Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ikea GALANT Desk A-leg: Broken / Stuck Leg

I have written extensively about my love and hate for GALANT A-legs before. The T-legs are my current preference because the stench of failure is still fresh in my mind.

Broken / Stuck A-leg
Let's make something clear first: the leg is broken in that the height mechanism appears to be stuck. The leg has not failed in its ability to support weight. In fact, I tried jumping on it a few times to try to get the internal mechanism to unstick itself -- didn't work and the leg held my 140 lb weight fine. According to the Ikea website, it should be good up to 132 lb. As long as I stick to a height of whatever "40" is, as marked on the leg, the leg should still work fine. Still, it's annoying.

Tried for 10 minutes
From my experience with four other A-legs over the years, the lower leg tube should work like a screw. Turning the lower tube in one direction should loosen an internal mechanism, which allows it to be pulled out or pushed in (i.e. height adjusted). Turning it in the opposite direction should tighten it back up. Unfortunately, the mechanism has not been perfect in my experience.

I tried turning it either way for ten minutes straight and it felt like the internal mechanism wasn't catching -- my hands are still sore an hour later. There was a sort of clicking or vibration that I could feel when it slipped.

I broke it?
It may be my fault that it no longer works. After all, it was working the first few times I adjusted it for my first GALANT table. However, at least two or three out of my five A-legs have had problems with the height adjustment mechanism. Most of the time, it ends up working after enough turning or it at least lets me loosen it, pull out the lower tube from the top, and fix it.

The problem is usually encountered if I untighten it so far that the internal mechanism no longer grips/works. Seems like I have the same problem this time except it's stuck in the fully tight-position and I can't get inside. I've found that over-tightening can cause the lower leg to spin freely (i.e. I can keep tightening and it won't tighten anymore, it'll just spin). The tables the legs have been used on have usually supported over a thousand dollars worth of electronics, so yes, I wanted to be sure that they were tight. This is no longer an issue since I've learned to baby it.

This leg is at least 5 years old and worked fine for my first GALANT table. I don't know if the design has changed for the better. Here is a video of me trying in vain to get the A-leg to loosen. Notice that the markings on the right side don't move up or down despite lots of turning. I am turning and pulling throughout the video and failing. Going with the T-leg next time...

IKEA GALANT A-Legs and T-Legs Review
IKEA GALANT T-Leg Review / Disassembled
IKEA VIKA (Table Bar) Desk Review
IKEA LAIVA Desk Review
IKEA SIGNUM Cable Rack Review