Instructables

Getting Useful Bits from a Microwave Oven #1

Picture of Getting Useful Bits from a Microwave Oven #1
This Instructable is about recovering the useful bits that can be found in a defective microwave oven.

VERY SERIOUS WARNINGS:
1. Not only is this a mains-powered device, it can contain extremely dangerous high voltages. The capacitor that drives the magnetron has a built-in bleeder resistor for safety but do not rely on it!
2. As the first stages of this growing i'ble involves disassembling the magnetron, you must also be careful that you are not exposed to a toxic chemical----beryllium oxide which, if inhaled, can cause  incurable damage to the lungs
3. Because these cheap "consumer" devices are assembled with self-tapping screws, also be aware of getting metal splinters in your fingers.
The appropriate steps will be highlighted as they are encountered.

The magnetron had failed in this unit, otherwise everything else was working. This is characterized by the gradual decay in efficiency (e.g., ever longer cooking times) over a period of time. Having the magnetron properly replaced usually costs more than purchasing a replacement oven. So this is the first item to be removed.
 
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Step 1: Open the Case

Picture of Open the Case
Before starting, ensure that the mains lead is unplugged!

As this is a reasonably nice stainless steel case that is destined to replace my very under-sized mail box, I have been careful in handling it to reduce scratching.

Note that most of the case screws are at the back, but sometimes they can be on the side, and even underneath. See the red circles. As this case is to be re-used, keep these screws. The extra holes in the side toward the front of the case are for a wall-mount bracket and, for now, can be ignored.