Introduction: How to Sharpen a Windshield Ice Scraper
This Instructable sounded more like a punch line to either of two bad jokes:
1. How do you know you’ve lived in a northern climate too long?
2. How do you know you’re cheap?
Regardless, over the years, I had grown rather fond of a particular window ice scraper, due to its design which included both a brush and a second handle to accommodate two-handed scraping (a must in the dead-of-winter Michigan mornings, due to the fact that my garage stores far too many tools and projects to ever consider using it for parking cars). However, this November, I had noticed that the blade had become nicked and dull, rendering the tool rather ineffective in removing frost from my windshield.
Step 1: Get to Work!
Realizing that there had to be a solution present somewhere in the aforementioned garage, I set off to sharpen my ice scraper blade using the following equipment:
• Sandpaper, assorted grit (I used 100, 150, and 240 grit);
• Sanding blocks (a hand sander and a piece of scrap wood); and
• A dull ice scraper.
Step 2: Sharpening - This Will Look Familiar
Anybody who has sharpened a chisel or other sharp object will quickly recognize this technique.
First, I attached the coarsest sandpaper to the sanding block. This is done to create a firm, flat surface to accommodate even sharpening.
Next, I started sharpening by laying the scraper blade across the sandpaper at the same angle as the bevel of the blade, and rubbed side to side, applying light to moderate pressure. I then sanded the underside of the blade, also applying light to moderate pressure. I repeated this process until the noticeable nicks were sanded away.
I repeated using the 150 grit sandpaper, then finished using the 240 grit sandpaper, until the blade felt uniformly sharp and smooth.
Step 3: Sharper Than Woodpecker Lips!
Viola! The scraper worked worlds better after a quick 15 minutes in the shop.
Postscript: Apparently, window scrapers aren't meant to last forever. On a particularly cold Michigan January morning, the blade snapped in two. It didn't have anything to do with the sharpening. The plastic was old and brittle and I was being a bit too aggressive. The technique definitely worked!