Intro: What to Do With a Dead Microwave!
"There's ceramic magnets in them there hills!!!"
It has a some electronics that are worth salvaging,
but the real treasure is the 2 fairly powerful ring magnets in the magnetron.
It takes a bit of work to get them but they are worth the trouble.
1 The magnets are fairly brittle do not try to pry them out.
2. These are uncoated magnets and are easy to break.
Step 1: This Is the Magnetron It Is the Heart of What Makes Microwaves.
Remove the cabinet, unplug all the wiring, (be careful of the big capacitor), and pull this part out.
It contains no poison gas, no radioactive parts, just copper, steel, aluminum, and ceramic.
This is what it looks like.
The magnets are the two black parts separated by the fins in the second photo.
Step 2: Hacksaw and Dremel Time!
Cut away the steel case.
I used a Dremel to first cut the tabs on the top, and then the bottom of the side panels.
The first photo shows the tabs that hold the top on.
The third shows the unit with the top off and the sides and bottom removed. The 2 copper coils came from the bottom of the unit.
As it turned out, I might have been able to pull the top magnet by lifting the thin steel washer that was holding it in place..
Step 3: Further Disassembly
I clamped the nose of the unit in a vice and the bottom was easy to twist and remove. That allowed the lower magnet to be removed.
The second photo shows the base removed and the magnet out.
I got a bit over zealous with the vice and crushed the ceramic nose as you can see from the photos.
The top magnet I removed by carefully prying up the thin steel washer that was on top. It had a flange that wedged the magnet in place.
The third photo shows the stripped unit and the "liberated" magnets.
Step 4: The Reward
Two lovely big ( 2+ inch diameter) rare earth magnets. The poles are on the flat sides so you can "levitate" one by putting the same poles facing each other, Like my first photo.
Now you have some "free" magnets for your next project.
Have fun and happy salvaging!