It's easier than you think!
This instructable describes the basic concept of how to build a 36 spoke bike wheel. Experienced wheel builders will see certain steps omitted. This is by design in an effort to simplify the process for the first time builder.
We are also assuming, and this is a Herculean assumption, that you know the proper spoke length for your application.
That said, let's get started!
Step 1: Tools, Materials and Jargon
1ea. Spoke Wrench
1ea. 36 hole rim
1ea. 36 hole hub
36ea. spoke nipples
Rim - The big hoop with holes around the edge
Hub - The thing in the middle that holds the axle and has 2 flanges on it with holes in them.
Spokes - The wire things with a bent nail-head at one end and threads at the other.
Wheel - What you get when you put all of these things together.
Port - Sweet red wine or the left side of the bike when facing forward.