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

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.

add an Ekby Alex drawer set to your Ikea Jerker desktop

Designed as a standalone shelf, the Ekby Alex drawer unit can make a very, very useful addition to an Ikea Jerker (version 2) desk.

Ikea Ekby Alex (drawer unit)

Official Ikea Jerker drawers are pretty hard to come by, in part because they were an optional item, in part because they’re were not designed to be paired with for ⅔rds of the Jerker desk designs.

But, the Ekby Alex drawer shelf just so happens, and believe me I was very excited when I found out, to fit absolutely perfectly between the legs of an Ikea Jerker (version 2) desk. You could place one of these units on a top shelf, but the fact is, even if you use it where it is most hand, on the desktop, it still leaves you with lots of desk-space for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and similar peripherals.

The Alex Ekby comes in one long box. It’s actually manageable to carry out of the store, but is a bit heavy, weighing 12kg (27lbs). The build time is about a half-hour. In addition to the parts an pieces in the box you’ll also need a hammer (the back is assembled with about thirty little nails), a flathead screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver.

Here’s a video showing the whole build process:

As mentioned in the video, be sure to note the sizes of the connector pieces, in my build I didn’t at first distinguish between them and it took a bit of time to straighten my mess out.

Once together, I found the Alex Ekby to be a very sturdy little shelf drawer set.

One other point to bear in mind, the drawers only pull out slightly more than half way; but the insides of the two drawers have plenty of space: The horizontal space measures, front to back 24cm (9.5 inches) and 54cm (21.25 inches) from side to side. And the depth is a mere 5.75cm (2.5 inches). One drawer will fit one ream of printer paper and dozens of pens pencils, erasers, a couple of pairs of scissors and a stapler. But most tape guns, office sized tape dispensers, and three hole punchers will not fit in these drawers.

Here are photos of mine in use.

Ikea Alex Ekby on an Ikea Jerker (version 2)

Ikea Alex Ekby on an Ikea Jerker (version 2) drawer open

And, for those Jerker owners don’t have enough top shelves, or just want to be different, you can also use the Alex Ekby (or two?) as a monitor riser. The Alex Ekby is rated to support 22kg (44 lbs) and each would raise your monitor by 11.5cm (4.5 inches).

Here’s a scan of the end of the box:

Ikea Ekby Alex (Drawer Unit)

Ikea Jerker Version 2 Swing Shelves (Hinged Printer Shelves)

The Ikea Jerker, second generation, had a few optional extras.

The one I most often use, and the one of which I have the most, is what I call the “Swing Arm.” Actually though it is a kind of printer shelf, or accessory shelf, on a hinged arm that attaches to a leg of your Jerker. I use them to hold my printers, scanners, and other wonderful peripherals.

Ikea Jerker Hinged Printer Shelf Dimensions

For my own amusement, and for your edification, as you can see by the above image, I have measured every dimension of the handy and elegant accessory.

First, I measured the hinge of the “swing arm.” The hinge is 8.3cm tall and 6.7cm wide. The hinge is vertically symmetrical. Furthermore, though the thickness of the hinge is a mere 0.2cm, it is as sturdy as a rock (it is made of steel).

Next, I measured a board. The first thing I noticed was that the thickness of the board was only 1.6cm (as opposed to a standard Jerker desktop board, which is 2cms thick). In measuring the board’s length and width I at first thought it was just a plain 40cm square. But then, almost by accident, I discovered an inconsistency. I went on to measure all nine of the swing arms boards that I own. Of them, only five measured 40cm by 40cm. A full four of them were 39cm x 40cm). This oddity is inexplicable to me. Yet, when looking at the placement, I noted that whenever the dimensions were not 40 x 40, the 39cm dimension was always found to be parallel to the steel arm. Perhaps this size change accommodated some refinement that I have yet to discover?

Going on, I measured the distance between the two foremost bolts securing the board, they were 13.5cm apart. The distance from the third bolt (the one closest to the hinge) to the halfway point between the two center bolts was 22.5cm.

Moreover, the steel arm measures 30cm in length. The height of the top bolt is 2cm and the bottom bolts protrude 3cm from the bottom of the swing arm. Finally, the length of the whole board, arm, and hinge, sticking out from a leg is exactly 46.5cm.

You’re welcome.

Tale of the Tape, Old Ikea Jerker Legs Versus New

I would describe the main difference of the old version 1 Ikea Jerker legs compared to the new version 2 legs as a change to taller and skinnier. A good useful change in my opinion.

Image of an Ikea Jerker version one, shorter, deeper, and less bolt holes

A short 40 1/4″ tall version 1 Jerker leg has room for only 28 bolt holes. To get as tall as a newer version 2 Jerker you are going to have to use a few extension pieces.

Also notice the large back foot.
Ikea Jerker version 1 leg overlapping version 2 legImage a version 2 Jerker, 55 1/2" tall with 41 bolt holes

 

 

 

 

 

Overlapping version 1 and 2 Jerkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 15″ taller version 2 Ikea Jerker. Many more bolt holes come with the increase in height, a 55 1/2″ tall version 2 Jerker leg can afford 41 holes for bolts.

 

 

 

 

As for the leaner depth of the newer Jerker version 2, I think it was a wise change. Even though the depth of the Jerker legs lost 2″ from older version 1 to version 2, the newer desk is more stable because of the long front part of the foot. The 18 1/2″ front foot protects you from the Ikea Jerker shelf toppling forward in anyway.