Introduction: How to Take Apart a Microwave

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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.

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 2: Warning!

Yeah, thats right, taking apart microwave can be very dangerous if you do it improperly...

There is an high voltage capacitor in there that can be still charge and can give out an lethal shock.

Step 3: Begin Taking Off the Cover

Start taking the top cover off carefully and try avoid touching the wiring!

Step 4: 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

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

Step 6: 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!

Step 7: The Magnetron

This device, the magnetron, is what heats up our foods...

There is hardly any use for this device, but the magnetron have two very large and powerful ceramic magnets! You can hack the magnetron open and extract the magnets and use them for your other projects.

Step 8: The High Voltage Transformer

Now this one, is the most dangerous microwave component of all... The high voltage transformer...

The transformer give out 2Kv (2000) AC with outputs of 500mA to 2 amps, far more than enough to instantly kill a person...

The transformer can be put to good use for many high power projects, but most often, people would mod them, and use them to draw arcs for fun... But that is going to be another instructable...

Here is an video of me drawing arcs and lighting sparklers with the microwave transformers.

For some very odd reason, after the sparkler is burnt out, the arcs are much longer, I don't know why it is doing it... Can any body give me an explanation?

Step 9: Capacitor and Diode

You can use those for some of your high power projects like tesla coils, can crusher, ect.

Step 10: Line Filter

Those things can be useful if you know what you are doing with them...

Step 11: Cooling Fan

You can use the fan to cool your self down on a hot day...

I used it as a ventilation fan for my workshop to get rid of all or the solder fumes and other smokes...

Step 12: Turntable Motor

Those motors spin very slowly, you can add an plate on it rotors and display your things on the table.

Step 13: Power Relay and Light Bulb

You can use the relay for heavy load switching and if the light bulb still works, you can save it as an replacement bulb for other microwaves.

Step 14: Bell and Timers

You could use them as a timer for something?

Step 15: Thermal Fuses

Sometimes, you can find an thermal fuse(s) in a microwave - often found near the magnetron. They are used to break the circuit from the mains if the magnetron overheats...

Step 16: Safety Switches

The safety switches can be found near the door. You can use it for safety on your other projects or possibly build a beam robot with it...

Step 17: Heating Tubes

Very strangely, my microwave has two quartz halogen heater tubes.

If you have those tubes, you could use it to make your own heater, or you can salvage the tubes for the nichrome wire (heating element) and use it for some of your other experiments...

Step 18: The End

Well, I hope you find this instructable helpful!

If you have any questions, or need help, or found an error, or anything, make a comment!
I like comments! :-)