Heating, thawing and even cooking entire meals has never been easier since the invention of the microwave, but their bulk and weight pose a problem for almost every one of us that are short on ample kitchen space. So, what’s the solution? Shelving, of course! Whether it’s on a corner or suspended over the stove, a microwave shelf can give you free range of this handy appliance without all that extra clutter. While popping down to the hardware store is one option you could build your own entirely from scratch with these simple steps.
Microwave Shelf: It’s all about the Measurements
There is no point in putting in the effort to customize your own shelf if the microwave doesn’t fit, so make sure you measure everything precisely down to decimal points. You want to measure the microwave and the wall where you plan to place the shelf. If you make the shelf a little bigger than the microwave itself, then removing and replacing it will be that much easier. Don’t forget to check how much space you will need to open the microwave door fully unless you want to wind up taking the shelf down again.
Stand-alone or Built-in Microwave Shelf?
Common sense dictates that if a shelf is to stand-alone then it will require a lot more brackets for support while a shelf that is to be part of an existing shelving unit will only need a couple of brackets. Once you’ve figured out the number of brackets move on to locating the wall studs. Use a pencil to mark both edges of the studs on the wall, the brackets will need to be fitted directly to the center of the studs for even weight distribution.
X Marks the Spot
Use the microwave shelf itself to draw a line on the wall indicating where you want it to go but don’t forget to use a level to make sure the shelf will be perfectly aligned because no one wants a crooked shelf.
Microwave Shelf: Attach Those Brackets
Use a handy screwdriver to attach the brackets to the center of the stud marks. For stand-alone shelves the brackets are attached from the front edge with the shelf lining up with the wall but for a built-in shelf you want to mark and install the brackets to the sides so that they are securely attached to the existing unit.
Microwave Shelf Drilling and Attaching
You may need to drill holes into your wall where you attached your brackets, then line up the shelf with the holes, place the screws into the brackets and tighten them till they can’t be tightened anymore. If you are attaching a shelf to an existing unit you will need to drill screws into that unit to make sure that the new shelf doesn’t budge.
Testing your Handy Work
Finally after all your effort place your microwave on the shelf and plug it in but stand back for a few minutes in case disaster should strike. If everything stays in place you can breathe a sigh of relief because you have just successfully installed your own microwave shelf.
Why buy a Cabinet When You Can Build a Shelf?
If you were thinking about buying a microwave cabinet forget about it, you can purchase a regular 24 inch wall cabinet for less and build a microwave shelf instead. First of all if the 24 by 30 inch cabinet has fixed rather than adjustable shelving you will need a jigsaw and a circular saw to make your shelf and as safety always comes first you want to make sure that the bottom shelf of the cabinet is fastened securely to the sides before you start tearing it apart.
- Start by removing the doors of the cabinet and then measuring and marking 18 inches from the cabinet bottom. Then place a tri square on the existing line and draw more lines onto the front of the cabinet.
- Using a � inch depth circular saw cut the lines you draw and then gently tap the wood with a hammer to unfasten it. Turning the cabinet onto its side measure and mark 2 inches on the remaining front beginning from the cut edge.
- Use a 3/16 inch drill bit to drill two holes into the front � inch thick edge but one hole should be at 1 � inches from the bottom and the other at � inches from the bottom. Then repeat the process on the other cabinet edge.
- Move on to applying glue to the � by � inch plank and the 2 by 20 inch plank, then drill drywall screws into the holes you made earlier to secure the planks to each other but don’t forget to wipe off the excess glue with a dampened cloth.
- If your cabinet has adjustable shelves then remove the second to last shelf, if they are not adjustable you will need to use the jigsaw to cut down the center of the shelf and then use a hammer to loosen it.
- Finally you want to attach the 22 � by 15 by � inch wood to the bottom shelf using wood screws. If you drill a 1 � inch hole into either the side or bottom of the cabinet it will serve as an access hole to the socket of the microwave and viola you have just successfully created a shelf for your microwave out of a regular cabinet.
Why not Try this do it yourself Microwave Shelf?
Where there’s a will there’s a way and really good instructions to boot. Either one of these two methods would be a great option to building your own microwave shelf, they are relatively safe (if you know what you are doing) and do not take up much time. They can also save you a lot of money in terms of buying a ready made microwave cabinet or shelf or hiring someone to build it for you and then the cost of having it installed. These detailed instructions will set you on the right path for clearing the clutter in your kitchen and it would make a great weekend project which will have your spouse and friends admiring your workmanship so why not give it a try?