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Thread: Microwave magnetron breakdown w/ pics

  1. #1
    Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Microwave magnetron breakdown w/ pics


    Thought it would be neat to take a few pic while a tore apart a microwave oven magnetron.
    Just stumbled upon the copper doing my first one.

    There is a brass washer on the end.
    Aluminum fins.
    Two pieces of copper under the cover on the end.


    Obviously some steel.

    And a copper surprise in the core. 80 grams worth.


    Last edited by Ran440; 12-24-2011 at 12:35 PM.
    I love steel

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  3. #2
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    Just be careful. I believe the pink ceramic stuff on the magnetrons contain some really bad/poisonous chemicals. I don't mess with breaking them down because I read if you breath in the dust from a broken one it can do some damage.

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    Isn't the bigger round armature looking thing in pic#4 actually brass, look at the scuffing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanic688 View Post
    Isn't the bigger round armature looking thing in pic#4 actually brass, look at the scuffing.

    The center is copper, inside the really older microwave magnetron the segments were brazed in with gold.

    I've only ever come across one with the gold brazing and it is not to likely that I will ever find waveguides from high tech equipment in farming country.


  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanic688 View Post
    Isn't the bigger round armature looking thing in pic#4 actually brass, look at the scuffing.
    That "scuffing" is where I filed it to confirm it was copper before I continued dismantling it.
    I do a lot of checking since I have been coming across a lot of motor windings made with aluminum wire instead of copper. It really sucks to tear apart a motor only to find aluminum wire.
    Live and learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjybjy View Post
    Just be careful. I believe the pink ceramic stuff on the magnetrons contain some really bad/poisonous chemicals. I don't mess with breaking them down because I read if you breath in the dust from a broken one it can do some damage.
    That is correct.

    Beryllia (beryllium oxide) may be found in them.
    Spooky stuff indeed!
    Regards, Sam

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    At one time some golf clubs were made out of that stuff too.
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    "Give them enough so they can do something with it, but not too much that they won't do nothing."

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    Whats your method for taking the end caps off the magnetron?

    It looks like you ground the weld down & then pulled the end plates off.

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    I'm so afraid of taking these apart, I really am. I see you guys have done it but maybe you could post a picture with the tool(s) you used positioned in the pic where you cut the magnetron open to get the copper out. It IS in the inside correct? Or am i looking at it wrong and that center piece itself is the copper?

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  12. #10
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    That whole center piece is copper. Pic #4 shows where I filed it just to verify before starting. I just secured it in a vise and used a chisel. I got all of the copper that way as opposed to trying to cut it off which left some on the steel ends.

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    I used a cold chisel, not the sharpest tool in the shed.
    The bobbin kept crushing in the vise.
    That took out both of the discs on each end & I needed to grind a weak point around the outer edge so i could get the chisel in & under the discs.

    Your worst one was the same as my best one.

    I will have another go at it since I have about 40 now, thats 3+Kgs. NZ$22 (US$16?)

    When I scrapped microwaves with a hammer.....
    I'd hammer the first pics part off with the hammer,
    Then I'd bash the little ceramic part (with two pins on it) into the box.
    Then I'd grab the fins with my right hand, box in my left, annnd Pull.
    That'd pull the magnetron out of the unit & stretch the wires out, the ceramic pins'd drop out & I'd wiggle my right arm till the copper wires broke at the white ceramic part, then break them off at the magnetron.

    I used two pipes to bash the Ali fins off the copper bobbin, sit the unit on top of the larger tube, the fins touching bit pointed downwards inline with the direction of the bash.
    Then sit the smaller dia tube over the end of the bobbin & bash it so the bobbin slipped down into the tube.
    2 bashes = a minute with the pliers.

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