Rebuilding a 20 yo wheel
I was in the process of truing a 20yo double wall 32h Wolber clincher rim off a DS Centurion. Someone's idea of dried up 20yo spoke prep prevented a few of the nipples from turning properly and one thing lead to another......I ended up replacing a few broken spokes and some rather stiff nipples. (and yes I was releasing the pressure while turning and a few spokes still broke). So I made sure all the nipples would turn or I replaced them. Now having two different size nipples on the same rim is not my idea of proper, but my objective is to get the rim correct for the next owner of this bike.
I ultimately released all the spoke tension and essentially started over. I held a screw driver shaft between my fingers and rotated each nipple until the nipple was seated properly and until my fingers couldn't turn the shaft without slipping. I completed this task and I feel all the spoke tension is about even, albeit loosely snug. I'm just starting the tensioning process at this point.
There are two flat spots on this used rim, one of which is 1.44mm in height. These two flat spots are relatively close together, and the worst flat spot is only three spokes from the tallest part of the rim. This can't be from incorrect spoke tension yet. (1.44mm......got to love that cheap Harbor Freight magnetic dial indicator!)
Is the rim savagable and can it be trued well enough for an acceptable recreational or club type ride?
That's a pretty small deviation and probably won't be noticed. I expect tire roundness isn't even that good. Get the wheel as true and round as you can without compromising the spoke tension.
I agree with hillrider. I suspect that 1.4mm is as close as you are likely to get with a 20 year old Wobler rim.
LF for the accentdeprived
1.4 mm is as close as the wheel will be after a few weeks' use anyway.
The question is, why didn't you just replace all the spokes and nipples? I would.