You might notice that many of my writings start with “Back in the day”. Not wanting to disappoint I will say that back in the day we used to use wire wrap technology when we needed a somewhat solid, somewhat reliably assembly. Given a readable schematic a good tech could return a working or near-working unit in a day or two depending on the completeness and accuracy of the schematic.
I will be doing a workshop this Friday at VCF East on computer architecture. Each year is bigger and better and this is the second year for three days of computer related festivities. Worth the drive if you are in the NJ, NY, PA area!