Thank you for the nice words, guys.
Other factors count too; such as what salt air will do to spokes. I rode my stock Coker at a park on the Long Island Sound and it was soon a mess - both rim and spokes. I’m sure that the quality of the zinc coat is a big factor as well. The rim was scratched from the brake, and the salt air went right for those scratches.
For the LWU wheels, which use the Airfoil rim, the rim machining itself is a very time-consuming, labor-intensive, dirty, messy, wet process, and I’m sorry to say is not much of a money maker, really like the rest of custom uni building. However, it really makes a huge difference in the resulting wheel’s utility. I’m glad that Scott took the time to develop the machine and basic process that I use to do the rims. It would not pay, in the slightest bit at this point, to machine individual rims alone for people because the return is just not worth it, not to mention the shipping costs. I may end up having to increase the cost of machining again (after lowering it) because of all that is involved.
Here are three photos of a rim mid-process. The first shows a place on the rim that is not at the weld; the second shows the weld area. It’s easy to see that not only does the process remove the powdercoating in the braking area, but also improves the flatness of the surface significantly. The third shows a different kind of irregularity. The fourth shows the final result.
Although, strictly speaking, one can no longer see the irregularities in the final result since the coating is gone, and although we have no optical instrument to measure the differences, the improvement in the rim surface is apparent when truing up the resulting wheel.
The yellow garment in the background of the 3rd photo is a sailing jacket I use to try to keep dry during the process - it is not too effective! Imagine dumping a bowlful of copier toner over your head in a rainstorm…
I’ve looked at the newer spokes now and so far so good, but I haven’t had a chance yet to build a wheel with them. That should happen soon, though. There is a slight difference in thickness; the Tom Miller spokes are actually a bit thicker than 14g. I doubt that will make any difference in the build process or resulting wheel, but only experience will tell.