September 2nd, 2015: (Que dramatic music)
Tomatoskins posts an amazing Instructable on how to make a Bathroom Windshield Wiper and challenges the Instructable community to Remake/Remix his windshield wiper and make it motorized. I immediately know that I would complete this challenge. LINK: https://www.instructables.com/id/Bathroom-Windshield-Wiper/
September 3rd - September 11th (Que Eye of the Tiger)
I brainstormed on how in the world I am going to complete this task.
September 12th - September 14th (Que The Final Countdown)
Completed my challenge. Below, I will explain how.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
- four 36" x 6" x 3/4" pine bords
- windshield wiper motor
- windshield wiper
- Finishing nails
- 12 volt power supply.
- momentary push button
- small hinges
- small latch
- spray paint
- Table saw/ circular saw/ hand saw
- jig saw
My parts and tools were a little more complicated than Tomatoskins's, but hey, I put a motor on it.
Step 2: Disclaimer
This Instructable was very customized. I probably wouldn't expect anyone to be able to completely replicate this unless they go their own way. Every wiper motor is different so custom fitting your motor the way I did may not be the best way. I hope you can read this Instructable and learn how to, or get inspiration to, do your own.
Step 3: Harvest Windshield Wiper and Motor
Just like Totmatoskins, I needed to find a windshield wiper and motor. Luckily, I had a previous car that i was parting out and had one on hand.
One problem I found with the motor was that it was large and ugly. So, I needed a way to conceal it. I decided to construct a wooden box in which to mount it
Step 4: Test Motor
Unlike Tomatoskins, I needed to test the wiper motor to see how much current I need to run it. using a 12 volt car battery to power the motor, under no load, the current was around 1.3 amps. If I added load to the motor the amperage went up to about 3.5 amps. I had a 12 volt 5 amp power adapter laying around and figured that it would work perfectly.
Step 5: Prepare Motor
Remove any un-needed parts of the motor. In my case i removed the bar that controlled the second wiper. I also removed all but two of the mounting holes, that mounted the wiper to the car. This made it small enough to fit in the box I made. Tomatoskins's, wiper was mounted on a suction cup swivel and looked really good. I originally thought that I could just put a motor on it but realized that I would need a pretty high torque motor and it would be very difficult to control the forward and reverse movement. I decided just to go with the standard motor from a car.
There were two problems with the motor I needed to fix
- The part where the wiper blade attached was not parallel to the mounting orientation of the motor
- the motor needed to be lifted up in order for the wiper mechanism to clear the box.
In order to fix the non parallel blade, I used a shim to adjust the wiper blade attachment
In order to fix the motor mounting issue, i used wooden block I cut from scrap pieces. I routed concave indention into the blocks of wood and recessed the bolts from the bottom to attach to the motor.
Step 6: Build Box
I wanted to conceal the motor to improve the aesthetics of the device. I used four 6" x 36" pine boards. I knew the box needed to be at least 26" long so I measured each board and cut to length. I then clamped 3 of the boards together to get a box. I used finishing nails to complete the sides and back of the box. I then used the scrap pieces from the 36" boards that I had cut down, for the top and bottom. For the lid of the box I used some hinges at the top and attached the final 26" board.
Step 7: Customize Box
In order for the arm of the windshield wiper to come out of the box I had to cut some of the side away from the box. This was a difficult process because with out knowing exactly the motion and path of the wiper arm, you cannot accurately cut what you need. This was definitely a trial and error process. I later had to cut more from the box as you will see.
Step 8: Mount Wiper Motor
I used two bolts to bolt down the wiper motor to the back of the box. Using the previously cut scrap blocks of wood, I screwed them into the correct position in the box. After mounting the motor and trying it out I realized that I need to trip some more of the side off, and I also had to trim some off of the from lid. Because I had to trim off of the front lid I had to do some cosmetic repairs to the lid.
Step 9: Paint the Box
I had originally wanted to paint an old barber style red, white, and blue but because I had to add the trim extra trim pieces, to hide the cut away parts, I decided to go with just one color.
Step 10: Wiring It Up
To make the wiper run i used a simple momentary push button switch between the motor and the power supply. When you press the button the motor runs. I also added a latch so that you can get into the box in case something goes wrong.
Step 11: Final Thoughts
I was happy with the results of the project. I admit that it is a little cumbersome, but it was the only way that I could figure out how to make it work. I would like to add Arduino to control the motion better, maybe even a humidity sensor.