Saturday, August 03, 2013

Ikea GALANT Desk A-Leg Review / Disassembled

Baby's got legs!

After complaining and moaning about how I had a broken A-leg last week, I went and got another one yesterday. The plan now is to use the new T-leg, the broken A-leg, and the new A-leg to put together a new table. All I need now is the table top, which I'll get shipped because I don't feel like driving to Ikea. This will take a while because moving the old VIKA table out of the corner is going to be a pain.
Ikea GALANT A-leg Packaged
Ikea GALANT A-leg in silver - US$ 10 (CAD$ 20)

Chrome version is US$ 15 and CAD$ 20.

Functioning Ikea GALANT A-Leg Overview
In terms of just the leg itself, it came pre-assembled with no assembly necessary unless there was a desire to adjust its height. My leg came locked in somewhat loosely at either the "20" or "30" line, which I still haven't figured out the meaning of.

At 4 lb, according to the website, this was much easier to carry home on public transit than the 8 lb T-leg. Must admit that I kind of looked like a crazy person with a single table leg walking around town. Oh well, I got no trouble.
Ikea GALANT A-leg upper and lower tubes separated
Adjustment Mechanism
As an owner of a GALANT table with four A-legs (plus a broken fifth), the operation of the adjustment mechanism was very familiar. Also, it's even easier because I've readjusted the height of my tables so many times before and took apart one or two of them before.

Ikea GALANT A-leg adjustment mechanism in "unlocked" position
I've separated the upper and lower tubes of the leg apart to show what the internal mechanism looks like. The one in the photos, which I just bought, appears to have the exact same internal height adjustment mechanism as the ones I bought years ago. All I had to do was unscrew the lower tube, then pull it out from the upper tube. More specifically, I had to hold the upper tube still and turn the lower tube counter-clockwise to loosen. As you can see, it's not actually one big threaded tube.

Ikea GALANT A-leg adjustment mechanism in "locked" position
The legs I have use two plastic cones: one upper cone with cuts around its circumference like a pie and a lower solid cone. They are a relatively smooth and solid plastic, not rubbery like I remembered. Just from playing around with it, I believe that when the leg is tightened (turned clockwise), the upper cone with slices is forced into the solid cone. This should force the upper cone to expand outward, helped by the cuts, and grip the inside of the upper tube.

There is also a spring that you can see on top of the cones. I think I remember seeing this on my old A-legs, but I'm not sure. Not entirely sure what it does either.

Note that after I was done, I reinserted the lower tube into the upper tube by untightening the adjustment mechanism just enough so that it fit into the upper leg tube's opening. There have been instances where I loosened the mechanism too much in my old A-legs. When this happened, no amount of turning would tighten the mechanism again (i.e. set and hold a specific height).

Broken A-leg revisited
After opening the new leg up and seeing what's inside again, my guess is that my broken fifth leg has a broken lower cone. I've noted before that the leg is stuck at the "40" line marking and can support my entire weight when I jump up on it -- wonder if it'd hold if I did it long term. This should mean that the upper cone is locked in place tightly. Way back when, I really went overboard when tightening the adjustment mechanism. Maybe I went far enough that the lower plastic cone separated from where it's attached to the steel tube. Without the lower cone, which the threaded screw is attached to, held in place, it would just spin freely. Or I stripped the thread in the upper cone. No way to tell unless I took it apart -- if I could, it wouldn't be broken?
Ikea GALANT A-leg upper markings

A-legs have been used exclusively on two separate tables of mine and they've performed well. The height adjustment mechanism has never failed on either table even the broken one that I jumped on.

As for supporting my weight, the Ikea website says that the maximum load for the A-leg is 120 lb, but it also says the same for the T-leg. Whether that means that four A-legs can hold more than two A-legs is up in the air -- typo or true?

Expandability / Customizability
Check out the actual table this leg attaches to.

Everyday Use
Check my GALANT review.

Alternatives to Ikea GALANT Desks
IKEA VIKA (Table Bar) Desk Review 
IKEA LAIVA Desk Review
IKEA SIGNUM Cable Rack Review

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