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Of course this happened on the very last step... I am trying to install an over-the-range microwave. I've got it hanging on the bracket that attached to the back wall. All I need to do now is bolt the top front to the upper cabinet. But the ****** bolt hole is stripped on one of them. The bolt will go all the way in but never catch enough to hold the microwave's weight. Tge bolt itself is fine. The other hole works like it should, too.

I thought about attaching a nut that fits the bolt onto the top of the microwave with epoxy but whether or not it would really stick seems like a gamble. I also thought about cutting a small notch into the side, slipping in a nut epoxied to a washer and positioning them under the hole where the bolt should enter. That also seems risky since there's a chance I'd cut something I shouldn't or that the washer and nut would fall someplace I couldn't reach. A third option would be to drill a home in to the side cabinet and insert a screw through there but that would also entail drilling into the microwave. I really don't want this thing crashing down on to the oven!

Thanks in advance.

The problem. The stripped nut is inside the microwave casing.

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Get a bigger bolt/screw. Can't really see from the photo what that bolt is screwing into but a larger diameter bolt should work. If it's sheet metal get a sheet metal screw which may require you to drill the hole slightly larger. If there's a threaded nut in there then go up one size on the bolt and drill and tap the nut for the larger bolt. As a last resort you may be able to just drill a new hole in the cover panel and use a sheet metal screw. There may be a frame inside that the original bolt fastens to so the cover panel might not be a structural portion of the microwave and may sag a little.

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If the microwave is under warranty then get a replacement telling them it's a manufacturing defect, if not then you can do what you want with it so my course of action would be to remove the cover and see what my options are. The metal covers on microwaves are generally pretty easy to get off, a few screws and they slide off, getting them back on is the reverse process. Working with the cover on is challenging because you don't want metal shavings getting into the electronics or tools to damage it while you're working.

I like your nut on the underside idea, it's simple and the least work once you have the cover off, unless you can borrow a tap and die set and re-cut the thread. You could try that with the cover on of course, however small shavings of metal will get into the microwave from that, which could lead to a short. Epoxy on the top is not a great course because it's probably painted, you'd be gluing onto the paint instead of metal, so you'd want to sand a clean surface if you tried that. It might hold or it might not, and if it were me I'd be constantly worried it was going to drop on me.

There are other options, for instance a toggle bolt:

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If you can find one of these that's small enough to fit through the hole, and if there's enough space behind the hold you could push one it through and use it to hold it up, just be aware you wouldn't be able to get it back out again without taking the cover off. Personally I'd use that as a last option, my first would be to get the cover off, just be careful about your own safety around the electronics.

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I like the idea of replacing the oven under Warr. If you can't hang the oven safely than it is not really an eye-level oven. As an honorable mention: install small corbels under the unit connected to the side cabinets; small hard wood blocks stained to match, etc.

  • Thanks for all the ideas. I wish it were still under warranty! I didn't realize the cover could come off. I think I'll try to open it and see what's under there, and if possible replace the bolt hole. I also like the corbel idea (didn't know they were called that), as it seems the easiest of the options. I'll have to look for some metal ones since this is above the oven. – Eden Dec 8 '17 at 19:04
  • I ended up taking the cover off, attaching some nuts using epoxy to the underside of the top cover, then mounting the microwave. It wasn't that hard to do. However I wish I had used a toggle bolt like Platinum Goose suggested. The nuts ended up coming disconnected (but still on the bolts) so when/if I have to take the microwave down I'll have to cut them out (I can't just pull them up while unscrewing them for some reason). – Eden Sep 30 '18 at 16:02
  • Important: if you do remove the microwave cover be sure to discharge the capacitor inside before doing anything else. Even if it's not plugged in the capacitor holds enough change to kill you. You can find how-to's on that on YouTube. – Eden Sep 30 '18 at 16:02

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