Before You Scrap a Microwave Oven… (Free Magnets!)

Hi Guys! Again I have to apologize for my long absence here! If this continues, I’ll have to change this blog’s name to something like “Things I learned LAST YEAR”, or something! (As Martin Luther used to say, “Busyness isn’t *of* the devil, it IS the devil”) 

I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long between posts. ‘Need to do better at keeping up with this project. Someone told me once that “semi-retirement” would make life so relaxed and slower-paced. Um, uh-huh. 

Anyway, here’s another tip that came to mind recently, and even though it certainly isn’t new this week, it’s been a very handy one for us over the years. 

Every microwave oven’s magnetron – the copper vacuum tube that generates the actual microwaves that heat our food – has two big round ceramic magnets inside. They provide the magnetic field that rotates the waves, directing them in a set of tuned cavities, then out the tube’s antenna and down a wave guide and into the oven. That’s a simple country boy’s description of the process, anyway. 

I repaired a LOT of microwave ovens over the last 40 years or so, and whenever scrapping a magnetron, always saved its two magnets, and they are a super handy item to have around. 

A Few Microwave Magnetron Magnets

Around here we use them for all kinds of jobs, like quickly fastening tarps over machinery outside, hanging paperwork on steel bulletin boards and refrigerators, hanging up tools, magnetizing screwdrivers, and dozens more. 

So the next time you see a trashed microwave, or before you scrap one, open it up and grab the magnets from the mag.  I’ll talk more about specifically how to take them out in another post (and you’ll find YouTube videos, etc, on the subject) but they’re easy to remove, and the job is quick and safe to do. 

A couple things about handling them: although not as insanely powerful as neodymium magnets, they’re strong enough to painfully pinch a finger if you catch one between them. And because they’re ceramic, they’re very brittle, so dropping or hitting one with a hard object one will break or chip it. 

But I know you’ll find tons of uses for them just like we have, and you can’t beat the price of a pair of them! 

Hope that’s helpful! A very happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms! 

God bless you and yours, 
Dave Harnish

John 14:6

About Dave Harnish

I've been an appliance repair tech since 1972, with interests in most everything, including Bible study (I'm one of those KJV-only geezers), old Sunbeam Mixmasters, Maytag wringer washers, the outdoors, birds, hunting, metalworking, firewood cutting, and most anything going on outside on our mountain here in N. PA's 'Endless Mountains'.
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