How To Take Apart A Microwave

Picture of How To Take Apart A Microwave
Taking apart microwaves can be dangerous, on this instructable I will show you how to take apart a microwave safely and explain the parts and what you can do with them...

I found this microwave (pictured) lying around in the streets, I took it home with me and took it apart, meanwhile, I decided to make an instructable so you can get an idea of how to take apart a microwave and what its parts can be used for.
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Step 1: What equipment you will need...

You will need tools to take apart a microwave, your bare hands won't work. :-)

  • A set of screw drivers with different shapes and sizes.
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Alligator clip
  • Hammer (you don't need this unless something needs to be banged apart)

You might need other types of tools depending on the type of microwave you are going to take apart.

Step 4: Discharge the capacitor

Picture of Discharge the capacitor
Locate the capacitor, it should be near the big fat chunk of metal, the high voltage transformer. Then get your alligator clips and very carefully touch both terminals of the capacitor...

You may get an loud "SNAP" (which is unlikely) and that indicate the capacitor is discharged, do this a few more time to really make sure the capacitor is discharged..

And you're done! The microwave is safe to gut out!

Step 5: Gut out the microwave

Picture of Gut out the microwave
Well, what are you waiting for? Gut the microwave part you want!

Step 6: What to do with all of this stuff?

Picture of What to do with all of this stuff?
After you had gutted the microwave, you can find a lot of pretty good stuff, read on through the instructable to fine out what they are and what you could do with them!
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be careful using that transformer!

check out my similar instructable,how to take apart a laptop

please comment if seen

Just a word about microwave don't need lead. actually, microwave radiation is blocked by ordinary glass. This is assuming that you are not generating a spark accidentally or deliberately. Those high voltage sparks and constant arcs also generate Shorter wavelengths such as UV radiation as well as X-rays, Gamma, ect...that, with enough exposure can give you a burn that will put your worse sunburn to shame. In this case you do need lead shielding. Be Careful!

ne171pro4 years ago
Magnetron Hardly Any Use? I'm not trying be rude but your PDF here showed me how to take apart my microwave so I could get the magnetron. (not for its magnets) Anybody out here that can help wire up my magnetron. I'm really not stupid with electricity, I cant for the life of me get it to do what I'm seeing freaking 14 year olds do. I know its not broken components (have 3 taken apart microwaves.) Is it the ground wire you touch it with? Or is just some other wire not in the circuit. Man I'm so frustrated.
Chill!!!! Firstly why the hell do you want to power up the magnitron? these things are WACKO dangerous! can cause cancer, etc... Maby its best ytou leave that component alone... unless you are firing it up in a propaly shielded and controlled inviroment
 Did you know cellphones are microwaves?  

Did you know with phased array antenna, Tesla coil, microwave, oscilloscope and RF generator you can power all your house's with limitless wireless free energy, an so much more?  Even cure aids and cancer.

yes i did know that

Totaly Correct,
But there is a huge difference between hand/cell/mobile phones and magnetron (lol)

But, I'm not too certain on all the cure for AIDS thing...
You know I don't think a magnetron can cause cancer.
Actually, exposure to high-power electromagnetic radiation can disrupt cell processes and DNA which may lead to cancer.
Well, According to wikipedia: "Some but not all studies suggest that long-term exposure may have a carcinogenic effect"
As well as produce cataracts.
not very nice at all!
(do you know how I remove those hyperlinks?)
hbell ne171pro2 years ago
Jesus christ dont power up the magnetron! the electromagnetic radiation could easily kill you, as could the transformer. If you cant wire up the transformer, how would you build an enclosure for the microwaves? Im not trying to offend you, but it sounds far too dangerous.
not if you know what you're doing
static ne171pro2 years ago

A bit of additional info on the magnetron  This article gives detail on removing the magnets  Magnetrons contain materials than can be a health hazard if they are reduced to a size where they can enter the lungs, I don't have clue to the actual risk factor, just visit to decide for yourself.
You could just look at the wiring in the microwave before you start clipping wires.
I highly recommended not to power the magnetron up!
polarluv90005 months ago

my mom wouldnt let meh take apart our microwave :( hmmph can someone take apart theirs for meh :DDD?!

