Older/Used enterprise managed switch advice (cisco, juniper, etc)

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
Hey guys, looking for some input on buying a used, higher end fully managed switch(s). Once upon a time I designed, deployed , and maintained pretty large networks for various types of organizations, back around the dotcom boom and subsequent apocalypse, and for a handful of years after that. Was pretty deep on the Cisco side back then, had CCNA/CCNP, I guess, 20 years ago. Like a lot of people here I presume. I still like to think I'm reasonably capable/adept at this sort of thing, although I've mostly been using consumer/prosumer level networking equipment, as I've had little need for anything complex, other than commercial cell modems for my remote cabin property.

I've moved full time to my remote cabin property, which is on the side of a large (for the eastern ranges) mountain, I've got 30 acres surrounded by 2000 acres of national forest, with only one full time neighbor, below, and not very close to me. I'm 30 minutes from the nearest gas station or store of any type, internet thus far is an abysmal 4G LTE connection that while I get a solid signal, the tower is for shit. There is fiber available about a mile down my very rough 4wd only road, unfortunately I was unaware of a grant period to cover infrastructure so I haven't been able to stomach the few thousand dollars necessary to have it run. I'm working on some loopholes however. I am fully 100% off-grid in terms of infrastructure, electrical, water/sewer, etc, and plan to remain that way. I've got fairly good renewable resources however. Growing PV array, already about 25kWh of lithium storage, and eventually will have at least 100kW, as I'll be running my machine shop off renewables as much as possible. For the most part, I've got reasonable privacy (though not as much as you'd expect) and little intrusion, however, since covid, increasingly more random people have been venturing out from the city looking for entertainment, and hunting season is always a caveat, since the 2000 acres of national forest I'm adjacent to, is designated "gamelands". I have no issue with hunters or hunting in general of course (I'm pretty sure I was born a grumpy old caveman (with a contradictory side-interested in technology), out of time and place and living here is my way of correcting that misalignment). However, since one of the main varieties of hunting that occurs in this area, is bear hunting, which involves large packs of unruly, seemingly poorly trained in any area other than chasing down bears, hounds of various types who all appear to be primarily bred for their unique ability to sound like someone is hate raping a baby seal, whenever they open their mouths to cry-bark incessantly; being turned loose on the mountain to simply roam in search of mischief. Even though they all have expensive GPS collars on, and even though I've got my land posted, and it's hard to miss considering you have to drive through my land on both sides of the road to get into this area very easily, they always seem to end up over here tearing shit up, and driving my Great Dane and me insane. Usually between 2 and 4 am.

Anyway, all that backstory, which I describe mostly for your entertainment, has had various implications, to try and solve this encroachment, hopefully diplomatically. The primary way it relates to my question is in making me finally get serious about my surveillance plan. I'm sure you can imagine however that 30 acres of steep mountainous, heavily wooded, temperate rain-forest (look it up, I'm in the Appalachians of Western NC), and generating all my own electricity, has it's challenges.

I'm installing who knows how many, PoE IP cameras of various types. Figuring out my whole NVR/Detection/recording scheme is a whole other can of worms, but primarily I am in desperate need of robust core network infrastructure to handle all the data. The obvious answer to me seemed to be buy some good used, not insanely old, but inexpensive commercial/enterprise gear, since I used to be pretty adept at utilizing it. One thing I didn't really consider once I started wading through the ebay cesspool, is the ubiquity of "cloud managed" enterprise network equipment, I almost pulled the trigger on what seemed like a great, not insanely old Cisco "Meraki" 48 port GbE switch, until fortunately I did a little more slow-poke research and realized it's basically a glorified doorstop without a license and access to the cloud based management tools. Obviously the old "Totalitarian-Dictator Network Overlord / Luddite" of my previous life is appalled by the concept, though I have heard the youngers poking fun at all us "Boomers (do you idiots really think that every generation older than what, millennials were Baby Boomers? Even my parents weren't "boomers" by any accepted definition)", for wanting localized, let alone fully isolated or restricted control over basically anything, so clearly I'm just totally out of touch in my ancient and senile old age of barely in my 40s. ;D


