repair

By aaron.axvig, 10 December, 2019

Our presumably stock microwave bit the dust a while back.  I delayed replacing it for a week or two as I was intimidated by the task of doing the job without irreversibly damaging the cabinetry.  I removed a screw that went up into the bottom of the microwave and was able to move the unit around a fair amount, but it looked like the microwave was just a little to big to slide out without more disassembly.  I would later find out that the microwave was screwed to a big board anyways...no way was it coming out!

Eventually I got out the tools and drilled out a few of the screw-hiding plugs on the face plate.  Some hid screws and some didn't.  It turned out that only three screws needed to be removed to pull the face plate off--the one in the middle on the left and two on the right.  I was then just barely able to wedge the face plate out.  It would come out significantly easier if the swing-down cabinet door next to the microwave was removed, but I did not do that.

Then the microwave and the base plate that it was attached to came out easily (I had already removed the screw going through the bottom of the cabinet with its point in the base plate).  I made some measurements and chose to order the BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 from Amazon.  Many measurement pictures can be found below.

A few days later the new microwave arrived.  I played around with different things for spacers to put it at the correct level so that the door would open through the existing cutout in the face plate.  With the microwave and spaces attached to the base plate (see image captions below for some more details on positioning) I put it in the cabinet.  Then I finagled the face plate back into place...again this would be significantly easier if the nearby cabinet door was removed.  I tried to remove it but did not do it carefully and stripped a screw so did it with the door in place.  They are PH1 screw heads BTW, which yes I was using but still stripped one.  Anyways, a couple pounds with the cordless drill battery and the face plate popped into place.  I screwed it in with the same three screws and attached the bottom reinforcing piece better than before (described in a photo caption below).

I still need to read up on how to put the teak plugs in, otherwise it is complete and working well!

Width
Width of the microwave: 18 1/16"
Depth
Depth of the main body of the microwave: 11 1/2"

 

Cabinet depth at top left
Microwave depth including cord stopper: 13 1/4"
Height
Height of the microwave including the board it was screwed to; 11 1/16"
Height 2
Height of the microwave itself: 10 1/2"
Cabinet depth
Cabinet depth on right-hand side
Cabinet depth
Fabine depth on left side
Cabinet depth on top
Cabinet depth on top right
Board dimension
Board depth on left side
Board dimensions
Board depth on right side
Board width
Board width
Base board
The base board with holes drilled for the old microwave feet to sit in
Spaces undernearth the new microwave
One piece of Starboard and two small washers used as a spacer.  Also visible are the pieces of tape I put on the base board to mark where the Starboard sits when the microwave is aligned correctly.  So then I could take the microwave and base board out and screw them together in the correct position.
New microwave in place
Microwave in place with no faceplate.  I positioned it to be lightly pressed up against the cord plugged into the outlet on the right hand side, thinking that we might be able to store things like cutting boards in the gap on the left side.  Blue tape strips mark the position of the Starboard spacer on the base plate.
New microwave in place with faceplate installed
New microwave in place with faceplate installed.  The door takes up most of the gap on the left side when it is opened so it is important to position the microwave towards the right side of the opening.
Reinforcement piece for bottom strip of face plate
Reinforcement piece for bottom strip of face plate (I rotated it after taking this picture so that the countersink-drilled holes were facing up).  I put the face plate in first and wasn't going to bother with this piece, but then I realized that it could be put in with the microwave and faceplate already screwed into position.  This little strip had been screwed into the back of the face plate but the screws did not hold well.  So I drilled out the teak plugs that were in the faceplate and screwed this piece in from the front, which I guess is how they originally intended it to be done since all of the holes lined up perfectly.  And then I put screws through the piece into the bottom of the cabinet.