Heightening Your Ikea Jerker the Hard way

In the old days you could just walk into an Ikea store and buy an extra Jerker shelf along with two metal extenders, two plastic joiners in a box and a bunch of bolts. Those days are long gone, now you have to grow your Jerker the hard way.

Ikea Jerker shelf with extensions accessory The leg extensions came in two sizes, 13″ or 16″,  I’m not sure which size went with which Jerker version as it was before I joined the “Jerker” cult. You could say I am still drinking the Kool-Aid. The 13″ extender has 9 bolt holes, while the 16″ extender has 11 bolt holes.

Two Ikea Jerker leg extensions holding up a very high shelfSince I didn’t have any plastic joining pieces I opted to heighten my Ikea Jerker by using two sets of extenders. The downside with this method is the number of bolts, 4 bolts on each side for a total of 8.

The dark extender is 16″ tall, whilst the light extender is a mere 13″ in length. I used wing nuts to ensure the six foot high shelf can hold a lot of weight.

Note that the bolts are offset by one in a diagonal fashion, this serves to strengthen the joint, but alas, comes with a doubling up of bolt holes.

 

Make Your Own Ikea Jerker Shelves

Do you need a place for all your USB hard drives that is close and easy to access on your Ikea Jerker? How about making your own shelf, for about $10, with two Ikea’s Ekby Töre brackets.

Ekby Tor table top bracket

The Ekby Töre tightens with a very small hex key from below onto your Jerker desktop. You will also need two small wood screws for each bracket, four total, to fasten the wood to the bracket.

 

Ekby Jarpen/Ekby Tore combination set of a shelf with 2 brackets

If you want the sleek Ikea look, instead of using some scrap wood, for $20, you can get a nice shelf along with two brackets and save yourself some time with the Ekby Järpen/Ekby Töre combo.

Two USB hard drives on a shelf at the back of an Ikea Jerker desktop held up by two Ekby Tore brackets

I scoured the “as-is” aisle at Ikea again and got this nice piece of wood, for a dollar, to put my USB hard drives onto.

 

A monitor hiding a shelf on the back of an Ikea Jerker

With the monitor, on a swing arm, the shelf is out of mind but ready for quick use if need be.

 

Side Shelf for Ikea Jerker Desk

When I wake up I eat cereal and drink coffee in front of my Ikea Jerker desk as I read the online news. I try not to spill but I am human, so I decided to make a side shelf take all the abuse instead.

Mounted side shelf on an Ikea Jerker desk

The side shelf is mounted on the right side of the Jerker, and is easily strong enough to eat bacon and eggs on. I got the curved piece of wood in the “as-is” aisle at Ikea. Color doesn’t match though.

Bottom of side shelf mounted to Ikea Jerker desk, showing five holding bolts

Underneath the shelf there are five bolts holding up the shelf. The screws are threaded into the supporting metal of the Ikea Jerker desk with a tap.

To ensure everything lines up

  1. drill a small hole through the wood shelf that will accept the correct tap for bolt thread
  2. drill a small hole through the just drilled hole, as a guide, into the bottom of the metal support bar
  3. thread hole in metal
  4. drill the small hole in the wood shelf slightly larger to enable bolt to slide through without resistance
  5. mount wood shelf with ALL previously drilled holes with bolts threaded into the metal support onto the Jerker desk
  6. repeat at step one

 

USB Powered Hubs on a Jerker

I used to plug-in all my USB devices straight into my computer, until it wouldn’t boot anymore because of lack of power. My tiny Shuttle would just sit there with a black screen until I unplugged some of the USB devices stealing all the electricity. The solution was a powered USB hub which does not depend on the CPU for power.

I would recommend at least a 10 bay USB hub as I have gone past 10 devices several times. I have many USB devices, a keyboard, two mice, two phones, headphones, modem, fan, memory sticks, speakers, joystick, and six external hard drives.
Ikea Jerker swing arm with wood for mounting a USB hub

I took the top off of an Ikea Jerker swing shelf and mounted a two by four piece of wood 8 inches long in place of the shelf. Note the two small black screws which hold the USB hub.

 

Active powered USB hub on a Jerker swing arm

Here is the powered up USB hub with a lit up LED for each device to indicate that the device is getting power. You can also quickly shut them all off with a single power switch.

 

 

Hidden powered USB hub on Ikea Jerker swing arm

Now to swing the USB hub out of the way.

 

Long Monitor Mount Arms on an Ikea Jerker

The Long Arm of the Jerker can help you follow the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s ergonomic guidelines.  The preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 40 inches from the eye to the front surface of the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level.

Sideways view of a monitor attached to a Jerker with a long monitor mount

Here are two monitor mounts morphed into a single long arm. The arms come apart and together like Lego with the aid of a hex key. Sometimes holes have to be drilled in the aluminum monitor mount base to match the existing holes in the Jerker leg for fastening.

 

Monitor suspended above Jerker desktop, centered left to right

This monitor is two inches past the center of the Jerker desk, left to right.

Tilting the monitor is easy, however vertical adjustments are predicated on the 1 1/4″ hole spacing on the Jerker legs.

 

Hang Your Head-phones on Your Jerker

A set of headphones hanging on a Jerker desk legWould “layabout” describe your headset? Are its wires tangling with a bad crowd on your Jerker desktop? If so, then consider a hanger, (that is not really a hanger) for your headphones.

