FREDDE vs. JERKER

The Fredde desk is the most comparable computer desk currently available from Ikea. But how similar is the Fredde to the Jerker?

Here are the basic Ikea Fredde dimensions:

Width 55 1/8″ (140 cm) up to 72 7/8″ (185 cm)
Depth 29 1/8″ (74 cm)
Height 57 1/2″ (146 cm)

Ikea Fredde dimensions

Here are the vanilla Ikea Jerker (version 2) dimensions:

Width 49 5/8″ (126 cm)
Depth 35 3/8″ (90 cm)
Height 56 3/4″ (144 cm)

Basic Jerker Version 2 dimensions

You will note that the basic Jerker doesn’t include the “Swing Shelves” (aka the Hinged Printer Shelves). They were optional, not stock, so I haven’t included them in this contest.

The stock Fredde comes with two 22.5cm wide “small shelves” that are relocatable either “inside or outside the side panels” This accounts for the variable width of the Fredde.

Results:

Who’s taller?
Assuming you have no height extenders, available option for the Jerker, the Fredde is 2cm taller.

Who’s deeper?
The Jerker is 16cm deeper than the Fredde.

Who’s wider?
Whether the side shelves are deployed outside or inside the side panels, the stock Fredde is wider than the Jerker by a minimum of 14cm (up to 59cm).

What else?
The Fredde has some very appealing features. It is wider and shallower (the Jerker was designed in the CRT era whereas the Fredde was designed to allow two 24inch “flat screen monitors”). The Fredde is lighter. It comes with two “small shelves” suitable for holding speakers. It is available at Ikea right now. It only comes in black. It has cupholders.

The Jerker, like the Fredde had a “contoured…top [that] allows you to sit close and supports your wrists and forearms”, but it came in multiple colours than the Fredde (including Black, Beech, Birch, and White) and is completely height-adjustable.

The Jerker can also be converted to a standing desk, whereas the mutability of the Fredde is limited to just being able to move the two included side shelves up and down or removing the top shelf to accommodate a vertically oriented monitor. Both the Fredde and the Jerker are made from steel and melamine covered fiberboard. But, the Jerker is heavy duty. Yet, even though it isn’t available at Ikea anymore, it is still very available on secondary markets (like Craigslist) due to it’s near indestructibility. The Fredde has built-in cupholders. The Jerker does not have cupholders.

Further considerations:
The Fredde comes with two raised lower shelves, suitable for holding both a mid-to-large desktop computer and a comparably large box, like a subwoofer. The Jerker had no such dedicated shelves, but had many separately sold accessories (all interlockable like LEGO) and many are still available on the secondary market.

Aesthetics:

Basic desks… everything is normal…
Fredde and Jerker - basic setups

When a Fredde goes crazy… you lose some side panels
a Fredde

When a Jerker goes crazy… you lose your mind
Jerker

Foot’s Adjustable Chair-Couch – the ultimate sitting desk from 100 years ago

Foot's Adjustable Chair-Couch

Foot’s was a London, England based furniture company that flourished 100 years ago. Seen above is their most Jerker-y creation – the patented “Burlington” model “Adjustable Chair-Couch”. Advertised as a gentleman’s chair, in 1912, and then as as the ultimate “Xmas Gift” for the “Sick and Wounded” at the start of World War I, this chair-couch has absolutely everything you’d want from a modern non-desk desk except for a USB port.

Here’s their ad from a 1914 issue of THE STRAND MAGAZINE:

Foot's Adjustable Chair-Couch

And I managed to track down a couple of photos of a worn but still complete “Burlington” model Chair-Desk a century after it’s manufacture, and here they are:

"Foot's Adjustable Chair Couch" BURLINGTON

With three swing out surfaces, basically a flat work surface, a round drink tray, and a adjustable angle book reading (or drawing) stand Foot’s Burlington model has everything you need for working from a chair/couch.

Quick cable management for Ikea Jerker (Version 2) desks

A reader writes in with his own solution to cable management on the Ikea Jerker (Version 2) desks. Here are Cheruscii’s two beech beasts.

Both Desktops - Ikea Jerker (Version2)

His cable management solution employs  wire shelves like those used in closets attached under the desktop. This allows quick additions, modifications,  and subtractions disposable zip ties.

Undersides - Ikea Jerker (Version2)

Cheruscii also uses pipe clips on the legs to secure cables (but with only one bolt so as to make it easy to run new wires or remove old ones).

Pipe Clips - Ikea Jerker (Version2)

Smart!

mounting a Powramid power center to an IKEA JERKER

Even though I’ve attached a massive 12 port power strip (measuring four feet long) to the bottom of each of my Ikea Jerkers, I’m still always finding myself in need of handier task based power.

Luckily, a few years ago I bought a few of the Powramid “power centers” – these are basically power strips with integrated surge protectors in the shape of a 6 sided pyramid.

Powramid in use on an Ikea Jerker desktop

Like most power strips the Powramid comes with a couple of basic secure points on the base. I fiddled around with these a bit, trying different sizes of bolts and wingnuts, until I managed to mount one to my Ikea Jerker standing desk. Here’s how I did it:

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 1

The Powramids I bought were made by a company called Kreative Power, but it appears they are now being made by a company called Accell Cables. Here’s  look at the bottom of one of them:

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 2

I used a small bolt and a wingnut to attach one side in a desktop test.

