i am new to building wheels. i was just thinking that maybe they would still tighten tolerances with 14g spokes...no? i don't really know what is considered a lot of slop or not because i have not done enough builds. i was going to buy some washers for a 15g i am planning and i was just wondering if they would be good for all future builds?
As spokes get pulled inwards when tensioned, the spoke elbows fill the hole of regular hubs making washers, for 14g builds anyway, unnecessary.
could you clarify wiring and soldering spokes? i don't feel like looking for an old wiring harness...what gauge and type of wire do you suggest from a place like ACE hardware? is a soldering iron best? or a butane type torch?
Why not go to your local auto parts store and buy a couple of feet of thick auto wire? They've got reels & reels of different gauges. Look at the thickness of the strands in the sheath. The exact thickness of the strands isn't really important. Just make sure they're not whispy fine or chunky thick. I could measure mine to the nearest thou but would that really help you?
Yes a soldering iron is best - an electric one. It doesn't take much heat to solder spoke wraps. One local shop uses a flame to solder T&S wheels and one of our track riders had a spoke break at a T&S join! I've never seen that in 44 years of doing and seeing T&S wheels. I can only assume the bonehead at the bike shop used too much heat. The two spokes looked discolored at their intersection.
is wiring and soldering good for all genres? (road DH FR XC DJ etc)
That's a hotly debated topic on some forums and one I don't see the point of debating as I don't have any way of measuring the benefit (or lack of) of T&S. I use it for my track wheels and you would too if you experienced our banking g-forces.
is this ok on a 2-cross build too?
As good as for any other number of crosses I guess.
I'd have more of an opinion of 2x versus 3x to be honest.