Velo13 wrote:If you start rounding nipples, it can be because of many factors, but it's not a good indicator that you are "at the right tension".
The "compression buckling" technique is something that Musson and Brandt discuss, but I don't subscribe. With modern lightweight rims and low spoke counts...
Ah, see, that's where you lose me.
I have a pair of low spoke count wheels. By which I mean 28 spokes . They were stock on my last MTB (DT Swiss X1900 I think is the model number... solid non-exotic 26er factory wheels on a ~XT built bike) .
Pretty much everything I build is 32 spoke, save for a few 36 spoke MTB and tandem wheels I've done along the way. And a 40 spoke tandem wheel. Mostly because 32hole bits are easiest to find.
With lots of spokes like that... and especially with a lightweight 700c rim... compression buckling really is the limit of tension
Really though, I've only done a dozen... maybe a couple of dozen... wheels, with no immediate plan to build any more. I'm sure I will build more, as needed, but I'm not intending to invest heavily - or even lightly - in truing stands and tension meters.
By the way - those 650B rims I got from you - they've proving to be a rather entertaining swap-in wheelset for my 700c disc road bike. 650x40B slicks are great for road-gravel-firetrail-whatever exploration rides. They aren't used often, unfortunately, but they don't get an easy time when they do come out to play
 I folded the front wheel on about the second ride, before I got around to fiddling with the wheel build... which I really didn't think I'd have to do on a brand name wheel. Rebuilt with a random cheap WTB rim of matching spoke count that had about the same ERD... built as tight as I could get it, and stress-relieved properly, and it's survived plenty more abuse than the original build did. Of course, I tightened and relieved the rear wheel while I was at it, and it's never given me any grief whatsoever