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Microwave Oven

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Vic25/10/2021 15:29:53
3014 forum posts
8 photos

We need to buy a new microwave, are there any parts worth removing from the old one before I take it to the tip?
I won’t be building anything “electrical” with the parts so this probably limits anything likely to be useful?

Grindstone Cowboy25/10/2021 15:44:14
799 forum posts
62 photos

If the bulb is still working, you could keep it in stock as a spare for your next one. Turntable motor could be useful, but that's getting into "electrical" territory.

Safety note - there are generally some big capacitors in microwaves, so make sure they are discharged before sticking your fingers into the circuitry.

Also, if dismantling the magnetron(?) unit to get at the strong (and therefore quite useful) magnets, bear in mind there are some ceramic looking components (usually pink) that contain something nasty. The name of it escapes me now, think it starts with B. Relatively safe unless they get scraped, broken or crushed into a powder form which could be inhaled.

Hope this helps.


martin perman25/10/2021 16:02:13
2030 forum posts
86 photos


Beryllium is the word your looking for, as said very good insulator but if damaged to powder state is toxic, natural colour is white.

Martin P

KWIL25/10/2021 16:06:42
3477 forum posts
66 photos

Much thin stainless steel sheet.

peak425/10/2021 16:09:12
1593 forum posts
172 photos

Other engineering folk might find the HV transformer useful to make a spot welder.


john fletcher 125/10/2021 16:19:09
754 forum posts

Regarding Micro wave cookers, once discharged the capacitor, the high voltage diode are useful and the wire from the transformer for recycling. Some PC boards have useful components which can easily removed with a hot soldering iron. And, as some one already said the cabinet, if you can make a new door and chassis the cabinet are very useful, for a power supply etc. I might add some gas cooker, gas boilers and washing machine are a good source of sheet steel. John

Vic25/10/2021 16:28:03
3014 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks for the replies folks. I was aware of the potential dangers from the capacitors in these things but well worth mentioning again.

Grindstone Cowboy25/10/2021 16:29:10
799 forum posts
62 photos
Posted by martin perman on 25/10/2021 16:02:13:


Beryllium is the word your looking for

Thanks Martin, thought it was either beryllium or boron, wasn't sure which.


Andrew Johnston25/10/2021 16:51:22
6404 forum posts
682 photos
Posted by Grindstone Cowboy on 25/10/2021 16:29:10: was either beryllium or boron..........

Technically it's neither, the white insulator is beryllium oxide. Beryllium is a greyish metal. Both are toxic if dust is inhaled.


Jim Young 225/10/2021 16:59:09
36 forum posts
5 photos

This might also be interesting.
SillyOldDuffer25/10/2021 17:01:03
7909 forum posts
1725 photos
Posted by peak4 on 25/10/2021 16:09:12:

Other engineering folk might find the HV transformer useful to make a spot welder.


But beware! A Microwave Oven Transformer is the most dangerous electrical item in the home. Bad enough they step-up mains voltage to a couple of kilovolts, but the design of the core means there's virtually no limit to the amount of current they can deliver. They cause severe shock and horrible burns. Old Sparky stuff - victims have been known to catch fire...

This image is from a YouTube Video intended to highlight the risks. About 5:30 minutes in:


Despite approaching these beasts with extreme caution there have been a number of nasty accidents in the Tesla Coil community.

The answer is simple: don't plug it in until the High Tension winding has been removed!!!


Frances IoM25/10/2021 17:35:50
1195 forum posts
28 photos
it would have to be a very old microwave oven to have a transformer in it - modern power supplies are much lighter and very much cheaper.
Rik Shaw25/10/2021 18:31:16
1469 forum posts
398 photos

"victims have been known to catch fire"

The mind boggles when contemplating the future technology of crematoria but I think this could be just the TING. hot


Russell Eberhardt25/10/2021 19:17:09
2726 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 25/10/2021 16:51:22:

Technically it's neither, the white insulator is beryllium oxide. Beryllium is a greyish metal. Both are toxic if dust is inhaled.

Splinters can get under the skin and can be absorbed by the body. Nasty stuff, we had strict rules for handling it when I worked with it at a research lab in the 70s.


Vic25/10/2021 20:00:05
3014 forum posts
8 photos

I’ve decided I can’t be bothered for just a couple of magnets. wink

Phil Whitley25/10/2021 20:43:22
1394 forum posts
147 photos

Many small and very useful microswitches!

Phil Whitley25/10/2021 20:43:35
1394 forum posts
147 photos

Many small and very useful microswitches!

Mick Bailey26/10/2021 09:53:47
25 forum posts

There's usually some good high-temperature wiring with glass fibre/silicone insulation, as well as decent lengths of glass fibre screening. Also plenty of 6mm spade terminal insulation boots. I've used these for vehicle restoration projects where high temperature resistance is needed for wiring.

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