For something on the web, I used Sheldon Brown's article on wheelbuilding to get started.
I'm probably up to 10-12 sets of wheels so far, all built in accordance with Sheldon's "how to" manual and none have had a catastrophic failure (although some of the early sets had spokes crossed over the valve, and my first set caused my LSB wrench to have palpatations as he grabbed the spoke wrench to reduce the tension by about 1.5 turns per spoke when I showed them to him).
As far as spokes, numbers and materials go, there are a wide variety of theories. I started out using Spoke Prep to lube the threads, but decided it was too expensive. I'm now using boiled linseed on the threads (dip the 1st 4-5 threads of the spoke into the linseed before threading on the nipple) and it seems to work fine. Be sure to wipe any excess linseed off the spokes after lacing, to avoid a gummy dried mess on your spokes later. I know that there are builders on the list who insist that a dry build is the best way. Sheldon's article doesn't mention spoke lubing.
Anyone over 190 lbs should carefully consider whether its practical to use light rims, low spoke count rims, aluminum nipples and/or light guage spokes on anything other than special use wheels. No doubt my record of no wheel failures has a lot to do with my fondness for 36 spoke wheels, 120 mm rear ends, brass nipples, stout rims and 14 or 14/15/14 guage spokes. I generally weigh between 230 and 245 pounds.
Beware: wheel building is almost as addictive as frame acquisition. You find yourself acquiring a single hub, and then building a whole set of wheels around it. And then you need a frame to carry the wheels---
Tom (slippery slope) Adams, Shrewsbury NJ
>From: r cielec <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: John Pergolizzi <email@example.com>,firstname.lastname@example.org
>Subject: Re: [CR]Seeking Information on Wheel Building
>Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 20:28:24 -0700 (PDT)
>Ex-mechanic who can be bribed with beer from this crowd. Oh, that really narrows it down. : )
>Another technical point that interests me, is determining spoke gauge, pattern, hole count approrpriate to riders weight. (Assuming constants of rim, tire, bike weight)
>I've "assembled" wheels using another set a model but really no understanding of what I was doing. Be nice to know how to really build a wheel out of thin air.
>John Pergolizzi <email@example.com> wrote:
>Richard Cielic wrote:
>"I have need of building a set of wheels.
>Can anyone suggest sources of good, practical, how to including: selecting
>pattern per hole count; accounting for OLN; determining offset; determining
>spoke lenght; setting tension; etc..? No, do not have a built set of wheels
>to serve as model."
>Get ahold of a copy of Eugene Sloan's "Complete Book of Bicycling". I
>used the instructions in the second edition back when I was 16 to build my
>first set of wheels. Instructions are clear enough. The Jobst Brant book
>would be nice to have in front of you also.
>Both can be found with some searching on e-bay or begging the group.
>Most questions will be addressed in those books. After that, vig (bribe
>with a good Belgian beer) some good ex-mechanic (hint, hint, hint) in
>attendance at The Cirque and he will gladly answer all questions.
>San Diego, Ca.
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