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Thread: The Nippler!

  1. #1
    mhk
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    The Nippler!

    Building my first wheel by hand, and I keep accidentally dropping the spoke nipples inside the 30mm-deep rim cavity and ruining my mojo. Figured there must be a solution, so went to the internet, and a search came up with "The Nippler" by Alchemy Wheel Works, an ingenious little device that would solve my problem. However, it looks like Alchemy is now defunct. Anyone know whether or not they're still in business, or have an alternative solution to my problem? Thanks in advance.

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    google 'the nippler'...

    didn't see any wheel building tools, but still some funny stuff there.
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  3. #3
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    This is what you want...trust me. I've built a metric **** ton of wheels and this thing is awesome.

    https://problemsolversbike.com/produ...driver_-_25272
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    On the 3 sets I've built I used a cut Q-tip as described on Mike T's web-site. That and rotate the wheel so the one you're working on is at the bottom are my only 2 tid-bits for ya.
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    Thread the nipple onto a spoke from the large end of the nipple. Holding the spoke, insert it into the rim and thread the nipple onto the actual spoke until it releases from the your "tool".

    No cost.

  6. #6
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    The Holy Driver threads every nipple on exactly the same amount. As long as your rim is straight and round out of the box it pretty much guarantees you'll end up w/ a straight and round wheel w/ minimal effort.

    Worth the cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstateSC-rider View Post
    On the 3 sets I've built I used a cut Q-tip as described on Mike T's web-site. That and rotate the wheel so the one you're working on is at the bottom are my only 2 tid-bits for ya.
    Yep the Q-Tip is a cost-effective tool for nipple insertion. But others all work fine - BikeHubStore.com's Mulfinger (I have one), cx's Holy Driver, a 4" piece old spoke (I have one of those too) etc etc. One of the best tips is to let gravity be your helper. Never insert a nipple "downwards" into the rim - always insert it upwards.

    But on the other hand, shaking nipples out of a rim is part of the fun of wheelbuilding. The joy of getting one out is not to be missed.
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    I'll second the mulfinger from BHS. It's pretty easy to make your own ( I was taught to use a bic pen top by my first wheelbuilding maven). However, I was building enough wheels to justify getting the mulfinger. Rarely is a nipple dropped in the rim now. I may look into getting a Holy Driver. My eyesight is so bad now that I need help in that respect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy13 View Post
    I'll second the mulfinger from BHS. It's pretty easy to make your own ( I was taught to use a bic pen top by my first wheelbuilding maven). However, I was building enough wheels to justify getting the mulfinger. Rarely is a nipple dropped in the rim now. I may look into getting a Holy Driver. My eyesight is so bad now that I need help in that respect.
    The Mulfinger works incredibly well as the grind angle on its tip is perfect. I tried making a variant of it myself but mine didn't work nearly as well. I guess the exact angle is what does it. But it's an expensive tool and the Q-Tip works almost as good for almost zero cost. Plus..........you can't clean your ears with the Mulfinger after building a wheel.
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    Mullinger is the way to go. $18 is a small price to pay for the frustration avoided in not losing nipples in the rim.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    The advantage of the Holy Driver is that it screws the nipples on to a pre set number of turns, all of them end up being the same. It's not quite as good at holding them when you put them into the rim, but the efficiency of starting to tension a wheel knowing that all the nipples are at the same spot is unbeatable.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    The advantage of the Holy Driver is that it screws the nipples on to a pre set number of turns, all of them end up being the same. It's not quite as good at holding them when you put them into the rim, but the efficiency of starting to tension a wheel knowing that all the nipples are at the same spot is unbeatable.
    I'm in admiration in your blind faith that all spokes are of an equal length!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I'm in admiration in your blind faith that all spokes are of an equal length!
    I use your method of the screwdriver ground down to a point in the middle. This assures all nipples are at an equal point on the spokes before I start tensioning.

    However, there is still the issue of starting the nipple on the spoke without losing it inside the rim. I use a generic screw starter for this. It usually works, but there is the occasional pop-off and rim shake and dance which is a rite of passage for noobie wheel builders!

    I'm really tempted to try the Holy Driver.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I use your method of the screwdriver ground down to a point in the middle. This assures all nipples are at an equal point on the spokes before I start tensioning.
    I love that thing. It's the one shown on my site - an ancient worn-out Phillips with two webs ground off. Sure it isn't as accurate as the adjustable one that cx mentioned but it was never meant to be. Its point just helps to prevent it popping out of the nipple slot. The accuracy comes from me counting turns and judging "one thread left showing" before I break out the wrench.

    However, there is still the issue of starting the nipple on the spoke without losing it inside the rim. I use a generic screw starter for this. It usually works, but there is the occasional pop-off and rim shake and dance which is a rite of passage for noobie wheel builders!
    I think on my site I show a generic screw starter leftover from my days in the auto mechanic trade. I've tried it but I don't favor it. I'd rather have the sharpened Q-Tip or the Mulfinger - both tools made more efficient by the employment of gravity on my nipples (eeek!).

    I'm really tempted to try the Holy Driver.
    Maybe cx will send us each one for Christmas?

    Edit - Wheelfanatyk has the Problemsolver and the Pin Vise -
    https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/store/p...nipple-driver/
    https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/store/p...pple-inserter/

    I wish I had his Nipple Shuffler.
    Last edited by Mike T.; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I'm in admiration in your blind faith that all spokes are of an equal length!
    For decades I've been spinning on the nipples so that an equal number of spoke threads show for each nipple. With the spokes I've used (Robergel, Wheelsmith, DT) this has worked as cxw has suggested - a pretty good wheel before any of the final tweaking starts. YMMV

  16. #16
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    What I said in the post above yours was "......judging "one thread left showing" before I break out the wrench".
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  17. #17
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    I've been using two Nipplers for the past 10 years, bought the second one when some cheap nipples messed up the threads on the original one. Alchemy Wheel Works is still in operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    Building my first wheel by hand, and I keep accidentally dropping the spoke nipples inside the 30mm-deep rim cavity and ruining my mojo. Figured there must be a solution, so went to the internet, and a search came up with "The Nippler" by Alchemy Wheel Works, an ingenious little device that would solve my problem. However, it looks like Alchemy is now defunct. Anyone know whether or not they're still in business, or have an alternative solution to my problem? Thanks in advance.
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