Finding the drive side of the wheel involves measuring the nipples in place. The largest gap between the nipples (measured two on the inside, side by side, and two on the outside, also side by side) indicates the drive side. I found that they were very close in distance so I put a set of spokes on each set of nipples (which exagerates the angle difference) and the gap was about a half inch wider between the two nipples on one side - this is now marked with a sharpie as the drive side). Lacing the wheel backwards will result in a wheel thats misaligned and probably bent spokes since they wont line up right. I used John Healy's article from Vintage Bike Magazine to get this info. Join the TIOC for a subscription if you haven't already, the info in the magazine invaluable for wrenchers and tuners.
Greasing the spokes so that they don't bind up.
First set of outer spokes go anti-clockwise. (drive side down)
Next set goes in clockwise (when the drive side's down), but at this point I flipped everything over so I could drop the spokes into place). I found that placing the rim on a couple of 1x2 boards to prop up the wheel helped line up the hub, since its is wider than the rim and needs to be somewhat centered to get the spokes in place correctly.
Using the air nozzle hole as a refference, I counted to the 8th spoke hole on the right (drive side up) for the first of the outside spoke holes, and 7 holes to the left for the first of the inside spokes. Just go every forth hole from there. Easy right? I still messed up a couple of times and ended up starting from scratch. NEVER BEND YOUR SPOKE TO MAKE IT REACH A NIPPLE!!!! If you have to bend it, something is wrong!!!
Drive side done, next is the right side (shift side). This side is pretty easy as the spokes just hook into the hub. Finding the right nipple becomes seld evident.
All laced and ready to true! More to come as I fumble my way through this. Thank you Jon Melniczuck for providing me with all the materials and literature to get this started. This is one of those things that you just have to dive into in order to learn.
sorry for the blurry images, I did this entire post from my iphone and it obviously came up low res.
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Location:S High St,West Chester,United States