Okay, first of all, pardon me for being a cheapskate! I take recycling seriously, that's all.
Short version: how can I measure spoke nipples to figure out whether they will fit the spokes I'm using to rebuild a wheel? I have a lot of nipples in the bin, and I can't tell if they're all the same size or not.
A few years ago I built a wheel, using a Sturmey Archer AW hub (alloy shell, 36h, very nice) and an unremarkable recycled 27" rim. And apparently I didn't tension the spokes right; after a couple years of commuting I broke a spoke. A couple months later I broke another one. Then I broke two. And I concluded, time to replace all the spokes.
Fortunately, I had 36 spokes of the same length in my spoke drawer, so I just rebuilt the wheel. Or so I thought.
But no. Now the nipples pop off the end of the spoke just before I get them up to tension.
I presume I have the wrong size nipples on the spokes.
Obviously I could just buy new spokes with matching nipples. In fact it will probably come to that. But if there's a way to measure the nipples in the bin, and find the correct ones for the spokes I'm using, that would be my first choice. Suggestions?