Microwave— Part 2

I’m going to possibly have to break this down a little because otherwise I will have a post only slightly shorter than Churchill’s “A History of English-Speaking Peoples”, and obviously that would never do.

Suffice to say, the new microwave is installed and the stuff that we had stored on the cabinet below the old microwave (stuff you haven’t seen up to now because it had to be cleared to remove the old unit) has been put back in its new place.

Now, my first thought was to build a cabinet to sit on top of the cabinet already sitting by the stove. This wouldn’t be too formidable, as landlord already has a TV cart that offers much in the way of construction advice. See below:

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This was a Sauder do-it-yourself kit, remarkably well designed and quite strong. Using this as a template, it would be almost impossible to do the job wrong.

I decided NOT to go with this idea however, and the reason had to do with (A) the microwave is already on a very sturdy cabinet, (B) I have a set of knives in a wood block that stands 13 inches tall and clearance for this is a real problem and (C) there’s no need to do all that work when a simple solution is at hand. So– I decided to make a hanging shelf for the stuff, supported between the upper cabinets and the microwave on threaded rod.

1— 12″x 24″ x 5/8″ shelf. 4– 16″ 1/4″-20 threaded rods. 8 — 1/4″-20 nylon-insert locking nuts. 8– 1/4″ flat washers. 4– 13″ x 1/2″ sections of conduit. A little bit of thinking about it and elbow grease.

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Now, the first problem is the threaded rod. They don’t sell this stuff in 16″ lengths, you have to cut it from longer– probably 2 foot sections– of rod. Not a problem if you have a Dremel motor-tool, I used the cut-off attachment to get the required length. The next problem was a “gimme” for the solution– drilling the holes and getting them right. There were four holes in the upper cabinet already from where the old microwave had been attached– just drill out to 1/4″, then mount the new shelf directly underneath and drill through (a right-angle drill helps immensely with this).  Poke the threaded rod up through the bottom of the old shelf, place a flat-washer and then put a nut on , tightening until a couple of threads show above the nylon.

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Now comes the fun. Place a length of conduit over the rod, then position the new shelf, then using your third, forth and fifth hands place washers, nuts and tighten together. Oh, wait– like me, you’re by yourself and you don’t have multiple hands? Hmmm— that could be a problem.

Well, it can be done normally. It was a balancing act, keeping the shelf level, and at first I used only the threaded rod– my landlord came up with the conduit, cut to perfect length and polished as can only be done in a proper machine-shop.

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Above, the semi-finished product. A trifle shaky at this point because there was no good way to brace it– that would come later.

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There is just enough clearance, believe me I checked when it suddenly occurred to me that there could be an arcing problem between the unit and the threaded rod– nope, we’re all good.

Art– my landlord– came home during his lunchbreak, saw what was done, we got the exact measurement for the conduit and he came home later and finished the job.

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The conduit does two things. It makes it look real nice, and it adds structural rigidity when everything is tightened down. Overall— not bad, not bad at all.

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