The Redneck Engineer (his site is over in my blog roll) is currently posting about a .50 caliber rifle he's building. That's right, except for the barrel and some small parts he could fabricate if he wanted to, he's building the entire thing from scratch. I've been following along, mightily impressed with both his skills and ingenuity.
I've always been impressed with those folks who can take some basic materials such as steel, leather and wood and create beautiful and useful items. The Reluctant Paladin and Og are others who can create things that blow my mind.
If you've got a few minutes (and haven't already) hop over to Redneck Engineers site and read the build from the beginning. It's fascinating and gives me ideas for projects I'd like to do. I'll probably never build a rifle from scratch but the techniques and tools he talks about are transferable to many other things. His knowledge, ingenuity, precision and sheer talent are awe inspiring. He is the spirit of our American forefathers in present day.
Brother, thanks for posting this build and sharing your experience and knowledge with me. I'm looking forward to the finish of this project and the next (and the next, etc.) one you do.