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)

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?

moving “the best [Ikea Jerker] desk” into a new office

YouTuber David Di Franco showcased his wide beech-topped Ikea Jerker desk, what he called “the best desk I’ve ever purchased”, in this recent office move vlog:

Here’s what the desk looked like set up in the old space:

And, despite the three monitor setup, there’s still room for Di Franco to use the desk for unboxings, like this one:

adding a Barska biometric safe to an Ikea Jerker

Just as every desktop computer needs security, so does every desk. But most of the desktop safes I looked at seemed either too inefficient or too inconvenient.

I’m all about trying to maximize desk space and and workflow efficiency.

I wanted fast, safe and secure access, that wouldn’t require me to ask anyone to turn away, and access that wouldn’t necessitate a key.

I kept looking and found the Barska biometric safe (model number BX-300).

Barska BX300

It allows for fast and efficient secure storage using biometrics. And since it doesn’t have access to the internet or bluetooth, it is essentially unhackable without being in the room with it. In essence, it has all the advantages of an iPhone fingerprint scan with none of the compromises.

The Barska BX-300 is fast, eliminates the worry about people checking out your password or lock combination.

Barska Biometric Safe added to an Ikea Jerker

And here’s the pictures I took during installation:
001

The original holes in the swing arm shelf are circled in red, and the new drilled holes for mounting to the bottom of the Barska BX-300 are circled in blue.
002

Widening a countersink for the central bolt.
003

Here’s the bottom of the Barska safe, the slot aligns nearly perfectly with the thickness of a swing arm shelf.
004

Here’s the bottom of the swing arm shelf with the holes drilled through.
005

The inside of the safe, bolted to the arm’s shelf.
007

Here’s the included carpet for the interior bottom of the safe.
008

Freeing up space for on top.
009

Here it is in place. The safe, all steel, weighs 25 pounds and measures 16.5″ x 14.5″ x 7.75″. Also cool, you can place a full size laser printer on top (the swing arms are rated for up to 70 pounds).
010

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?

Vista Monitor Mount SMD271 on an Ikea Jerker leg

I’m working on a project to turn an old computer (and an Ikea Jerker Storage Unit/Printer Shelf) into a standup desk. This will basically be a short task machine – you know, get some torrents going on it and walk away. I figure it will be good for testing internet connections – a minor supplement to a daily workhorse that is a standup or sitdown Jerker.

Anyway, I’ve started the process of assembly and along the way I thought I’d add some details about my go to Ikea Jerker monitor mount. But first I needed a monitor…

Here’s the $10 monitor I picked up at a local thrift store:

$10 monitor

Next, I went to TopTech/Open Box in Coquitlam, British Columbia (it’s in Henderson Place Mall) and picked up a $35 monitor mount that works right out of the box with Ikea Jerker leg hole patterns.

Labeled “VISTA LCD MOUNTING BRACKET SMD271” this thing is made of metal – not steel nor iron – maybe aluminum (but it feels pretty heavy for aluminum).

Here’s the photos:

$35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount

To attach the mount to the leg I picked up some bolts and wingnuts at Rona (a local hardware store). It went together really fast. With wingnuts you can re-position your monitor very easily, no tools required.

$35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount $35 monitor mount

Am I the first one to have thought of using an Ikea Jerker storage shelf as a standing desk? If not, send me photos of yours.

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

Quick & Safe Jerker Assembling

Here’s how to assemble a used Jerker quickly and safely in 12 easy steps. Do not tighten the bolts until all pieces are in the correct position as there needs to be some looseness for adjustments and adding components. Generally leave about 1/8″ of thread showing on the bolts, leaving you a slightly wobbly desk until finished. If you tighten the bolts all the way then it is virtually impossible to manipulate the parts.

step_a_legs_and_shelfStep 1, put the legs and desktop down on the ground so they won’t have far to fall if you slip. I should have put down cardboard to protect the floor from damage.

 

step_b_attach_leg

 

Step 2, start with the back bolt eleven holes down on both sides. This will fit somebody around 5′ 9″ tall. Thread both legs, leaving both bolts slightly loose. The leg holes are spaced 1 1/4″ vertically.

 

step_c_two_bolts_in_each_leg

Step 3, swivel the desktop up in the air to enable the front bolts to be threaded in on each side of the legs. Do not let go until a bolt has been threaded into the desktop.

 

step_d_two_bolts_in_each_leg

 

Step 4, attach front bolts on both sides as in the picture.

 

 

step_e

 

 

Step 5, flip up the desk to a proper standing position and make sure the height is correct for sitting or standing as in this case.

 

elbow height

 

Step 6, if the desktop is at the wrong height because the user’s elbow is not comfortably above the desktop when using the keyboard, then lay down desk as in step 4, and move the bolts on the legs up or down one leg at a time.

 

step_f_strengthener

Step 7, attach the strengthener high enough for your vacuum cleaner to go under to if you are one of those clean types. Remember to leave the bolts slightly loose until the end. The strengthener is needed to hold the Jerker rigid and stop side to side swaying. A shelf can aid but not supplant a strengthener.

 

step_g_

 

Your Jerker should look like this. Now to add the two small 6″ x 1″ rounded metal side supports for bracing the front of the desktop.

 

step_h_support

 

Step 8, attach the 6″ metal bars onto the leg first, a large bolt goes through the leg and then threads into the small metal bar without a nut. Make sure the support rotates up to the desktop to accept another bolt.

 

step_i_support_on

 

Step 9, now secure the 6″ metal bars onto the desktop surface with a short bolt into the desktop’s side.

 

 

Step 10, tighten all bolts so every Jerker piece is completely rigid.

floor_protectors

Step 11, if your Jerker is on a hardwood floor use some flooring protectors to stop scuffs and scratches.

step_j_400_lbs

 

Step 12, the common way of testing Jerker sturdiness is to have two people jump up and sit on the desktop. 400 pounds is what I aim for.

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.