Check out this French dude (probably a genius mechanical engineer as much as he's a hardcore photographer) as he gets inspired to create his own SLR camera from scratch. Everything is build from raw materials such as chunks of brass or stainless steel, and machined according to the plans that he drew himself. The only parts that he couldn't manufacture, and thus had to salvage from an existing camera, were the shutter curtain, screws and some ball bearings. Every part of the process was meticulously documented and explained, with interesting photos to illustrate the building process.
All photos copyright of the photographer
The end camera is crude and ugly, but it works 100% and delivers the goods! You can't help but be impressed by the determination of this guy to build a camera from ground up. If he runs a watch company, he would have received the much sought-after title of a "manufacture". Check out his creation process here:
http://www.collection-appareils.fr/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8822&st=0&sk=t&sd=a (page 1)
http://www.collection-appareils.fr/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8822&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=8940afac37e2ea84bd4fd81de0612a0d&start=25 (page 2)