A look at the Ikea Jerker CPU Holder (that nobody really uses) and alternatives

Ikea Jerker CPU HOLDER in use

The Ikea CPU Holder (that nobody uses), is great in theory.

It’s official product number was: 400.306.27 – made of steel, built in the Czech Republic.

Ikea CPU HANGER

I have a few of them, but I almost never use them.

That said, your computer should NOT be on the floor. What with all the air blowing and the electricity flowing a computer is a dust magnet. On the floor your PC will suck up ever stray hair and bit of dust kicked up by your feet. Bad idea.

Instead of the CPU holder I mostly use the swing shelves to hold my PCs. They’re sturdy, can hold your PC without an elaborate and ungainly unstrapping process. But, if space is tight, and or you don’t have a free swing arm I guess you can use a CPU Holder. Am I wrong about this? This thing is basically a stupid product isn’t it?

Anyway, here’s a photo of a pair of my PCs on a swing arm. I bought these towers a while ago.

My most recent PC is in a smaller tower (deliberately chosen so as to be more compact under the desk) and in use under a standing desk setup. Here’s a pic of that:

Mini Tower on Ikea Jerker Swing Arm

2 PCs on an Ikea Jerker swing shelf

the CPU Holder is also a stupid name for this thing, why is it a “Central Processing Unit” holder? Shouldn’t it be a computer holder? Or a PC holder? Or a tower mount? Or something?

How do you mount your PC on your Jerker?

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

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.

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?

How much does (or did or should) an Ikea Jerker desk cost?

Ikea discontinued the Jerker (Version 2) Desk more than a decade ago but they’re still for sale on the secondary market.

Sites like Craigslist and Kijjiji have Ikea Jerkers for sale every single day, all around the world.

But how much should a Jerker cost?

The best way to answer this question is to see how much they cost back when Ikea sold them.

Here’s the original price for an “Ikea Jerker Desk” in a screenshot from the USA Ikea website, February 9, 2005:

Ikea Jerker Desk from 2005

And here’s a screenshot showing the price of an “Ikea Jerker Computer Desk”:

Ikea Jerker Computer Desk (2005)

And here’s a screeshot showing the price of an “Ikea Jerker Computer Table”:

Ikea Jerker Computer Table (2005)

So, back in 2005, we’ve got prices ranging between $90 and $190 US.

A sample of various sites around North America had listings ranging from FREE (and usually “Gone”) to $40 to $400. My experience, which is pretty good, I’d say a typical Ikea Jerker should sell for between $60 and $150. These will have scratches on the legs, dings and maybe scratch or two on the desktop and the shelf. A pristine condition Jerker, version 2, could sell for $200.

Cable Mismanagement on an Ikea Jerker version 2 in Standup Desk configuration (Birch)

I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos about desk setups. They usually talk about how “clean” a PC desk setups looks – and often they will shame setups with messy cables.

This really seems to be a thing – they’ll point out when a desk with a tangle of cables showing and they make it sound like it is somehow a moral failing or something.

But I am not ashamed, at least not very much. Here’s what my current standup-desktop looks like:

Ikea Jerker version 2 - Stand-up Desk in birch

In fact, I’m not convinced there’s any reason to really seriously worry about what the the underside (or backside) of my desk looks like. As long as the cables don’t get caught between my toes, or in the vacuum cleaner or whatever, why should I care if you can see my cables?

I think you’re actually just making work for yourself by securing all those cables into neat little bundles. Me, I’m always in there swapping new parts or devices in and out.

I’m not afraid to show my cable management system.

Behold it here, just hanging out loose for everyone to see, an uncropped photo of my standup desk in all its tangly shame:

Ikea Jerker version 2 in birch - Stand-up Desk Mode - Cable Mismanagement

Is anyone else out there willing to admit that spending more than a couple of minutes managing your cables is really just a waste of time?

Which Ikea Jerker makes a better standing desk?

So you’re thinking of setting up a standing desk.

And now you’ve heard good things about the Ikea Jerker [all true by the way].

The only thing left now is to decide which version of the Ikea Jerker you should set up as that standing desk.

This post should definitively answer this question for you.

But first, check out this beautifully set up Ikea Jerker version 1 in standing configuration. And make note of the four swing arms projecting from either side.

Jerker Version I - Standing Configuration

You can tell this is the version 1 by it’s hexagonal desktop. It is the most quickly identifiable feature of the version 1.

Line art Ikea Jerker workstation types

 

But it isn’t the only difference between the two designs. Another feature, one that is far more important for the standing configuration, is the leg height.

But first have a look at this version 2 setup:

Ikea Jerker version II - Standing Configuration

Beautiful right?

It is! But, not immediately obvious, yet critically important, is that the leg height is greater on the version 2.

Ikea Jerker version 1 leg overlapping version 2 legAt just over 55 inches tall, the version 2 is 15 inches taller than the version 1 (which is 40 inches tall).

This is critically important for standing desks. Not just because the desktop has to be higher, but rather because any higher mounted shelves, used for monitors, or to which you might attach swing arms with printers or peripherals, are more subject to wobble.

Now to be fair, both the version 1 and the version 2 are very sturdy desks.

I’ve owned both, I like both. But there was a reason for the evolution from version 1 to version 2.

The version 1, other being shallower, and narrower is also shorter. This means that the higher you mount your monitors and your peripherals on swing arms, the more subject to sag and wobble they will be.

It’s physics. The higher the mass the higher the center of gravity. But the version 1 legs have to have more vertical extensions, which means more connections, and more sag and wobble.

It isn’t ruinous to set up a version 1 as a standing desk, it just isn’t as good as setting up a version 2 as a standing desk.

So, to sum up, unless you’re not going to be mounting very much above the desktop, or unless you’re restricted to a certain minimal width for your desk, you’d be well advised to go with the version 2. The version 1 is a great desk, but it just doesn’t stand up as well as the version 2.

Ikea Jerker - Version 2 - as a standing desk