As the title suggests - I found an old spoke very useful this weekend. As I was replacing some damaged spoke nipples on a wheel, I was concerned that they might drop inside the deep section of the double-walled rim... to be lost forever except for a rattle. A small length of old spoke, including the threaded end was used to prevent this. Once the nipple was almost off the wheel, the thread from the old spoke was screwed into the head, allowing it to be held securely as it was removed from the wheel. This worked in reverse as the new nipple was fitted to the rim.