Magnetron! The Word of the Week

Monday, walking home from work, I passed a microwave sitting a top a trash can in an alley. Things like washing machines and microwaves = Metal Scrapper paradise. Or if you're me, new home appliance paradise. We had a microwave, almost brand new, in the box that my dad gave us. He had pulled it off a job, O, I don't know, 20 years ago? That classic was a GE model, 1990. An over the oven unit too, which means it was the size of a small Buick. Sitting on my counter. We do plan on purchasing the microwave of all microwaves someday, when we do our kitchen remodel. We don't want to put a lot of money into one before then so we've been happy with our free, functional, albeit mammoth, model.

1990 Microwave
As I passed the alley microwave I thought, "O, what I'd give to have a smaller microwave. It probably doesn't work, that's why it's out for trash. But it might...?" I was about 10 steps past it when I turned around and hefted it up into my arms. It was heavier than I imagined, but home was 3 blocks away. So I went for it, reasoning if it didn't work it would just go back into the alley.

2008 Alley Microwave
My husband got in trouble at the age of 6 for taking apart his dad's electric drill, because he "wanted to see how it worked." If something doesn't work, his mantra is, figure out why, then evaluate if you can fix it. Then, and only then, do you decide if something should be thrown away. He quickly found that the magnetron had a cracked magnet, which made the alley microwave a complete dud. (Side note: magnetron is the coolest word ever. I don't know how I've lived 30 years not knowing such a thing existed. It just sounds so fanciful and old-timey. But it's real!! And makes complete sense once I read what it was: a magnet and electrons, generating microwaves. Magnetron. Easy. For whatever reason, this new realization, that magnetrons live among us, completely made my day.) A new magnetron would be $40 and I vetoed it. There was no point in spending money on a part for a working microwave when we already had a working microwave.

But when I came home from work the next day I found the Buick on the floor, gutted. The 2008 GE was sitting on the kitchen table, also gutted. I quickly realized my husband opted not to buy a new magnetron, but instead use one we already had, from a 25 year old machine. (WARNING: This job was extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone...besides my husband. He told me later that if I knew how dangerous it was I probably wouldn't have let him do it. I feel like that could apply to about 40% of the things men do for fun.)

Good as new

The first run shorted out almost immediately. But after a few adjustments she came to life. In a matter of hours, I had an 18 years younger, smaller, wonderfully efficient microwave sitting on my counter. I'm afraid my husband has only further cemented my assumption that there is nothing he can't fix. I couldn't stop thanking him! I didn't even know I needed a joy boost this week but this new beauty was somehow wind in my sails. The counter looks so much more open! I love order and clean spaces. And I love watching my husband merge old and new to bring things to life. I am a thankful, ridiculously lucky girl.


Popular Posts