Spoke Wrench. These come in all shapes and sizes. Some look like wrenches, while others are fit for a repair kit. Go with the two jawed variety as they are comfortable to use and provide good leverage.
Want a bigger list? There isn't one! You just need a spoke wrench to build wheels! http://www.yoeleowheels.com/lightweight-carbon-clincher-wheels-88mm.html
The following tools make your life easier but are certainly optional.
Wheel Dishing Tool: Helps you identify whether one side of the axle is protruding off the centerline more than the other side. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/racing-bicycle-wheels-carbon-tubular-88mm.html
Human alternative: Eyeball it.
Truing Stand: This helps you align the rim.
Human alternative: Mount the wheel, spin and eyeball the alignment using the brakes
Tensionmeter: Measure the spoke tension.
Human alternative: Fingers http://www.yoeleowheels.com/lightweight-clincher-wheels-60mm.html
How To Build Your Own Bicycle Wheels
Step 1. Prep.
Got Hub? Got Rim? You need to know the number of holes in the rim and the number of holes in the flange (hub). Make sure they match. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/racing-bike-wheels-super-light-carbon-tubular-60mm.htmlFor spoke length, it's a good ides to check with the pros. There's an equation for determining spoke length, but it's probably easier to provide the bike shop with the specifics of the hub/rim combo and let them tell you the correct spoke length.
Got the spokes? http://www.yoeleowheels.com/lightweight-wheels-clincher-50mm.htmlAre they the same length? Good. Pick up the nipples. Nipples should be from the same manufacturer as the spokes. The nipple diameter should match the spoke diameter. 2.0mm nipples with 2.0mm spokes. Use brass for the nipples if you ever want to adjust them in the future.
Prep the spokes. When everything is on the table, dip each spoke thread into oil. Any old oil will do. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/light-bicycle-wheels-carbon-tubular-50mm.html
Step 2. Let's start building a wheel
Spin the rim until you find the valve hole. This is your north pole. Start to the left of the valve hole.
Take the hub. Drop a spoke in every other hole in the hub.
Take any spoke and insert it into the rim. Screw a nipple into the first spoke. Continue doing this for every 4th hole in the rim. Don't over tighten the nipple. Keep it loose for now. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/lightest-700c-clinchers-wheels-38mm.html
Now that the first spokes are in place, start on the other side of the hub. Put your finger on the first spoke you inserted (to the LEFT of the valve hole) and follow it down to the hub. Looking at the opposite side of the hub (the side with no spokes in it) locate the closest hole that's to the RIGHT of the valve hole. The first spoke will be inserted at this location. Remember, first hole to the RIGHT of the valve hole. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/bike-wheelsets-carbon-tubular-38mm.html
Once the first spoke is in, drop a spoke in ever other hole in the hub. As you mount the spoke you'll noticed that each spoke is just behind the spoke you installed on the opposite side of the rim. The spokes will look a little like chop sticks.
Flip the rim and drop in your next set of spokes. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/bike-road-wheels-super-light-clincher-20mm.html
Rotate the hub. Take the hub and rotate it so the first spoke pulls away from the valve hole (counterclockwise). If this is a difficult process, loosen up the nipples and try again.
Cross spokes. Select a new spoke. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/700c-carbon-wheels-super-light-tubular-20mm.html Working left (counterclockwise) cross over the first two spokes with the new spoke. Cross under the next spoke and insert it into the next hole. You are navigating through three spokes in total. Do this for the remaining spokes.
Flip the rim and do the same thing for the other side.
Admire your work. Congratulations, the difficult part is over!
Step 3: Tension and Stress Relief.
Tension the wheel. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/carbon-wheels-for-sale-clincher-88mm.html
Tighten each spoke so the same number of threads appear for each nipple. Don't go crazy. Tighten slowly and universally. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/road-bike-wheelset-special-assembly-technology-tubular-88mm.htmlCheck the spoke tension by hand as you do this process. The idea is to get a feel for consistent tension. NOTE: when you are tensioning spokes, do not look directly into the rim. Keep your face perpendicular to the rim. A spoke can shoot out from the rim if it is over tensioned.
Check to see whether the rim is true. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/oem-wheels-clincher-700c-carbon-60mm.htmlTake the rim and mount it on your bike or truing stand. Spin the wheel and check for areas that are out of true. If you find a spot, adjust the spokes on the opposite side of the problem area -- i.e if the left side is out of true, you will be adjusting the tension on the spokes located on the opposite side and vice versa. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/carbon-wheel-sets-tubular-60mm.html
Looks good? Time for stress relief.
It's not quite time for a beer yet. The final step to wheel building is to relieve spoke stress. Using gloves to protect your hands, http://www.yoeleowheels.com/chinese-carbon-wheels-clincher-50mm.htmlgrab parallel spokes and squeeze. This will stretch the spokes. If after doing this the wheel is out of true, repeat the truing step but without tensioning the spokes again -- i.e adjust the spokes by relieving tension in the problem areas. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/carbon-wheels-bike-special-assembly-technology-tubular-50mm.html
Final step. Check ride.
Mount your wheels and take your bike for a quick spin. No strange noises in big turns? Good. Finish up the ride and re-check the wheels again. http://www.yoeleowheels.com/carbon-velgen-special-assembly-technology-clincher-38mm.htmlIf everything looks good, congratulations! You've just build some sweet wheels.