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Dishing/Centering tool

Old 06-10-20, 08:04 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Another diy. One set of screws for 26” wheels; the other for 700c. A t-nut for the feeler bolt. A scrap of 1 x 4.


That's what I was visualizing. But why do you even need the screws (on the ends)?
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Old 06-10-20, 08:37 PM
  #27  
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Ugly, crude, made in minutes from some T-stock scrap and Allen bolt... but it works OK for me.


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Old 06-10-20, 09:34 PM
  #28  
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When I worked in a bike shop, we had a Park Truing stand that someone dropped. This forced us to flip the wheel to ensure that the wheel was centered. This is the method that I used before I worked there and trued wheels on the bike and the method that I used until recently.

Just this year, after looking at some ideas for DIY wheel truing stands, I came across the fact that many wheel builders use dishing tools. I figured I'd give it a try. This is what I came up with out of scrap wood. I considered exactly what Reynolds built, however, I didn't know if I was going to like using a dishing tool. I have used it. It does work, but it is one extra tool that is not really needed. I don't know yet about continuing to use it.

I used a copper anti-hammer tube to touch off against the axle, or actually against the nut. This is why I wanted something hollow. That dictated that my wood would need to be thick enough to accommodate the tube. I didn't have 5/4" wood, so I came up with two pieces of 3/4" glued together. I added a nub so that when I place it on a flat surface it doesn't teeter and spin. It has a set screw (grub screw) with a plastic tip that has just enough pressure against the tube to hold its position when checking one side then the other.

When I first put it together, the hole was too loose and sloppy for the copper tube. I ended up waxing the copper tube and put polyester resin in the hole and then inserted the copper tube until the polyester resin set up. Then I had to file the inside of the hole to get the fit just right. It ended up being more work than I had thought it would entail. It feels nice and it is lighter than the steel ones like the Park.


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Old 06-11-20, 06:50 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
That's what I was visualizing. But why do you even need the screws (on the ends)?
Technically, you don’t, but having them makes it easy to check dish without removing the tire.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:31 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Technically, you don’t, but having them makes it easy to check dish without removing the tire.
That makes sense.
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Old 06-15-20, 12:37 PM
  #31  
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I lived in the same neighborhood in the Detroit suburbs as Gordie Howe. Played Little League ball against both Marty and Mark. Mark was a very good catcher. Never had the guts to play hockey in the back yard with either of them though.
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Old 06-15-20, 01:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dougdunn View Post
Never had the guts to play hockey in the back yard with either of them though.
That's not lack of guts, that's an abundance of good judgement.
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Old 06-15-20, 01:52 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Yes indeed. This was the first thing I noticed.
Me, too.

Drop an appropriately sized socket over the end of the axle such that it rests on the lock not. Measure to the top of the socket.
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Old 06-15-20, 02:33 PM
  #34  
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Measurements of all of you DIY Dishing Tools

All, I like all of the ingenuity that went into these tools. You inspired me. I am going to build by own using 1" square aluminum tube, 3 lag bolts and a few washers and nuts. I like working with the aluminum - drills easy, smooths easy, lightweight, accepts threads, etc. What I need from you guys are dimensions: depth (top of apex to bottom of arms/feet), overall length, length of the "feet". That should do it. I will post a pic or two when I finish. D
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Old 06-15-20, 08:02 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dougdunn View Post
All, I like all of the ingenuity that went into these tools. You inspired me. I am going to build by own using 1" square aluminum tube, 3 lag bolts and a few washers and nuts. I like working with the aluminum - drills easy, smooths easy, lightweight, accepts threads, etc. What I need from you guys are dimensions: depth (top of apex to bottom of arms/feet), overall length, length of the "feet". That should do it. I will post a pic or two when I finish. D
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Mine is a depth of 3.5", 26" overall length, with 5" feet. It can handle anything from a 26" wheel (pictured) to 29 as configured, and quickly adjusted for smaller wheels. Have a few wheels nearby to refer to as you start to build. Have fun!
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Old 06-15-20, 11:17 PM
  #36  
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Another DIY wooden gauge:

Just kidding! It's the Wheel Fanatyk -- most beautiful dish gauge ever, and also excellent in its function. Operates with one hand, a pretty huge feature if you're building a lot. Still nice to have even if you build one wheel. But at $260.00 – $338.00, it better be nice!

Definitely not for me though, especially since I have two already. The Campy that came in my Campy tool kit (which I never use) and the Park that I actually use.

I sharpened up the point on the Park, so it's easier to see the business end. Combined with coming in from the side, allowing you to check dish without removing the skewer. This is a must-have for me, because my truing stand benefits from having the skewer in. Tightening the skewer makes the wheel's position in the truing stand more solid and repeatable, no chance of it it slipping. Removing and re-installing the skewer every time I want to check the dish is a deal-breaker. Most gauges, including the Campy and the Wheel Fanatyk, require the skewer to be out, so I'll stick with my Park.

