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Wheel Building?
#1
Looking for a book that covers wheel building for beginners, I have no experience but would like to give it a try just for fun.
Any suggestions?
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#2
These are the resources I used when starting:

http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/spokes.asp

also see: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-3834.html

I use Wheelsmith Spokes and Nipples; mostly SS14, though on a couple wheels I used DH13.
Nigel
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#3
Warning: WOT (wall of text)...

I can (and frequently do) recommend Roger Musson's book
http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
(only as pdf, free updates when available)
Also check out: http://www.sapim.be/index.php?st=checklist&taal=uk

Spokes: DT double butted (for everything except tandems, haven't built for those yet though). Aero spokes are nice to control spoke torsion and look fast. Used plain gauge for a snowflake last year (cheaper option and not built for durability, more for show and to have done that, but still round and true and rideable). Any other big brand (as Sapim or Wheelsmith) should be good.
Hubs: Depends. Mid-range Shimano stuff is inexpensive and sturdy and runs good enough if greased and set up properly.
Rims: Again it depends on use and money. Need to build a more aerodynamic wheelset for the new season, though some shops offer great deals (cost of parts for me about same as new set from them). Stay away from really cheap rims though, the joint is usually not well done and impossible to get in line (though sanding might help a bit).

Check out the tools section for a home built trueing stand! I myself don't need the dial indicator (are they called that?) but simply use a feeler that almost touches the rim and look at the variation of the gap. My trueing stand is a Minoura, cheap... but ok. The self made one in the forum is much better and less expensive. If you have the time: Build one! (my bought one can be folded and stored really easily, that is a plus for me, not much space here).

More on tools: Never used a tensiometer they are simply too expensive. I built a dishing gauge from scrap wood, works good enough. Get a good spoke wrench (Spokey shaped, doesn't have to be the pro version), they grab all four sides of the nipple. Also get the screwdrivery thing with the tip on the blade: it provides a well defined starting point when lacing the wheel. Get thick garden gloves for the stress-relieving of the spokes (squeezing), mine are for pruning roses = sturdy.
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#4
Though I'm quite new to wheelbuilding myself, I can recommend Jobst Brandt's "The Bicycle Wheel."
I'm about to get started on Musson's book on the subject, so will come back later once I've read it.
Gerd Schraner's book, "The Art of Wheelbuilding" is decent, but perhaps somewhat out of date, especially as regards the utility of tieing and soldering, from what other, more experienced wheelbuilders have told me.
Really, to begin with, all you really need is spoke wrench of the appropriate size and the dropouts of a bike to mount the wheel to true, using brake calipers to aid the truing process. Even centering/dishing can be done in the drop-outs. It'll train your eye for the process.

But as you progress, getting the right tools for the job is better, but as Joe_W mentioned, these can be made.

One thing I can say is that - for myself - a spoke tensionmeter is an invaluable tool, it really harshly exposes the faults in what may seem to the eye and touch as a uniformily balanced wheel, yet which has too high an average spoke tension, and the relative spoke tensions are well out of range.
Even many master wheelbuilders evaluate their wheel with a tensionmeter.

But to begin, all you need is a build method, a spoke wrench, and bicycle drop-outs that can accept the size wheel and hub you are to build.
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#5
get a pair of reasonable condition second hand wheels, study carefully, then dismantle and rebuild, perhaps a few times until you are confident. Start with the front, far easier than the rear.
Saves spoiling good components.
Be aware when you start on good ones that the spoke stagger in the rim may be different, which means starting in a different relationship to the valve hole.
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