How to buy an Ikea Jerker Desk

Ikea Jerkers on Craigslist in 2016

If you live near an older Ikea store, like I do, you’ll find that they come on the market fairly frequently, and sell just as frequently. Like the 1960s Volkswagen Beetle or the 1990 Toyota Tercel, the Ikea Jerker was very popular. You could almost say they are ubiquitous. That ubiquity means they are reasonably priced and their durability means they really hold their value.

When I was on the market for desks I paid between $100 and $200 for Ikea Jerker Version 1 and 2 desks. $40 for a swing shelf. $10 for other accessories.

My advice, be patient, make sure you get a desktop in good condition. Real photos, not ones taken off the web (or this site!). And, make sure that if the desk is a “disassembled” desk that the seller has all the bolts. A Jerker desk has metric bolts. Without these bolts the desk will ABSOLUTELY be unputogetherable.

Don’t believe the lies, Ikea Jerker bolts are not easily found at hardware stores, or from Ikea. IKEA DOES NOT HAVE THEM, ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU OTHERWISE IS LYING OR MISTAKEN.

Hardware stores also do not have them.

Again, the bolts are metric, expensive, and come in very specific lengths.

Luckily, we sell the bolts – this is how this website came to be.

A look at the Ikea Jerker CPU Holder (that nobody really uses) and alternatives

Ikea Jerker CPU HOLDER in use

The Ikea CPU Holder (that nobody uses), is great in theory.

It’s official product number was: 400.306.27 – made of steel, built in the Czech Republic.


I have a few of them, but I almost never use them.

That said, your computer should NOT be on the floor. What with all the air blowing and the electricity flowing a computer is a dust magnet. On the floor your PC will suck up ever stray hair and bit of dust kicked up by your feet. Bad idea.

Instead of the CPU holder I mostly use the swing shelves to hold my PCs. They’re sturdy, can hold your PC without an elaborate and ungainly unstrapping process. But, if space is tight, and or you don’t have a free swing arm I guess you can use a CPU Holder. Am I wrong about this? This thing is basically a stupid product isn’t it?

Anyway, here’s a photo of a pair of my PCs on a swing arm. I bought these towers a while ago.

My most recent PC is in a smaller tower (deliberately chosen so as to be more compact under the desk) and in use under a standing desk setup. Here’s a pic of that:

Mini Tower on Ikea Jerker Swing Arm

2 PCs on an Ikea Jerker swing shelf

the CPU Holder is also a stupid name for this thing, why is it a “Central Processing Unit” holder? Shouldn’t it be a computer holder? Or a PC holder? Or a tower mount? Or something?

How do you mount your PC on your 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.


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.


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

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.

Quick cable management for Ikea Jerker (Version 2) desks

A reader writes in with his own solution to cable management on the Ikea Jerker (Version 2) desks. Here are Cheruscii’s two beech beasts.

Both Desktops - Ikea Jerker (Version2)

His cable management solution employs wire shelves like those used in closets attached under the desktop. This allows quick additions, modifications, and subtractions disposable zip ties.

Undersides - Ikea Jerker (Version2)

Cheruscii also uses pipe clips on the legs to secure cables (but with only one bolt so as to make it easy to run new wires or remove old ones).

Pipe Clips - Ikea Jerker (Version2)


mounting a Powramid power center to an IKEA JERKER

Even though I’ve attached a massive 12 port power strip (measuring four feet long) to the bottom of each of my Ikea Jerkers, I’m still always finding myself in need of handier task based power.

Luckily, a few years ago I bought a few of the Powramid “power centers” – these are basically power strips with integrated surge protectors in the shape of a 6 sided pyramid.

Powramid in use on an Ikea Jerker desktop

Like most power strips the Powramid comes with a couple of basic secure points on the base. I fiddled around with these a bit, trying different sizes of bolts and wingnuts, until I managed to mount one to my Ikea Jerker standing desk. Here’s how I did it:

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 1

The Powramids I bought were made by a company called Kreative Power, but it appears they are now being made by a company called Accell Cables. Here’s look at the bottom of one of them:

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 2

I used a small bolt and a wingnut to attach one side in a desktop test.

attaching a Powramid power center to an Ikea Jerker - Step 4

Then, I did it for real, securing a Powramid to a leg in combination with a single ziptie.

attaching a Powramid to an Ikea Jerker - step 3

And I assume you’d like to see how secure it is so here’s what it looks like on video:

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.

How to add casters to your Ikea Jerker – PART 1: Drilling and Mounting

Do you sometimes need to drag your Jerker away from the wall to get at the your desk’s cords and cables? We do too. But a cool Jerker owner doesn’t just drag his Jerker around, he glides it.

I spotted this ever so slightly modded Ikea Jerker version 1 on Craigslist a while back – but honestly – I don’t think it would work. Those casters look like they were stolen from some cheap plastic cart or some cheap plastic chair.

A Jerker with casters?

If you’re going to go Jerker, I say go steel and go big. To that end, this post, the first of three, is designed to get your Jerker up on casters.

To follow our design you will need four casters, two with brakes like the one in the image below. The two casters with the foot-activated stoppers go on the front of the Jerker, the other two, simple free-wheeling casters, go on the back. The casters we used in the post are 3″ in diameter, 1 1/8″ wide, and rated for 180 lbs each. Following our formula, you will also need eight 3 1/2″ steel bolts, eight matching nuts, and eight lock washers. You local hardware store should have everything you need. The pictured caster costs $16Can each up here in the Great White North.

Do not try to thread the Jerker’s legs to attach the casters as the leg metal is too thin and soft. I tried and it immediately stripped the threads tightening the bolt.

You’ll want to drill straight through the bottom and then the top of the leg. After the first hole has been drilled, attach the caster with a bolt and nut. Then drill through one of the holes in the caster’s plate, from the bottom. You drill from the bottom via the caster to ensure the bolt will fit in case your drill bit wanders. Once the hole has been started you will need to remove the caster to be able to drill all the way through.

If you are unable to drill all the way through you can use a center punch so that your drill bit does not wander. Remember to measure twice.

This is what your typical steel bolt looks like.

And here is one of many types of lock washer.


Here you can see my drill bit barely getting through the second side of the leg. You should try to get the holes to be as snug as possible. If you are unsure of your bits and bolts do a test drilling through some scrap lumber. This scene is after I have drilled a hole guided by the hole in the caster’s base; only the bottom of the metal leg needs to have the holes match perfectly.

And here is the first caster bolted on. Note that the nuts are on the bottom side, out of the way, with lock washers.

Remember to put the two casters with brakes on the front. Lock washers keep the nuts from getting loose and falling off of the bolts. It is bad form to have a wobbly Jerker (even if you’re not British).



Yep, this is what a metal drill bit looks like. Do not forget safety glasses if you don’t wear glasses.



Here is one leg with casters, yep kinda ugly. I advise mounting the casters on the inside so that they won’t hit anything, such as a wall or toe. The Jerker leg moves fine on thick carpet with me standing on the leg.


These two drill bits are for wood only, and will not work on metal.


Here are some cement drill bits, yes, just for cement.

No casters were harmed in the making of this post.