Prep and supplies
Use these instructions if you're interested in visiting Home Depot to purchase custom screws and fasteners to connect your table top to your desk frame.
1. Assemble most of the Bekant frame.
- You only need 4-6 individual insert nuts, machine screws, and washers—not 4-6 packs of the above items. Some links are to 5-counts, others to 100-count packages.
- Why four to six? Depends on how many holes you want to drill. More on that later.
20 in those insert nuts and screws refers to the thread count. Make sure numbers these match.
- I couldn't find the required machine screws individually; I had to buy these combo screw-nut packs at Home Depot.
Follow the provided instruction manual up through Step 4 to assemble the cross beams, electric motors, and frame legs. You'll only need the allen wrench for this part.
2. Prep Gerton table top
Next, we have to prep our Gerton table top for drilling. The Gerton table top doesn't include holes that match up with the Bekant frame, so we have to do this ourselves. You'll need your measuring tape, pencil, power drill, and drill stop (or masking tape) for this part.
Lucky for us the Gerton table top is exactly 2" narrower and 2" shallower than the Bekant desk top. That makes for easy math on our part.
- Gerton table top: 61" x 29.5"
- Bekant desk: 63" x 31.5"
With the Gerton table top upside down on the floor (carpet, or put a towel/blanket under), measure 5.75" from the front and back and 1.75" from the left and right sides. Here's a rough diagram on the placement.
Mark off those dimensions with your pencil, and draw additional lines as needed.
Now grab one of the frame rails from Step 6 in your instruction manual. On each side, line up the frame rail over those measurements you just penciled onto the table. You'll see about 1/16" overlap on the front-back measurements, so eyeball it as needed. When lined up, pencil in the outermost holes from the frame rail, like so.
Heads up! I skipped the middle frame rail that's shown in Step 5 of the instruction manual. This is where the 4-6 screws and insert nuts variance comes in. It didn't seem super necessary and is easily addressed. After you attach the frame rails to the table top, place the frame with centered middle rail over the table (roughly 19" from either electric motor bit). Pencil in the holes, remove the frame, drill, apply insert nuts, and assemble.
3. Drill holes, hammer in insert nuts, attach frame rails
When you're done drawing those frame rail holes, it's time to drill and hammer in the insert nuts. Insert nuts are used for added grip in the wood; their star-like configuration keeps things nice and stable, making future disassembly and reassembly super easy.
As noted on the insert nuts packaging, you should drill 5/8" deep with a 11/32" drill bit. I lacked a legit drill stop, so masking tape was the perfect solution. Wrap your drill bit in masking tape, leaving 5/8" on the end.
When ready, drill in the center of those penciled circles you drew. It's okay to be a little off we have wiggle room on the frame rails, but do try to stay in the lines :). Keep your drill at it's lowest speed, pump the trigger, and you'll be fine.
When the holes are drilled, hammer in those insert nuts—two on each side.
Heads up! I got carried away in this next photo and drilled too many holes. Don't worry about that, all you need is the outer holes from the frame rails (which is what Ikea shows with their default instructions).
4. Attach the rails
Now that we have something to screw the frame into, we can do just that. Snag your 4x screws, 4x washers, and screwdriver. Attach the frame rails, but don't tighten them completely just yet; we'll want some wiggle room next.
5. Attach the frame
Next up, bring over the Bekant frame from our first step here. Place it right in the middle begin to attach it to the second and fourth holes in those frame rails with the included allen wrench and bolts.
For reference, see those two nerds in the bottom right of this photo? That's what you're doing here :).
When you're feeling like it's about lined up, tighten up the bolts to the frame (as shown below from the Ikea instructions) and the screws to the table.
Then, flip it over. Done-zo!