My Search for Ikea Jerker Bolts

Ikea, like the entire world, runs on the metric system. One day the anti-metric holdouts of USA, Liberia, Myanmar and Canada will join Ikea in metric glory. Hold on, Canada!, I thought Canada was metric? Well, only with posted speed limits, temperature and money; just try to buy metric bolts here. This is the sordid story of how got started.

It was a mild 15° Celsius day in May of 2015 when I went to Canadian Tire to get some metric bolts to finish putting my first Ikea Jerker together. I didn’t have enough bolts to put on the top shelf of my Ikea Jerker. Like a good Canadian citizen, I drove my usual 10 km above the posted speed limit in my quest for the precious metric bolts.

Much to my chagrin, I could not find any loose metric bolts at Canadian Tire. There were a few metric labeled bolts in plastic packaging but they were all the wrong size. Onto Home Depot. Home Depot did have some loose metric bolts but nothing that even came close to matching my precious little Ikea Jerker bolts.

Surely Lordco had them; Nop. Lee Valley Tools, no. Princess Auto, uh uh. Not at Rona either. Then I finally found the correct metric bolts at Acklands-Grainger but they cost $2.50 a bolt and you have to buy like a hundred bolts at a time, way too expensive. So I give up.

Bizarrely, I turned to Craigslist and started buying used Ikea Jerkers just for their bolts. Trolling Craigslist for used Jerkers got to be like an addiction more important even than coffee. Of the last two Ikea Jerkers that I bought, I gave away all of the pieces except for the precious black bolts and swing arms. After buying a total of four Jerkers I finally had enough bolts for two complete workstations, one sitting and one standing.

Then I figured it out, you buy the bolts from China.Image of black metric Ikea Jerker bolts, nuts, washers and a hex wrench