Went shopping today and came home with everything needed to try to true the rims and then mount the tires.
New tubes front and rear, and the rubber tube protectors:
Small metric wrench set:
5.5mm wrench that will act as my spoke wrench:
Then I started working on my stand:
I used a level to ensure that it was all true, and used the old axles because I didn't want to scratch up the shiny new stainless ones.
I mounted the front wheels, got all of the nipples snug, and then made a few reference marks on the wheel at 180 degrees. From there, I would put two turns on three spokes at a time, rotate the wheel 180 degrees and put two turns on the spokes at the opposite end of the wheel. I continued this way until I had made it around the wheel. Then I went back and tuned each spoke until the notes they gave off when rapping them with the wrench were all the same. I've played guitar for 24 years and have a very good ear, so I'm sure I had all of the spokes at very even tensions (this, of course, assumes that each spoke is exactly identical, as variances in spoke length and diameter would also affect the tones). When I was all done with the front wheel and happy that it the spokes were under even tension, I gave it a good spin and used a straw mounted to the stand and lined up next to the rim for a reference point . Gave it a good spin and..... disappointment. Despite my best efforts, the wheel wobbled more than I would have liked. All I have to compare it to are some YouTube videos I watched about trueing rims, however, there is no doubt that theirs turned out much better than mine.
I was wondering if it was still good enough, so I decided to try the rear rim and see if I could do better. Nope, worse. Damn. I then played around with loosening the areas that I thought would need to be loosened, and tightening the opposite areas in an effort to straight the part of the rim where it seemed to wobble. I may have made improvements on both wheels, but I never felt like it was good enough.
I'm disappointed that I couldn't pull this off, especially since I would've been able to mount the tires and had a roller tonight. But, I'm glad I tried it, and no harm, no foul. I've come too far to cut corners now, and I just didn't feel like I was getting it right.
I'll call a few local shops tomorrow and see what they charge to true up two rims. Hopefully they can do them quickly so I can keep moving.