Author Topic: Need ideas - library book return box  (Read 939 times)

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Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 145
Need ideas - library book return box
« on: May 28, 2018, 06:48 AM »
My daughter has tasked me with coming up with a school library book return box. Commercially they start pricing around $1,500 (for a cheap one with no mechanism and a rubber pad inside) and they can't afford anything like that. They are looking to reimburse me for materials.

It needs to be self contained (slot to drop books in) so kids can drop books in but not see other books that have been left, and needs to safely drops books onto each other in the bin.

My first thought was some type of inner floating table supported by 4 large diameter springs that would collapse as books are added, but trial and error could take a long time in getting the right ones - and no idea where to source these.

Or - some type of cantilever system - but again - where to start.

Has anyone here done such a project?

Or know where to source pre-made parts?

Building a box with a slot is easy. Getting the books safely down inside is another story.

And building it semi quickly and economically adds another dimension.

Your ideas are appreciated.

"We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do almost anything, with nothing at all."

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Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 116
Re: Need ideas - library book return box
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 07:54 AM »
I wouldn't overthink it. Back in the olden days when I worked for Blockbuster, we just used some folded foam rubber at the bottom of the box. You only need to cushion the first layer of returned items, after that, the pile cushions the rest. Replace the foam as needed. Those VHS boxes were way rougher than books would be, so the foam will last a long time.

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 145
Re: Need ideas - library book return box
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 09:27 AM »
Thanx for the quick response. I can certainly build a box with a thick foam pad as a fallback plan.

Books are considerably heavier than VHS tapes. Childrens books can be 18" square and an inch thick.

One of the concerns is having a deep enough box to hold quite a few books, while minimizing the fall depth for the first books deposited.

So a shelf that floats downward as books are added is desirable if possible.
"We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do almost anything, with nothing at all."

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2514
Re: Need ideas - library book return box
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 09:37 AM »
These don’t look that complex. http://www.kingsley.com/indoor-wood-book-drop-media-return

Why don’t you visit your local library and school libraries and see what you can figure out looking at one in person. 

Perhaps you have done this already?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1531
Re: Need ideas - library book return box
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 01:00 PM »
Post offices use large fabric bags suspended inside a bin to collect parcels. It dampens the impact well, like a safety net. Books hitting each other is still a concern. Perhaps a ramp, where books slide in to the side of the bag rather than fall straight down.

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 145
Re: Need ideas - library book return box
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2018, 08:53 PM »
I like the idea of fabric. Perhaps a hard ramp to a fabric ramp that is fixed at one end and suspended at the other by a bungee. Will experiment with that.

Thanks Svar!
"We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do almost anything, with nothing at all."