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 4

Then, I did it for real, securing a Powramid to a leg in combination with a single ziptie.

attaching a Powramid to an Ikea Jerker - step 3

And I assume you’d like to see how secure it is so here’s what it looks like on video:

a look at the Ikea Jerker height extension connectors

The Ikea Jerker height extension kit came with two of these, item number “106213” as it was called in the official Ikea Jerker version 1 instructions manual.

Ikea Jerker Connectors (from a version 1 desk)

Here are three scans of a version 2 connector (from the side, the front and a bottom):

Ikea Jerker height extension connector Version 2

Ikea Jerker height extension connector Version 2

Ikea Jerker height extension connector Version 2

In either case they have nearly the same dimensions and are designed to allow you to add leg extensions for added top shelf verticality. For the version 2 Ikea Jerker desk, two came with every box that looked like this:

Ikea Jerker Version 2 Height Extension Kit (and Top Shelf)erkerbox2

As Jerkers themselves become harder and harder to find it is the little things, like these plastic connectors (and the hard to find bolts that inspired this website), that get even more scarce.

So, with this post I am documenting the size, shape, and design of the “106213” connector. I hope this will be useful for the 3d printing crowd, and/or for an experienced woodworker to maybe play around with.

Ikea Jerker height extension connector piece dimensions

The original “height extension connector” (aka the “106213”) is made of polyproploene plastic (that’s number 5 on the recycling chart), and is basically a hollow box with exterior dimensions of the interior of a Jerker leg.

When properly placed, the height extension connector can be pushed down into the top of a leg until the connector reaches its halfway point where when what I’m calling the “lip” will prevent it from going too far down. Then, eight nuts, previously placed into both ends of the connector can be bolted into place and provide a secure and mostly wobble free upper story (or two) to your Ikea Jerker (btw, it may be the case that newer version 2 connectors have a more wobble free design – but I have not done enough studies to confirm this).

As you can see with the bottom view of my illustration (pictured above) there hollow “racecar” shape on the inside of the version 1 (and a kind of boxier version in the version 2). Harder to see, in my digital reconstruction, are the chamfered edges at the top and bottom that allow the connector to start easy.

You may also have noted some suspicious-looking packing tape placed over the ends of the black extension connectors. These are my own idea, with the intention of preventing my nuts from falling out and running down my leg.

Yeah, you can laugh, but this is serious Jerker life, and I’ve had my nuts fall down my legs (perhaps because the old polypropylene retainers have been aging).

Anyway, to avoid your own nut loss I recommend you place a piece of packing tape on the bottom of your own connectors (but be sure to puncture the holes you’ve covered up with the tape so as to make it easier for your bolts to screw into the nuts).

In addition, here is the proper placement from the instructional cutaway:

Height Extension Connector Instructions from the Ikea Jerker version 1 manual

In case you were wondering, life without extension connectors gets very complicated and less space efficient, looking something like this:

heightening an Ikea Jerker without plastic connectors

For more on how I did this hack, look at my post entitled Heightening Your Ikea Jerker The Hard Way.

How to add casters to your Ikea Jerker – PART 1: Drilling and Mounting

Do you sometimes need to drag your Jerker away from the wall to get at the your desk’s cords and cables? We do too. But a cool Jerker owner doesn’t just drag his Jerker around, he glides it.

I spotted this ever so slightly modded Ikea Jerker version 1 on Craigslist a while back – but honestly – I don’t think it would work. Those casters look like they were stolen from some cheap plastic cart or some cheap plastic chair.

A Jerker with casters?

If you’re going to go Jerker, I say go steel and go big. To that end, this post, the first of three, is designed to get your Jerker up on casters.

To follow our design you will need four casters, two with brakes like the one in the image below. The two casters with the foot-activated stoppers go on the front of the Jerker, the other two, simple free-wheeling casters, go on the back. The casters we used in the post are 3″ in diameter, 1 1/8″ wide, and rated for 180 lbs each. Following our formula, you will also need eight 3 1/2″ steel bolts, eight matching nuts, and eight lock washers. You local hardware store should have everything you need. The pictured caster costs $16Can each up here in the Great White North.

Do not try to thread the Jerker’s legs to attach the casters as the leg metal is too thin and soft. I tried and it immediately stripped the threads tightening the bolt.

You’ll want to drill straight through the bottom and then the top of the leg. After the first hole has been drilled, attach the caster with a bolt and nut. Then drill through one of the holes in the caster’s plate, from the bottom. You drill from the bottom via the caster to ensure the bolt will fit in case your drill bit wanders. Once the hole has been started you will need to remove the caster to be able to drill all the way through.

If you are unable to drill all the way through you can use a center punch so that your drill bit does not wander. Remember to measure twice.

This is what your typical steel bolt looks like.

And here is one of many types of lock washer.

