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.

3D-printed Ikea Jerker desk accessories are AWESOME

I’d never thought of anything I wanted to 3D print, until now.

Check out these two 3D-printed Ikea Jerker desk accessories (specially designed for the Jerker) available for anyone to 3D print or order from Thingverse:

I particularly like this headphone hanger.

3D printed headphone hanger for Ikea Jerker

3D printed headphone hanger for Ikea Jerker

You can download the plan or order HERE.

I’m not a Sony Playstation 4 owner, but check this out!

Playstation 4 hanger for Ikea Jerker

You can download the plan or order HERE.

And, there are many other accessories that get new uses out of other Ikea products – take for example this webcam mount for the ubiquitous $10 Ikea Tertial worklamp:

 WALT the Webcam Mount (Logitech C910)

You can download the plan or order HERE.

You may even already have a Tertial, it looks like this:

Ikea Tertial work lamp

There are dozens of 3D printed items available for the Tertial, check it out HERE.

Have you printed any of these, or anything else for your Jerker setup?

the Herman Miller aesthetic – functional elegance

The Ikea Jerker desk has stood, and will stand, the test of time, not because of Ikea’s continuing support for it, but despite of Ikea’s lack of support.

Once something as durable and as elegant as the clean modernist lines as the Ikea Jerker Version 2 is marketed to the masses, it gains a life separate and apart from the manufacturer.

Ikea Jerker Version 2 in a birch finish

The Ikea Jerker, I would contend, combines the best design aesthetic – that of Herman Miller with the reconfigurability of LEGO.

Other posts will be about how to reconfigure, but this post is about the design aesthetic itself.

Here are the six Herman Miller designed desks marketed in the very first issue of Playboy (December 1953):

Herman Miller desk from 1953

Herman Miller desk from 1953

Herman Miller desk from 1953

Herman Miller desk from 1953

Herman Miller desk from 1953

Herman Miller desk from 1953

And here’s a modern Herman Miller desk, looking very similar to those classics from 1953, and, I think you’ll note it is not too dissimilar from the Ikea Galant and Bakant A-Leg designs.

a modern Herman Miller desk

 

Al these desks lack is that hyper-reconfigurability we love about the Jerker.

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?

Hunting for the GREAT WHITE Jerker

I’ve owned maybe a dozen Ikea Jerker desks in my life.

I’ve owned the Version 1 and the Version 2. Most of the Jerkers I’ve owned were with grey legs (some of the Version 1s had black legs). I’ve owned the long desk, the add on shelves, the printer shelves, wire accessories, and pretty much everything Ikea Jerker related.

I’ve owned the beech finish desktops and the birch finish desktops and even the black finish desktops (exclusive to Version 2). But there is one kind of Jerker desk I’ve never ever ever seen in real life.

And that is the WHITE finish Jerker.

Now honestly, I’m not even sure these actually exist.

The only evidence I have for these mysterious pale variants are a few grainy photos like these.

Here’s what looks like Ikea Jerker Version 2 in a White finish.

Ikea Jerker - Version 2 (White)

Here’s an Ikea Jerker Version 1 in a White finish.

Ikea Jerker Version 1 (White)

Are these legitamate variants?

Just look at this…

Ikea Jerker Version 2 (White)

it really looks like a real Ikea Jerker desk finish to me – not a paintjob on top of an existing finish.

Have you owned a Jerker in white?

If you have, I have a question for you.

Did it come that way from Ikea or did you paint it?

Ikea Jerker Inspiration

Although the Ikea Jerker looks more like Mechano set, a kid’s toy made of reusable metal strips, plates, gears, nuts and bolts, I think of it more as LEGO.

Putting a set together is easy, taking it apart is easier, and it doesn’t break. Ikea Jerkers inspire creativity.

I really got going with Jerkers when I started seeing images like this one.

Inspirational Ikea  Jerker

It makes me want to take my desk apart and put it back together, slightly tweaked.

And buying new computer hardware is a good excuse to play with your Jerker!

Ikea Jerker - Triple Monitor Setup

Its fun to do, but you can go to far with it. For example this:

Crazy Ikea Jerker Setup

What’s the coolest Ikea Jerker setup you’ve seen?

Are You an Ikea Jerker Sitter or Stander?

I get my exercise on my feet in front of my standing Ikea Jerker workstation, no treadmill yet, that would be just crazy. This is of course after I have two to four cups of enabling coffee in the morning while seated in front of my sitting Jerker desk depending how tired I am. I am an normal 5′ 10″ tall, so heights may vary.

Drawing of where to place bolts for a sitting Ikea Jerker desk

The bolt positions on my sitting Jerker workstation, counting from the bottom-most hole in the Jerker leg, are depicted to your right. Don’t forget to adjust your seat ergonomically. So the 19th leg holes from the bottom get bolts into the desktop, and the 16th leg hole gets one bolt into the short angled piece.

Drawing of where to place bolts for a standing Ikea Jerker desk

The bolt positions on my standing Jerker desk, counting from the bottom-most hole in the Jerker leg, are shown to the left. I advice standing on a floor mat to keep your feet happy. So my 70″ frame is happy with bolts in the 32nd leg holes from the bottom, and one bolt in the 29th hole for the angled strengthener..