Repurpose microwave as Cabinet
Cabinet on top of the shelf to the far left is an old microwave.
Our microwave started acting up then just quit. Took out to shop verified wasn’t something easily fixed and simply replaced. I was going to disassembe to recycle but realized would make a nice cabinet.
Looking around where it could sit, decided standing on end with the door swinging down. Door down isn't the best use, thought about up with chain/support rod or even using some gas assist cylinders I have but this would take up the least space and easier. Slide over the old books on shelf and bolt it down. I could wrap it wood so looks like other cabinets. Also with latch 7' in the air it became obvious it would make a good safe box for stuff little-uns cant get to.
1st thing I did was take it and hose it out. Something in the back of my head from somewhere in the past kept ringing a bell about the magnetron inside. So I flooded some more. Then I started taking a part. Once I had the mag out I dumped it in a bucket of water. Gutted a mile of wiring and micro switches, ton of electronic, boards turntable stuff, fan, kinda of amazing how much was in there.
The keypad I simply covered in aluminum tape even though you only see when door is open. I salvaged the light and micro switch. Did a bit of rewiring so it still works. Used quite a bit of aluminum tape to seal the box holes/vents. Replaced the mica? window with a clear piece of plastic so I could seal it. The light box is open to top outside-drilled a few more vent holes in it. Then bolted it down to the shelf over bench and cabinet at side. Critical positioning in my case because of shop cross beam in front of door, needs also to be sat out from shelf top so bottom of door doesn't hit shelf. Pretty sure have enough room for anticipated door face.
Note the cabinet is about 10" from back wall. Attached 1x2 frame on side of cabinet, to stand off attached piece of pegboard depth of cabinet so it 'could' be used to hang stuff. Then 1x4 top & bottom that runs to and butt at back wall, not attached to back wall. This gives access to space behind cabinet. Made a lift out panel to cover back hole access.
The door face is both taller to hide top and wider to match the shelf top. Simple full size piece of pegboard with 1x4 face frame. Add 1x2 on side so you don't see original door. Screwed the new face to door. This was the only tricky part as the door glass goes almost to edges of door. Looks good, opened the door, swung it down to verify still clears the beam in front but bottom of door is hitting the shelf, wont fully open.
Errrr, face ended up little more than 1/8" lower than door-didn't notice when trying to position face, to many variables. Easiest just unbolt cabinet and move. Plus I didn't like the side 1x4s touching, yet unattached, to the rear metal wall. Unbolted and lifted cab off shelf. Bottom holes in shelf I plugged with dowels. Sides I used angle bracket so easy to reposition. Put cab back on shelf setting 3/16" further out, attached side brackets, added another lag in back then reinstalled the 2 forward ones. Checked door -Ohh just clears the beam but fully opens-That's good
Added strap to hold door. Works, cant add internal hardware, chain would work but had this. I'm really not sure of strength of the inside frame. At some point I'm adding a 1" piece of angle iron with a slot to other side of cabinet, attach a pivoting piece of flat bar to door face 1x4, sliding thru the angle with stop to act as mechanical support.
Simple and free with stuff on hand. Works well. Secure, dry. I like it, only thing I would have done different the latch/ It keeps it 'locked' but kind of a pain. Keep imagineering some linkage rods and levers to 'shift' it open from below. I added shelf when I peg boarded back wall trying to make the cabinet not look so much like a 'box' setting on the shelf-jury's still out on the lil shelf-seemed like a good idea-clipping the front corner. A little too much. Oh well
Recently wrapped the metal beam to blend a bit with all the wood. The fact that door "just" cleared never crossed my mind. Few days later I went to open cabinet...oops. Resultant fix and a new door support on its own page (see Mw door fix)
Back to shop repurposing section
Back to Our shops home page