Its funny (or sad) to see how some folks expect for a smith to jump through hoops to finish their build as soon as they send in their stuff. I'd say that 95% of the better smiths out their are a one man opperation and for those of you who think that these guy drag their sorry butts out of bed at 9-10 am to get started then take a 2hr lunch break and knock off at 4pm your saddly mistaken , you must also relize that these guys have a life also , that involves kids and a wife generaly , I'm not sure about you but my son comes first and formost to me so if he gets sick then my job gets put on hold.
Also if you think that building a rifle is just a matter to throwing some stuff togther , again your wrong. Most people have no idea whats involved when your setting up parts for machining when the tolerances are held to .0002" , if Nate sets up a barrel to be chambered has it all dialed in ready for cutting then takes a phone call and chats with a customer for an hr alot of things can happen , if the temp in his shop goes up 5-10 degs then the barrel will most likely have to be redialed.
Nathan has built a couple guns for me and done a good bit of other work for me as well , I reccomend him to anybody that needs work done , from somthing as minor as bolt fluting to a full custom build.
George Gardener's shop produces some fine rifles as well , but GAP also has several guys working all at the same time , if George sudden'y had to do it all by himself then it would well take more than a year to get a rifle from him. I'm sure that Nate could probably have his wife answer the phone all the time and take notes and messages but I know that when I send sombody a build i want to talk to the guy making the chips !!
Here is some pics of a Phoenix Machine action and some of Nathan's machine work