Mirror Wiper Challenge Accepted (Remix)




About: I am a maker, builder, inventer, problem solver

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.

Video Below:


Step 1: Parts and Tools

  1. four 36" x 6" x 3/4" pine bords
  2. windshield wiper motor
  3. windshield wiper
  4. Finishing nails
  5. 12 volt power supply.
  6. momentary push button
  7. small hinges
  8. small latch
  9. spray paint


  1. Table saw/ circular saw/ hand saw
  2. hammer
  3. pliers
  4. jig saw
  5. drill

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

  1. The part where the wiper blade attached was not parallel to the mounting orientation of the motor
  2. 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.

Step 12: Video!!!



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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I dig it, but I am working on a sash weight driven version (think a coo-coo clock drive with a single cycle limiter... torque isn't an issue, but scavenging an escapement / governor is problematic.

    yeah, I have way too much free time.....................


    3 years ago on Introduction

    You gave me my first laugh of the day. Thanks! I don't have the skilz but this is a great idea. Especially for a guest bathroom - it'd blow your guests' minds! Now how about one that would squee-you-know-what from the top to the bottom of a glass shower enclosure...? (Trying to avoid a trademark name there)

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Dude! So happy someone remixed this to add a motor (tomato's was alright, but needed a motor) I honestly think the Instructables community needed this. You got my vote! :D

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks, as soon as I saw tomatoskins post, I knew I needed to do this.


    Reply 3 years ago

    That is a great idea. If you need any more information just PM me.


    3 years ago

    I guess if you have the skill to do it, then why not :). Seems like a pretty cool idea. Or, if you could somehow heat up the mirror....you wouldn't need the wiper.

    1 reply