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I want to mount a microwave under a cabinet and I have selected the GE model that will work (the cabinet is quite shallow, so the depth was important).

The problem is that GE produces two nearly identical microwaves: JEM3072SHSS and JES1072SHSS, the difference is that the JEM model says it has an "optional hanging kit available" and the JES model does not.

The JEM model is $70 more at retail than the JES model, plus I'd have to buy the hanging kit separately, and it is also pricey ($50+ for basically, some hardware), so obviously, I'd prefer to go with the other model that is just under $100. The JES model also has holes on top (according to the product picture).

My questions:

  • Can't I just make my own template and attach the microwave to the cabinet with heavy duty machine screws, washers and nuts that I purchase myself?
  • If that is indeed the case, wouldn't the head of the bolt have to go on the inside of the microwave and come out the top to be screwed into the underside of the cabinet?

I thought you weren't supposed to put metal in a microwave, so how do these mounting kits get away with that issue? Will that be an issue for me if I carry out the above plan and DIY my own "mounting kit"?

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    I would expect the bolts go into the part of the microwave outside the part where stuff cooks? The section where the electronics and stuff are. Doesn't your microwave have two separate layers of metal on the top and bottom of the cooking part? – user253751 Mar 5 at 10:18
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    Providing pictures and/or links to the installation instructions will help people help you interpret them. Also, while the two models may be functionally identical, there may be differences in the cabinet construction that allow one to be hung from the top while the other may not be designed to do so. – FreeMan Mar 5 at 13:02
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    Ventilation may be an issue. Cabinet-mounted microwaves (usually) vent entirely from the front, whilst others vent from the rear. – SiHa Mar 5 at 13:13
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    @SiHa a plethora of them vent out of the top and have duct running through cabinet into attic and out the roof – Kris Mar 5 at 13:59
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    @Kris - Fair enough. Not the ones I've seen, which is admittedly not many, to be honest. But even that is essentially the same thing, they are designed specifically to allow them to be fitted in a cabinet. The cheaper option may not be. – SiHa Mar 5 at 14:03
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Yes, you could build this yourself. It wouldn't be easy for someone without metal fabrication tools and knowledge on hand, but it could certainly be done. You'd want to try and procure the templates, which often have location dimensions printed on them.

It's worth mentioning that third-party manufacturers have made it available for barely half the price you quoted. Unless you have a lot of time and ambition, that seems the prudent route. Part #JXA019K.

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  • @MikeSchroedel, that probably should've been posted elsewhere. It's not related to my answer. – isherwood Mar 5 at 15:26
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I bought the $170 one. Then I picked up a few different size bolts at the hardware store, if I remember correctly the threads are metric. Tried them to see what size the thread was on the top of the microwave. Once I determined what thread they were I screwed one in by hand to see how far it would go in. Then I calculated how long a screw I would need based on the thickness of the cabinet.

Since you have the microwave you can make a template using the top of the microwave. As far as mounting the microwave the screws go through the cabinet down into the top of the microwave. Just drill holes in the cabinet using your template and screw from the top. Use some finishing or countersunk washers.

For me it was no big deal because I'm at the hardware store once or twice a week so I didn't have to go out of my way. Most of your time will be spent trying to determine where to drill the mounting holes. Can't comment whether the $100 microwave will work but if it has the mounting holes and there's no vent on top I don't see why it won't.

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If this will be above a cooktop you should only buy a microwave designed for that location and install it exactly according to instructions.

Otherwise an easy way to "hang" a regular microwave is to build or buy a hanging shelf for it. You might find that attaching a wood shelf to a wood cabinet is an easier DIY project than modifying the metal casing of a microwave oven. Then you just place the microwave on the shelf the way it was intended.

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Thanging MW hanging MW 2

A hanging system can be easily mounted with standard parts for less money.

The microwave in the picture is hung and clamped with 4 threaded rods, 4 wooden bars + 2 wooden bars for the tray clamp, washers and nuts.

And 5 U - shape steel rods are used which are normally meant for wall shelves. The rear lower U rod is extended and serves as kitchen rail.

Since many MW have their weight concentrated near the transformer, it is important to check if a double-U rod ( 2 put one above the other ) is needed like in this case, where 80% weight force is near the front right side.

This solution is flexible and can be adapted to any other MW in short time - if it is not too big to block the vent room.

The tray clamp is handy for cleaning/brushing the MW and can be used as 3rd hand when handling hot plates.

The power is switchable by an independent net power switch, since some MWs need more energy in stand by (clock display etc.) then for cooking. And for safety reason.

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I am on my second microwave (MW) that i have mounted with this DIY hack.

I took some aluminum angle stock and cut it to length to make 2 brackets. I drilled holes through it and then taped it in place on the sides of the microwave (leaving enough space on top for a wood runner,) so i could mark the hole locations on the side of the MW case. I drilled the holes in the MW and attached the angle stock to the MW with sheet metal screws.

I cut a piece of hardwood scrap (oak) in to 2 strips and used a table saw to cut a slot/dado wide enough and deep enough for the aluminum brackets. I measured the distance between the brackets and mounted the runners on the underside of my cabinets.

This set up allows me to slide the MW back or forward to my liking or remove it if i need to.

I could have sanded and finished the oak but, I do not have to accommodate anybody else's sense of aesthetics.

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