion.  PLEASE NOTE:  I have to cut any bindings in order to perform the scanning.  And my intention is to post scanned catalogs online, and NOT return the originals.  If you need to have an original returned, please E-Mail me first to make sure this is something I will be able to accommodate.

Catalogs may be mailed to

J. Phil Thien
4606 N. Wilson Dr.
Shorewood, WI 53211


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