Another Win for the Humans

Today started with more brute force. Our BG friend could only come in the afternoon today, so Richard and I did what we could with the cabinet project without him. This was everything up to removing the microwave. For that we would need our buddy, because I have back issues and cannot lift 75 pounds. Yes. I said 75 pounds. Our Samsung convection-microwave weighs 75 freaking pounds. That’s good to know.

After breakfast, Richard took another look at the situation. He figured that maybe we could force the cabinet wall past the attachment block and back into place using the stair support we’d worked into it yesterday. We used a screwdriver to guide it past the block, and inserted a two pieces of 2×1 placed on the top and the bottom of the stair support to protect the bottom of the cabinet and the counter-top.

With much grunting and effort, we managed to screw it up into place. The cabinet was more or less in the proper position, and we’d managed to wedge it past the attachment block. Now we had to wait until our BG friend was available to help, because the next step in the process was to remove the microwave.

Once our buddy arrived, we prepared to move the microwave. The guys decided that they could lower the microwave onto the counter (we placed a piece of plywood on top of the counter so that we didn’t damage the range cover), but that they didn’t want to have to move the microwave any further than that. We found a box in storage in the bays that was just the right size to lower the microwave enough to be able to access the attachment block. It was my job to get the box into place once the microwave was loose.

Getting the microwave loose was no easy task. It was installed by tipping it forward and hooking it on a bracket in the back, then levering it up into place and securing it with another bracket on the top, with the weight distributed with two wooden trim pieces on either side below the microwave.

First the trim pieces needed to come off. There were attached with trim nails as well as glue. The tricky part of this task was to get the trim pieces off without breaking them, since they were going to go back on after everything was finished (with brass screws so that they could be removed easier if we ever had to take out the microwave again).

We were prepared for the contingency that the microwave might drop or need to be supported once the trim pieces were removed, so we placed our Firehouse Subs pickle bucket below it just in case. The guys carefully pried the trim pieces off the cabinet cases. The microwave stayed in place. Then we removed the bracket on the top of the microwave. It stayed in place. At this point the rear bracket was supporting the entire weight of the microwave.

With that much pressure on the bracket, it was impossible to tilt the front of the microwave down so we could lift the back off the bracket. Our friend from BG came up with the solution – to use a screwdriver (the same we used that morning to wedge the cabinet past the attachment block) to bend the attachment points towards the wall, freeing them.

This approach worked, and the guys lifted the microwave off the rear bracket while I switched the bucket out for the box. The box supported the weight of the microwave, which allowed Richard to access the attachment block.

The block was full of ten staples, and was splitting where the staples were inserted. After another trip to the hardware store, the guys came back with a new block for attaching and securing the cabinet (this one made of oak, a denser wood and therefore less prone to splitting), brackets to attach the cabinet to the back wall behind the microwave (for a second attachment point), and various screws.

They removed the attachment block (which had been held on with one screw — one screw, folks, that’s all that was securing that side of the cabinet to the ceiling), replaced it, then secured the cabinet to the new block. After installing the brackets where the cabinet met the wall behind the microwave, the cabinet felt rock solid in its position.

Returning the microwave to it’s position was easier than removing it, and the trim pieces went back in, this time with screws that matched the rest of the fittings in the coach. With the microwave freshly secured, and all the trim pieces back in place, everything worked as advertised: the microwave door opened all the way again, and the annoying sound the fan used to make when the microwave was placed on convection also stopped (bonus!).

We celebrated our triumph over cabinet and microwave with fabulous Myles Pizza. This place was awesome! Highly recommended, but I’m a little tired tonight so I’ll write about it’s glory tomorrow.

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