Introduction: Bamboo / Reed Rims

About: There is nothing more fulfilling than creating things. Unless you need to destroy things, cause that can be pretty fun too.

In this instructable will be showing you how to create rims that look like bamboo.                                                                                       Items needed                                                                                                                                                                                                    flat head screw driver, spoke wrench,  reeds, adhesive, silicone, large gauge syringe, scotch bright pads, fine sandpaper, wire brushes, scissors, utility blades, and  pliers.          

Step 1: Step 1: Disassemble and Clean

Find your tire of choice, whatever works best for you as far as size, spoke count, front, rear, freewheel, coaster brakes, etc. I chose a 26" rim with 36 spokes and large enough to use a wider cruiser tire.  I found it on an old bike so I am going to have to do a little restoring to the rim before I start the process.  Start by taking the tire, tube, and the tube protector ring off the rim. Any rust on the rim must be cleaned off with a wire brush (or wheel for drill), and / or scotch bright pads (use wet or dry). this will take a while depending on how rusty they are. You may also want to paint the rim a different color or some thing so you at that point would take sand paper to the rim as well to scuff the surface before the primer stage. I am not painting the rim for my bike so I will skip that step and move on to cleaning. Make sure that you clean every thing as well as you can, spokes, rims, and nipples need to be as clean as possible so stuff can adhere to the metal.   Note all of the cleaning supplies above will scratch the surface of the rim so be careful to test them first and decide what will work best for you. I personally found that the scotch bright pad was the least aggressive on the finish and the easiest to use for the minor surface rust, but for the little deeper rust, I needed to use the wire to knock it down a bit.             

Step 2: Adding the Reeds

NOTE:  Unless you have done spoke lacing before I highly recommend you do this one spoke at a time, and repeat this and the next step for each individual spoke, or you may end up with a lot more work and frustration than you had planed for.                                                                                                                                                                                                               First remove the nipple of the spoke by unscrewing it from the rim side of the wheel. Next cut a piece of reed longer than the spoke itself, these reeds are delicate so the extra  reed allows for later trimming. After that take the spoke you just unscrewed and push it through the center of the reed. This may take a little bit of slamming motion or actually screwing the threads of the spoke through the growth knots of the reed. take another spoke or a measuring device and trim the excess off the reed leaving room for the nipple to be replaced.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pro tip: take electrical tape and put it on the reed right at the spot you want to keep and cut at the edge of the tape with a cut off wheel for a dremel or rotary tool this will prevent  the reed from splitting as easy and give you a better cut.  

Step 3: Gluing and Sealing

I have chosen to use a large gauge syringe I have acquired from a stockyard supply for a little more accuracy with my glue and silicone. So first start by pulling the reed back and gluing with a construction adhesive, or something that will bond to metal and wood and not foam or expand,  then slowly sliding it back in to place as to not get the adhesive on the outside of the reed or on the threads of the spoke. {To save time you may want to have 2 needles set up, one for adhesive, and one for silicone.} Then tape off the threads, insert the tip of the needle into the end of the reed and fill tips with silicone to help ensure any water doesn't immediately wreck your new project. The tape will do a couple things it will save you from getting excess silicone on your threads and also help you get  cleaner lines on your silicone just remember to remove it before the silicone dries. Also try to not get the silicone on the hub of the wheel either for esthetics and functionality purposes. Now it is time to replace your nipple and move on to the next spoke, you can get the spoke tight but not too tight, remember these adjustments are what will make your rim true or crooked, so try not to get over zealous and break stuff :)           

Step 4: Putting Things Back Together

That's it we are on the home stretch, time to throw the rim back on the bike ( or if you have one, putting it on the truing station) to see If the rim is still straight. To do this, I am not going to go into a lot of detail as there are a lot of tutorials on truing the rim, but I will give you a quick rundown. Place the rim on the bike or stationary stand, and tighten it down. Then find an other fixed object like the break pads, or even tape a pen to the side of the frame so it almost touches the rim. Spin the rim, if the pen touches or the rim wobbles, you will need to find out where the rim is touching or closest and stop the rim there. Take your spoke wrench and make a half turn in one direction mark the spoke and spin it to see if you made it better or worse. If you made it worse turn it 1 whole  turn the other direction and try again. Repeat for any imperfection until the rim is true.  Replace your tube protection ring, tube, and tire, inflate and get that thing back on your bike so you can quit looking at the computer and get out and go for a ride on your new woody rims and WOW passers by.    

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