 

Here you can see my drill bit barely getting through the second side of the leg. You should try to get the holes to be as snug as possible. If you are unsure of your bits and bolts do a test drilling through some scrap lumber. This scene is after I have drilled a hole guided by the hole in the caster’s base; only the bottom of the metal leg needs to have the holes match perfectly.

And here is the first caster bolted on. Note that the nuts are on the bottom side, out of the way, with lock washers.

Remember to put the two casters with brakes on the front. Lock washers keep the nuts from getting loose and falling off of the bolts. It is bad form to have a wobbly Jerker (even if you’re not British).

 

 

Yep, this is what a metal drill bit looks like. Do not forget safety glasses if you don’t wear glasses.

 

 

Here is one leg with casters, yep kinda ugly. I advise mounting the casters on the inside so that they won’t hit anything, such as a wall or toe. The Jerker leg moves fine on thick carpet with me standing on the leg.

 

These two drill bits are for wood only, and will not work on metal.

 

Here are some cement drill bits, yes, just for cement.

No casters were harmed in the making of this post.

Why I switched from Ikea Jerker Version 1 to Version 2

My last Ikea Jerker Version 1 desk

When I started using Ikea Jerkers (or collecting them might be a better way of putting it) I started with the Version 1. I paid $200 for it and collected about five or six (or maybe seven) after that. I ultimately settled on the “birch” coloured one, in part because I liked it better, in part because it’s legs always came in grey (the same colour as all version 2 legs). But at some point in my Jerker journey I decided to make the switch from Version 1 to Version 2. And here’s why:

Ikea Jerker version 1 desktop sitting upside down on a version 2 desktop

That’s my old Ikea Jerker version 1 desktop sitting inverted atop my then new first version 2 desktop. Can you see the size difference? The version 2 is wider and deeper.

I loved the pull out arms of the Version 1. [btw, the big drill hole at the center of the back of the Version 1 desktop was my addition and not a built in feature]

Ikea Jerker Version 1, arms extended and inverted on top of an Ikea Jerker Version 2

But, as you can see, while they get you closer to the desk (and look awesome) when they’re extended they don’t ultimately increase your desktop area as much as the Version 2 can.

Further, the Version 1 legs are somewhat troublesome (being both shorter and deeper) they take up valuable floorspace and don’t offer as much secure verticality as the Version 2 legs.

Check out one of my 2013 Version 1 builds (below) and note how close to the desktop the top of the leg ends are and how it thus requires more extensions and more connections (and thus more concomitant floppiness).

My 2013 Ikea Jerker Version 1 setup

Have a look at the replacement, my first Version 2 just as I was setting up and note the increased desktop space. [BTW, just to it’s left is a hybrid construction connecting multiple Ikea Jerker 1 shelves with a pair of Ikea Jerker Version 2 legs]

My first Ikea Jerker Version 2 build

I love the version one, but can see little reason to actually use it myself. Do you have a story regarding your preference for the Version 1 to the Version 2 or vice versa?

A modern monitor setup the Ikea Jerker desk (version 2)

Ikea Jerker VERSION 1 with CRTs

The Ikea Jerker was designed in the days of CRTs – you remember, those big heavy deep monitors that cost a ton and weighed a ton – in fact, the Jerker version 1 came with the a 45cm (17.7 inches) deep monitor shelf – that thing is designed to withstand 100lb monster 27″ CRTs! The version 1 add-on shelf and all version 2 shelves are a much more sensible 35cm (13.7 inches) deep. Designed for LCDs, they’re also able to hold hard drives, staplers, and earbuds. But, I’m of the school that monitors should hang, not rest. And though big is good, maybe biggest isn’t best.

I’ve had my Jerkers set up in many configurations, the biggest being with three side monitors (a combination of Samsung 23″ and 24″) and one big Viewsonic 27″. But in my constant quest for the perfect Jerker workstation I’ve come up with a pretty terrific combination (at least for me).

I used a combination of an LG 34″ Ultrawide model 34UM65 (pictured as “1” in landscape mode on the left) and a tiny 16″ ACER X163W widescreen (pictured as “2” in portrait mode on the right).

My sit-down Jerker setup:

Photo of Ikea Jerker MONITOR setup (workstation)

And because it worked so well I actually replicated the exact setup for my Jerker standing desk:

a photo of MY MONITOR setup on my Ikea Jerker standing desk

With the monitors mentioned, and mounted on the slightly modded Vista vesa mounts, I get enough clearance on the left, top, right, and bottom for ventilation, re positioning (a rare occurrence), and the mounting of lights and swing arms on the legs to left and right. Here’s a little map:

Ikea Jerker (Version 2) Monitor Positioning Map

A = 9.5cm (4 inches) clearance
B = 2.5cm (1 inch) clearance
C = 4cm (1½ inches) clearance
D = 5cm (2 inches) clearance

But there are other ways to go. For example, here’s The Geek Redneck’s giant 40″ 4k tv sitting on his Ikea Jerker Version 2:

40" TV on a Ikea Jerker (Version 2)

And an accompanying video:

Personally, I think that screen is too close. The speakers have no room. And there’s no room for that essential second monitor.

So tell me, I’m curious, how have you maximized your Jerker monitor setup?