How to Cut spokes to build a bike wheel
Assemble tools and materials. You'll need a rim, a hub, and the proper length spokes and spoke nipples. You'll need a wheel truing stand, a spoke wrench, a flat screwdriver, and medium weight oil. A spoke tensiometer, a dishing tool and a nipple driver are optional. Place the rim in your lap with the valve stem hole directly across from you. Hold the hub in the middle of the rim with it axle vertical. These instructions assume you are building a front wheel 3x. Drop one spoke though every other hole in the upper flange of the hub. Insert one spoke in the hole which is immediately to the left of the valve stem - this hole should be offset upward. Thread on the spoke nipple a few turns. Continue to insert one spoke in every fourth hole, threading on spoke nipples as you go. Flip wheel over. Insert next set of spokes. Each spoke should fall just to the right of the spoke on the opposite flange. Insert spokes into rim holes which are to the immediate right of each spoke in the first set. Thread on the spoke nipples a few turns. Leave the wheel where it is, and drop the third set of spokes through the remaining holes in the bottom flange. They should hang down, away from the rim. Turn wheel back over, being careful not to let the third set of spokes fall out. Cross spokes. Twist the hub so that the spokes pull away from the valve stem hole. Cross third set of spokes over first spoke and under last. Insert them in the appropriate holes (those which are offset to the same side as the flange you are working from) threading on the spoke nipples as you go. Inspect the wheel before going any farther. The spokes on either side of the valve stem should be nearly parallel. Seat the spokes against the hub. This is best done with a flat screwdriver. Use it as a lever to press the inside spokes against the flange. Be gentle. Place the wheel in the stand. Drop one drop of lube where each spoke threads into the nipple, and another drop where each nipple seats against the rim.