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.

6 thoughts on “How to add casters to your Ikea Jerker – PART 1: Drilling and Mounting”

  1. I just added some casters to mine and I’m really happy with them. I used these:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M69AN3J/

    but if I did it again I think I might order these ones instead, since I don’t need to lock the rears
    https://www.amazon.com/Saim-Shopping-Trolley-Swivel-Caster/dp/B01LXRT81R/

    They certainly don’t have to same load capacity as the ones listed here, so keep that in mind, but 66 lbs per wheel is more than sufficient for my needs. They’re the same threading as the feet, so I just screwed them right in.

    1. I went this route on my IKEA Jerker Printer Stand – Bought 4 casters from Home Depot – https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-2-in-Threaded-Stem-with-Brake-Non-Marking-Rubber-Caster-4031245EB/203672395 . I then went over to the hardware section and figured out what size the threads were (3/8″ x 16) and purchased the correct tap – https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-5-16-in-Black-Oxide-Drill-and-3-8-in-x-16-NC-Steel-Tap-Set-DWA1414/204787206 . I took the 4 feet out of the Printer Stand and drilled and tapped new threads in the existing IKEA bolts that the feet were in. Took about an hour, but a super, super clean looking finish. Hardest part was taking everything off the Printer Stand and putting everything back on when I was done.

  2. A better type of wheel to add to a Jerker is a “Kingpin Caster”. It does not have a flat mounting plate on top of the wheel like the wheel you used on your Jerker.

    A “Kingpin Caster” uses one large bolt through the top of the wheel housing which is mounted through the Jerker leg. Use a lock washer and a cap nut on the top of the Jerker leg for a finished look.

    1. I just checked the wheels I put on my Jerker version-1 carts. I noted I put a large flat washer, then a lock washer and finally a cap nut on the bolt coming from the “Hollow Kingpin Caster” through the bottom and top of the Jerker leg. The front two casters were “Total Locking” casters (250 pound capacity Faultless Casters) meaning when you lock the wheel it does not roll or swivel.

      Using a flat washer between the lock washer and Jerker metal leg prevents crushing or denting the Ikea leg. (I used an 1 inch diameter, 1/8 inch thick industrial grade flat washer not the paper-thin washers sold at do-it-yourself centers.) I also note the lock washer is also a thick industrial grade piece.

      The wheels were installed in the early 1990s on two new Jerker version-1 computer desks. The Jerkers were used as rolling computer carts for nearly twenty-five years and are still in excellent condition.

  3. Looks like a Version 2, and they’ve swapped out the side frames from a Jerker printer stand. You can tell because the feet are so short compared to the length/width of the desk. Not the sturdiest setup, leaning on the front of the desk area could tip it over. Anyways, the printer stand comes with those cheap plastic casters, which Ikea also slaps on various other pieces of furniture. They definitely suck.

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