Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Automatic Ice Punch

What do you get when you cross an ice chopper with an automatic center punch
  [vote for,

At first glance, the Automatic Ice Punch superficially resembles an ordinary ice chopper. The blade is perhaps a bit thicker and less wide, and the bottom foot or two of the handle is thicker too, but that seems to be it.

But, hidden inside, is the same type of mechanism that's inside of an automatic center punch, significantly scaled up.

When you place the blade against some ice which has frozen on the ground and push down on the handle, an internal spring compresses. When it's compressed more than a certain amount, the internal hammer is propelled downward by that spring, and smacks the top of the rod to which the blade is attached.

The impact of the hammer is transmitted through the rod, through the blade, into the ice, causing the ice to break.

Lifting the handle up causes the mechanism to be reset.

That's it!

With a regular ice chopper, the most common way to use it is to aim at the edges of the ice, and move the tool as quickly as possible to strike the ice with the blade. If you miss, you could damage the pavement or the tool, or injure yourself.

With the automatic ice punch, the blade starts in contact with the ice, there's no need to "aim", there's no (external) high speed movement. Just push forward/downward until you hear a bang, and observe that the ice below the blade has magically broken.

I won't pretend that it would be effortless, but I think it would involve slightly less exertion, and perhaps more importantly, it should be much safer.

goldbb, Jan 09 2014

Prior Art Percussive_20deck_20de-icers
Somewhat different means to the same prospective end. [Alterother, Jan 09 2014]


       Users who want to live dangerously can purchase the "pogo stick" version.
goldbb, Jan 09 2014

       A pneumatic power tool would obviously work quite well as an ice remover, but it's surely over powered (and over-priced) for the typical home user. For a ship in the arctic or the antarctic, with many inches of ice on deck, it's probably worthwhile, but who has to deal with that much ice at home?   

       Also, if one wants to imagine baking an idea, cost is important. The Automatic Ice Punch is a relatively simple hand tool, and would hopefully retail for at most $50US. I would expect your pneumatic ice remover to cost at least that much, excluding the compressor.
goldbb, Jan 09 2014


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