Wheel building

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jacaldo, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Jacaldo

    Jacaldo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    UK
    Hope this is the right forum to post this. I have recently started wheel building as a side line to my small garage business, I am still practising and have not as yet felt ready to take on paying jobs, I have done a couple for friends. This is a dying art and I am very keen to become a skilled wheel builder, my question is does anyone here know of companies or schools that run courses to anyone willing to pay. I am based in the north west of England, Merseyside, but willing to travel. Thanks
    #1
  2. dogsslober

    dogsslober No neck tie, Ti neck

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,154
    Location:
    Morgan Hill Ca
    I started with bicycle wheels (self taught reading books) and started motorcycle later. I've only know they teach in bicycle wrench schools. Maybe here in the states at MMI
    #2
  3. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,837
    Location:
    madera california
    i think you should just do more and you will get more and more comfy with it. plus you will be able to do it faster too. i have done about a dozen wheels for myself and it takes about 15 minutes to lace one and about 15 minutes to true it. i sit in front of the tv in my shop and do the work as im watching tv even!
    #3
  4. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,236
    Location:
    San Francisco,Ca.
  5. Jacaldo

    Jacaldo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    UK
    #5
  6. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,711
    Location:
    Minn.
    Pics of the process?

    Do you have the hub mounted on a rotating arbor or stand at the time?
    #6
  7. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Chantilly VA
    I've done it on the bike and off, never bothered to use a proper truing stand myself. I have been thinking about machining up a jig to hold the hub and rim in position for quicker truing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,711
    Location:
    Minn.
    Looks high tech to me. :evil
    #8
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,389
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    ask : www.central-wheel.co.uk I use their web page for information on rims/spokes -you need someone thats willing to share their knowledge, not a school & probably some old guy on your island that will do just that. I've done a few of my own and thing is, some are far harder to do than others! All depends on the lace pattern,number of lengths involved. The simple ones you can view YouTube & do OK. The link above states Honda rims as directional which is not always true. Careful what you read . Take pics of rims from both sides and with tape markers for indexing.
    I've used a cheapo HF balance stand to spin mine so far. The steel rod is too large for a very small Honda vintage rim.
    #9
  10. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,236
    Location:
    San Francisco,Ca.

    So I suppose Honda put this arrow on the rim for shitz 'n giggles

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Jacaldo

    Jacaldo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    UK
    I have spoken to central wheels already, they do not have the time or staff to run courses, plus they would like to protect their business from competition, not from me but I do hope to start running this alongside my existing business.
    #11
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,389
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Yes, I looked at your picture and saw the arrow. No argument please-my point was simple: that not all Honda rims have the arrow. Rims & tires can be directional but not always,end of story. :wink:
    #12
  13. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,389
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I wasn't thinking of them as the trainer, more so someone that buys from them and ready to get out of work as in older type. Web search in UK for wheel builders???
    #13
  14. Jacaldo

    Jacaldo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    UK
    We have lots of classic bike shows here in the UK, actually some of the biggest in Europe and I try to go to a few of them. I speak to few small business wheel builders at these shows and they all seem to be self taught, I just thought it would do no harm to get some training. My intention is to continue on my own, I'm not mechanically stupid, as I run my own small car repair business there is no reason why I should not improve and get faster with each wheel. There is a lack of skilled wheel builders around so fingers crossed work should come my way.
    #14
  15. Jayrod1318

    Jayrod1318 Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,642
    Location:
    Here and there and stuff.
    I've yet to see methods and equipment required to fix bent rims.

    Lacing up a true rim is pretty easy.

    The best bit of advice I've ever heard is that you cannot fix a bent rim with spokes! Starting with a true rim is paramount!
    #15
  16. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,662
    Location:
    Rotoiti, New Zealand
    You can do it with just a pointer but the DTI makes it quicker & easier. I built my first bicycle wheel a couple of months back with the aid of Zinn's MTB maintenance book. It was not too difficult & quite satisfying. I started out trueing it up with a pointer for reference & then realised, duh!, why not use my DTI. If I was doing it more frequently I would definitely get another cheap DTI & rig them up as above.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #16
  17. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,788
    Location:
    NorCal
    #17
  18. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,236
    Location:
    San Francisco,Ca.

    Bring them by. What's a Stinger?
    #18
  19. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,389
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Going by the number of people I have had to bid against for ebay spokes there are several people out there doing them. I would think the UK would have more wheel people than USA based on the history of bikes & cars but perhaps less based on population. The first wire wheels I was around were Brit cars & the guy doing them was a former British Leyland trained USA dealer mech on Austin-Healy/MG cars who went out on his own. I was a hang around guy there/then(early 60's) prior to later becoming a real (paid) wrencher myself.
    In the USA there are not many wheel builders-except for bicycles or so it seems in web searches. I would not be surprised if a place like Buchanan's here probably uses more of their own spokes than they sell to specialty shops. Lots of specialty work like radiator repair is gone these days except for a few old & larger shops. Bent alloy auto rim repair has a few places doing it that have most of the business too. The high replacement cost of rims and volume available make for a good insurance repair trade. MC's are too few for nearly as much opportunity?
    #19
  20. Claytonroy

    Claytonroy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Oregon
    Not to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but make sure you know the correct length and other dimensions before you order from an amateur or questionable supplier.

    I've seen auctions on Ebay for "spokes that will fit any 16" rim" - which is impossible since the hub, rim used and lacing pattern ALL greatly affect the equation.

    My recent wheel build was more complicated than average- all the spokes exit the hub outbound and are staggered up & down (when viewing from the side). This pattern requires alternating spokes of 2 different lengths AND two different elbows. The longer spoke also has more "throat" / a longer elbow to clear the upper row of spokes sharing the hub flange.

    I sourced my spokes from one of the USA "specialty houses" - and they STILL SCREWED UP MY ORDER. :cry

    After lacing it correctly and bringing it halfway up to tension, the spokes were showing @ 1cm of thread above the nipple. Which means they're too short to be safe!

    .
    #20