dflounders7 months ago
Daft gits! Discharging of large capacitors should be Dr be done with jump leads, screwdrivers, etc, that will cause a zero ohm resistive short circuit. Use something like a 2 watt - 2Kohm resistor across the cap terminals. You only need a few hundred milliamp shock to put your heart into cardiac arrest. Yes, caps usually discharge quick, assuming they are designed properly and the unit is not faulty, but neither case is guaranteed. Safety first or lose your tool.
janika11 months ago
hi I want to use the microwave transformers for a forge heater please tel me how regard janika
agatornz1 year ago
my mate reckons you just take the plugs off the capacitor and take it out and chuck it in the river to short it? before taking it out for the bin? is this a new fishing technique or pointless?>
Vulnic2 years ago
I'm still very concerned about discharging the capacitor. Would it make it any safer to use one of those wrist chords used when building/fiddling around inside a computer to clip onto something metal and ground you?? I mean it's not as if you get another shot at this if it goes wrong.... like they say 'There's not many DUMB electricians left in the world ... they're all dead"
grounding your self is a stupid idea. that means if you touch only one pole of the capacitor your guaranteed to get a shock. (Assuming is charged) But don't worry about the risk of getting shocked I never discharge anything. All I do is wear gloves and try not to use both hands while taking apart high voltage stuff.
369ben4 years ago
Hi, Does anyone know how to take apart the transformer to get the coils from it? Or how to take apart the solenoid next to the fan in the microwave to get the coils? Thanks any info will be helpful:-}
that wasn't a solenoid next to the fan. Thats the fans coil which turns the shaft
Getting coils out of a transformer is tricky, since the iron core is impossible to separate from the coils without damaging them. I would suggest winding your own coils out of enameled magnet wire instead.
If you're having trouble getting the coils out of the transformer core, check out MattsAwesomeStuff for a good video tutorial, and also The King Of Random's Instructable here. Good info! I used guidance from both of them to successfully (safely!) separate the core and extract the coils. Good luck with your own project!
Bobey1 year ago
It is so easy people
Bobey1 year ago
I've have took a part a TV and I found out what zapped me a what not
Mihsin1 year ago
Quite useful. I have 3 caput mw ovens ready to be stripped for fruit driers. I knew caoacitors need to be discharged, thanks to you for advising hoe to do that. Whenever a spark is generated, make sure not to be there if and when you're wearing contact lenses.
do you have to discharge the capacitor? if so can I just use insulated screw drivers?!?!
You should always attempt to discharge any capacitor you find before messing with it. And yes, insulated screw driver would work.
mysterion1 year ago
Great source of copper to sell if you ever decide to take a toaster apart and rip copper apart.
LucDaRocka12 years ago
we took apart a microwave we found by a dumpster by SMASHING IT!!!
omnibot5 years ago
I don't believe those magnets in the magnetron are neodymium. All I've taken out, although very powerful permanentmagnets, are far from neodymiums.
Plasmana (author)  omnibot5 years ago
Yeah, neodymium magnets very often have a nickel coating to protect it from corrosion, they look a lot like ceramic magnets, but everybody else says they are neodymium magnets...
awang8 Plasmana5 years ago
They are ceramic magnets. If they're neodynium they'd be powerful enough to crush the magnetron.
They are definately Cermamic magnets, Neodymium magnets corriode to a redish brown colour, these magnets don't, also Neodymium magnets this size would Crush your hand, and these magnets are nowhere near strong enough. if you want Nib (NeodymiumIronBoron) magnets you can find them inside Harddisk drives and some Highquality speakers
Hmm... I wonder how people found out that magnets crush hands?
actually, the chemical formula for neodymium-irom-boron magnets is NdFeB. just though i'd add my own two cents
Because I used to randomly capitalize letters when I typed or wrote
That is a funny thought!

Why capitalize "Crush?"

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