Any DIY designs that come in from the side and can sneak in under the skewer?

Mark B
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Old 06-15-20, 11:29 PM
  #37  
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Oh just realized I have to specify, the Park I have, that comes in from the side, is the WAG-1. Looks like later models like WAG-4 or WAG-5 don't have that feature? Dunno for sure, haven't tried them, but it looks like they come straight down from the top, and the skewer would block that.

Here's a WAG-1:


The pic is not mine. The red line crudely drawn shows where I removed metal to make the point more slender, and assure that it will come in under the skewer nut.

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Old 06-16-20, 06:22 AM
  #38  
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For the sake of argument I'll respectfully disagree. I like my new-ish tension gauge ok, but I'm not convinced that most of these tools are accurate. I also think spoke tension isn't that critical (within reason) and my guess is that many mechanics probably use too much. (Mighty tighty makes wheels... righty?) I'd say 80-90% of the vintage rear wheels I've worked on could use some dish correction, and many sorely needed it. And a properly dished wheel is important to determine whether a bike tracks straight, which is important to those of us who don't have the tools or knowledge to diagnose this properly.

Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I went decades without using a spoke tensioner gauge, I don't think they were around in my LBS days yet. When I finally bought one, I found that my usual wheel build was 5-10% low on recommended tension, which isn't too terribly bad, but I had muscle memory from building a few hundred sets of wheels. A gauge is the one thing I'd buy if you were getting into more than a few wheel builds.
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Old 06-16-20, 09:08 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by jethin View Post
For the sake of argument I'll respectfully disagree. I like my new-ish tension gauge ok, but I'm not convinced that most of these tools are accurate. I also think spoke tension isn't that critical (within reason) and my guess is that many mechanics probably use too much. (Mighty tighty makes wheels... righty?) I'd say 80-90% of the vintage rear wheels I've worked on could use some dish correction, and many sorely needed it. And a properly dished wheel is important to determine whether a bike tracks straight, which is important to those of us who don't have the tools or knowledge to diagnose this properly.
Well, I'd meet you halfway on this. I'm pretty sure that just about any tension gauge is more accurate than my fingers squeezing spokes. I had the luxury of learning to build wheels at an LBS in the old, tried and true apprentice method, so my hands were cross-calibrated to a master's. If someone were learning by themselves, how would they know how tight to go?

But yeah, thousands of mechanics built wheels BITD without a tension gauge, but it's the one measurement that you do need a special tool for. As I've shown, you can make a jig out of your frame and fork with tie-wraps for true, round, and dish.
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Old 06-16-20, 09:27 AM
  #40  
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jethin I agree to some extent and with gugie . If you are within 10-15%, you are good. My take is the the tension gauge is more useful for ensuring event tension around the wheel. The right tension is secondary but still valuable. Using a spider diagram in Excel is extremely informative for understanding the tension variation around the wheel. Park suggests that the tension variation should be no more than 20%, plus or minus nominal. That is reasonably generous and likely can be found on wheels built without a gauge by an experienced wheel builder.
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Old 07-25-20, 04:22 PM
  #41  
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My Home-built Dishing Tool

Originally Posted by dougdunn View Post
All, I like all of the ingenuity that went into these tools. You inspired me. I am going to build by own using 1" square aluminum tube, 3 lag bolts and a few washers and nuts. I like working with the aluminum - drills easy, smooths easy, lightweight, accepts threads, etc. What I need from you guys are dimensions: depth (top of apex to bottom of arms/feet), overall length, length of the "feet". That should do it. I will post a pic or two when I finish. D
Finally had a need for the dishing tool and here it is. Built mostly from stuff in my shop except for the 36" x 3/4" square piece of aluminum tubing. About 9 bucks, I think. The 4 bolts on the ends are 1/4", center one is 5/16". Holes in the short pieces of tubing are just plain holes, all the holes in the long piece are threaded to match the bolts. Work great! Took me about 3 hrs.

Dishing Tool in action.


These are adjustable if you need a smaller reach

This has a lock nut to keep your measurement when you flip the wheel.
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Old 07-25-20, 04:36 PM
  #42  
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^^^^^ Measures to the end of the axle shaft, rather than the lock nut. A socket or the like would measure to the lock nut.
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Old 07-25-20, 07:38 PM
  #43  
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I rebuilt a wheelset recently. I didn’t want to mess around with soup cans, a ruler, and math like I’ve done before. Going back and forth to the truing stand. It’s all too much hassle.

The solution I came up with this time was to use zip ties as a reference for center. And to build the wheels on the bike.

With the brake calipers removed, I routed a zip tie through the fork crown, and another through the bridge, and oriented each pointing straight downward.

Front is spot on center, and the 7 speed rear is dished perfect. How do I know? The bike tracks like a locomotive, hands free riding all day.!

Last edited by deux jambes; 07-25-20 at 09:40 PM.
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