An upside down Ikea Kvartal is all you need to keep your desk clear. Banana holders, hangers, and hammocks belong elsewhere.

 

 

An empty headset hanger on an Ikea Jerker desk leg

Basically, any small long bolt will attach the clean looking Kvartal onto a Jerker’s leg.

 

 

 

 

An almost attached Kvartal on the outside of an Ikea Jerker side leg

This closeup shows how the hanger comes apart to hide the fastener. A tightening set-screw on top holds everything together.

 

 

 

 

A Kvartal not attached to a Jerker workstation desk

This is what the Platonic Form
of a Kvartal looks like.

 

Add Custom Drawers to your Ikea Jerker Desk (with Ikea Alex Add-on Unit)

Jerker Desktop with Ike Alex Add-on Unit Mounted Under shelf

Add an Ikea Alex Add-on unit to your Ikea Jerker.

Ikea Alex Add-on UnitAvailable for $50, it fits perfectly between a Jerker’s legs, and is even attachable beneath a Jerker desk shelf!

You’re making a sandwich. The top bun is the grey Jerker PARTICLEBOARD shelf, the bottom bun is the ALEX Add-On Unit, and in between is the steel Jerker STRENGTHENER (the part you bolt to the legs).

How Worked-On Pieces are Portrayed in Line Art Images

Colors in Line Art Drawings:

  • Red – 2 felt marks on each side of the ALEX Add-on Unit for a total of 4 felt marks for lining up
  • Green – Where you drill through metal in the STRENGTHENER, 4 times, and wood in the ALEX Add-on Unit 24 times.
    • Blue – 8 Existing wood screw holes in the PARTICLEBOARD Jerker shelf

IMPORTANT! Before working on the real thing try, drilling and threading with a tap on some test materials first.


First, unbolt a shelf from your desk. Next, unscrew the eight wood screws holding the steel STRENGTHENER to the PARTICLEBOARD shelf. Keep these screws!

Next, line up the assembled ALEX Add-on Unit, upside-down, and flush with the front of the PARTICLEBOARD shelf so you can mark the locations of the existing wood screw holes on both of the ALEX’s sides with red felt.

Position of Wood Screw Holes in Relation to Flush Alex Add-On UnitMarking of holes on Alex's sides to match the existing wood screw holes on the Jerker shelf to keep things straight

Mark on the ALEX’s sides, where the outermost pair of holes are on the PARTICLEBOARD, for a total of four marks. Two on the left, and two on the right.

Now line up the marks on the left Where holes need to be drilled and tapped on the Jerker shelf's metallic strengthenerand right on the ALEX’s sides, with the STRENGTHENER’s holes. Make sure distances X and Y are the same or you will have a crooked set of drawers.

Now drill four small holes  into the STRENGTHENER first and then through the ALEX’s top right after, not stopping. These four small metal holes need to be threaded with a tap to receive bolts. Be sure to keep these four holes hidden inside the drawers.


Cross section of Jerker shelf support and Alex to show threaded metal holes, wood holes that need enlarging, and existing holes in metal Also, each time you drill Bird's eye view of Alex attached to Jerker shelf strengthener by two black bolts thread up from underneathone of the four holes through the STRENGTHENER and ALEX’S top, stop and thread the metal hole with a tap. Then, re-drill the the ALEX’s top slightly larger so you have room to to push the bolt through wood to the metal thread without resistance.

Next, push a bolt through the Alex’s top and thread it into the metal STRENGTHENER. Repeat this step each time, so as to keep all the holes perfectly aligned.

Here we have the Alex attached to the STRENGTHENER with four black short threaded bolts. Now we need to drill eight holes through the ALEX so we can re-attach the drawers with the STRENGTHENER to the Jerker’s PARTICLEBOARD shelf.


Drill eight small holes through the Where to drill access holes for attaching Alex and Jerker's metal strengthener back to Jerker wood shelfALEX’s top guided by the eight threaded holes in the metal STRENGTHENER when they are bolted together, four pairs of two.

IMPORTANT! Detach the STRENGTHENER from the ALEX before drilling the larger holes in the ALEX’s top.

Result of drilling into the Alex, guided by the Jerker's metal strengthener, after being re-drilled for easy screw driver access

To the right you can see four holes. The rightmost, the larger holes, being  drilled through the ALEX’s top so that you can re-attach the STRENGTHENER to the Jerker shelf with the wood screws. This is a bottom view

 

Top down view of Alex with all the holes drilled, 4 small holes to attach Alex to Jerker's strengthener, and 8 large holes to get wood screw access

 

Top view of Alex with all holes drilled out. Now re-attach the STRENGTHENER to the ALEX with the 4 small bolts so they can be screwed together with the PARTICLEBOARD shelf.


Use a magnetic screw driver, when lying on the ground, to guide the original wood screws through the large Alex holes, then through the How to attach the Alex and the Jerker's metal strengthener back onto the wood shelf with the original wood screwssmaller metal holes in STRENGTHENER, and finally into the original Jerker shelf to hold everything together. Two chairs work well to hold everything up in this front-on view.

 


Side view of attached open Alex drawer on an Ikea  Jerker

With two people re-mount the newly built unit. Loosen all the side bolts on the Jerker legs to give space when fitting the new shelf in place. Here is a side view of a finished product.