Counter Attack

by Cait

Our kitchen is small.  Small and u-shaped.  Thankfully for us, some former homeowners had built an addition so that the tiny eat in kitchen had slightly more counter space and a weird shaped spot in the cabinets left by moving the fridge further to the right and adding a pantry.  Unfortunately we had pretty much filled up the extra space with a microwave and a toaster oven.

microwave situation beforeAlso unfortunately I didn’t take a better before picture, but as you can see, this wasn’t working.
And it was probably a fire hazard (thankfully we didn’t use the toaster oven much).

We saw a microwave shelf built to hold a counter top microwave in the Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen Idea File book that we got from the bargain book section of Barnes&Noble and decided to build one.  We went to Lowe’s with a loose plan & some measurements and left with a 1×12 board we’d had cut to fit to save time, threaded rod, nuts and washers to construct the shelf.  Robert was excited because he was going to get to use his new Ryobi reciprocating saw to cut the threaded rod.  Sorry, I forgot to take picture of the power tool action, I was busy being distracted by Robert’s ripply muscles holding the threaded rod for Robert.

First we lightly sanded and primed the board.  Then we measured to see where the rods would need to go through the bottom of the cabinet above in order to still go through the board and marked. Then we drilled holes in the board and the cabinet, cut the threaded rod fourths (because we weren’t sure how low we wanted the shelf) and test fit everything.

test fitHere you can see that we needed to take everything back apart and cut a little more off the threaded rod.

Note: before you cut your rods to the right length you’ll want to make sure that everything level and then mark where to cut.

Then after that, we actually stopped for a while, because it was raining and we couldn’t put the white coat on the board.  When it was dry enough to paint without asphyxiating ourselves by painting in the shed, we just unscrewed the nuts holding the board up and took the board out to paint.  We also painted the washers that went on the top side of the board to make them blend in a little better.

almost doneHey lookie there, a shelf!

Then the only thing left to do after that was to check again to make sure it’s level, and move the microwave onto the shelf and clean up.  And then maybe celebrate by making some microwave popcorn.

moving back in

I should add that we were able to make this work because our microwave is light. If your microwave is heavier you may need to use thicker, stronger rods, or attach it to the cabinet above somehow other than with nuts and washers.


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