Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Univega Gran Turismo, Cannondale Synapse, Bianchi Aquiletta Folder
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I had the same problem- 40 hole SA hub with 36 hole rims. I calculated all of the spokes lengths (spent a couple of hours with graph paper and a calculator- really dredged up some half-forgotten high-school trigonometry)- for 3x lacing they came out to 8 each of 180mm, 181mm, 182mm... 188mm for a 395 ERD rim. The hub is steel, so it would be plenty strong for any kind of lacing shenanigans. (Then I went and got a 36 hole hub body from a trashed hub and put my good innards into it. But it would have worked.)
You could do the same, skipping 6 holes around the hub on each side (3-skip1-2-skip1-2-skip1). You'll come up with seven different lengths, probably in the same ballpark of lengths. You could even do some sort of crows foot lacing, since you'll need 7 lengths no matter how you do it. Plus you'd have the koolest wheel around.