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

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.