Ok, so I know what you're thinking. Why on earth would anyone want to tear apart a perfectly good microwave? 

Well, there are a few answers to that question. The first is, because I can. The second, and more important answer is, I can use the transformer for all manner of OTHER projects. For example, you could wire up a couple of these bad boys together and make a welding machine. Or, you could do what I intend to do, which is to make an electrochemical etching machine for putting my maker's mark on the knives I make and sell. 

So... without further ado, let's jump right into this. But first, a couple of comments. For this Instructable, I will assume you know how to take apart a microwave oven. Ideally for what we want, you want an older oven, one that uses a big transformer - the bigger the better, really. Why? Because bigger (and older, to a point) typically means both more power and higher quality. Ideally, you want to find one of those old Japanese or American microwaves from the late 70s, 80s, or even early 90s. 

Also, keep in mind that you are working with high energy electronic parts. Keep that in mind. Make sure everything is unplugged from a power source, and ensure that you are working in a well-lit, safe, clean workspace. I tend to do a lot of my work like this at my local Techshop, which is where I actually completed this task. 

Step 1: Tools/Parts List


Microwave Transformer - if you're unsure what the transformer looks like, check out the first picture. It's the box in the middle of the coiled wiring with the red wires coming out on one side, and the white and black wires coming out of the other side.

Also, a note on safety. When you're tearing apart the microwave, please, please please be careful that you beware the capacitor inside the microwave. It looks like a small metal can with two metal tabs on top, and it should be near the transformer. Make sure you short it out to make sure it doesn't have any lingering charge in it. The best approach for that is to just put a screwdriver or something metal you aren't connected to across the two metal terminals. Some capacitors have and automatic discharge feature, but you can't be too careful here. 


Drill Press (with bits) 
Flathead Screwdriver
Yes, beware of that CAPACITATOR ! A tech. was killed when he accidentally ground the bad boy through himself. he was found on the floor by his workbench DOA. So be very careful with that thing! This is not child's play ! So don't fool around in there unless you are absolutely certain the CAPACITATOR is DEAD! FYI

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