So, finally, my big question: What "vintage", "dumb" aka not cloud based, not subscription license requiring, or other major caveats; fully managed, enterprise quality switches should I be considering? PoE isn't absolutely mandatory, though convenient, as most of the IP Cams I'm using thus far have aux 12v dc input. I will end up needing probably one larger 48 port all Gig-E, primary switch at my cabin, and obviously I'm going to need to have a few distributed hub locations at various corners of my property, as the cable alone would cost me a fortune if I tried to run each camera a direct cable, let alone the infrastructure considerations or the fact that most of them would exceed the maximum cable length without repeaters etc. Ideally a switch with a handful of 10Gb SFP uplinks would seem optimal for connecting those other subs. One really really majorly ideal bonus feature, which I know was readily available as an option back in my day, is a device that supports external DC power source. I have built the overwhelming majority of my primary infrastructure here directly DC powered, to avoid conversion losses from using Inverters, it hasn't been difficult since the overwhelming majority of electronics and logic are DC powered anyway, usually you can just eliminate the wall-wort, make a new cable and utilize a voltage and/or current regulating device, although a large amount of devices that are 12VDC powered will run fine from the standard 11.x-14.x volt range of typical 12V nominal battery banks (my primary bank however is 48V nominal, but I have a dedicated 12V nominal bank just for running electronics like networking equipment, lighting, etc). I know some of the old Cisco Catalyst 3000 series switches tick most of the boxes, I don't recall them requiring an active license to be functional but my memory isn't exactly stellar for small details two decades past, and I know these models are that old. I know Juniper had some switches that seem to fit the bill as well, that are a bit newer, although I'm not sure any of them have the DC backup power option, or if there's any caveats with them regarding licenses or cloud BS either. I've seen brands that didn't appear to exist during my day as well, like Riverbed? Seem to have some good deals on high spec switches but I couldn't figure out whether they have mandatory cloud features or not. (Cloud stuff is ok if it's not mandatory for functionality, and can be shut down. Currently I don't have the bandwidth to waste even if I wanted to use it, my connection is at best 10Mb down and less than 1Mb up with intermittent packet loss and regular full-stop go-fuck yourself latency for no apparent rhyme or reason. Regardless, it's not something I'd want even if I could spare the throughput.

I should probably also mention that I am far from wealthy, so this will be rolling out incrementally, and as I can find insane deals on stuff. I'm looking to spend no more than a few hundred bucks on a switch, preferably $200 or less. Fortunately I've got a couple spools of Cat6 cable on hand, plenty of extra PC components etc, wire galore, and am a decent machinist/fabricator .


Well anyway, thanks all for indulging my rambling story and entertaining my questions, any help is appreciated. TLDR: need recommends on older (and inexpensive) 48 and 24 port enterprise managed GbE switches that don't require actively maintained licenses or cloud anything to be utilized. PoE is a plus, as well as support for remote DC power, a few 10Gb SFP etc uplink ports would also be nice, but they don't have to be included if there are module slots for them.

Thanks all!
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
Love the back story and I will have to reach out to you if civilization ends because sounds like it would be fun to hang out and shoot the 'zombies' that come up from the apocalypse, haha.

As far as your equipment request, since you have experience in Cisco and worked on stuff that worked in the etnerprise, I would literally start with those pieces because you know how they work if they can do the job and know exactly how any licensing, etc is handled on them. Funny thing is that networking hasn't really changed much at all in 20 years so the only thing you're really missing is all the newer POE stuff and you could get smaller newer units of these where you need them since running everything from the cabin would just be a lot of cabling. I believe some of the older HPs also could run on DC power so those in addition to Cisco would be something to look at (and Aruba since they bought the HP enterprise div afaik).

And I know this would be sounding crazy to others, but since it's your property and hell if anyone is going to mess with your decision to do so, but I'd take some of that dc juice and just put it through your metal fence (or make a metal fence if you don't have one)--one or two good zaps by those mutts, those people, or even a bear and they won't bother you again.
 

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
Love the back story and I will have to reach out to you if civilization ends because sounds like it would be fun to hang out and shoot the 'zombies' that come up from the apocalypse, haha.

As far as your equipment request, since you have experience in Cisco and worked on stuff that worked in the etnerprise, I would literally start with those pieces because you know how they work if they can do the job and know exactly how any licensing, etc is handled on them. Funny thing is that networking hasn't really changed much at all in 20 years so the only thing you're really missing is all the newer POE stuff and you could get smaller newer units of these where you need them since running everything from the cabin would just be a lot of cabling. I believe some of the older HPs also could run on DC power so those in addition to Cisco would be something to look at (and Aruba since they bought the HP enterprise div afaik).

And I know this would be sounding crazy to others, but since it's your property and hell if anyone is going to mess with your decision to do so, but I'd take some of that dc juice and just put it through your metal fence (or make a metal fence if you don't have one)--one or two good zaps by those mutts, those people, or even a bear and they won't bother you again.

Haha, you're welcome any time bro. Funnily enough when I told one of my friends about a recent experience with those dogs, his response was "Sounds like it's time to setup some 12 gauge tripwires." I'm actually trying my absolute best to keep from making any enemies I don't have to, though my patience is wearing thin and I feel like I'm the only one putting the effort in to do so atm. The community is apparently already afraid of me since I usually walk around my property with a AR, AK, or some other military style rifle, which may be understandable in certain parts of the country, but I find exceptionally ironic here, where convoys of hunters on ATVs with packs of unruly dogs will drive up at midnight, with much higher powered hunting rifles. There are bears, bobcats, and presumably mountain lions, active on my property, plus any number of other suspected and unsuspected ways for me to get myself or my dog severely injured, and it would take a minimum response time of 45 mins to an hour, before any sort of LE or emergency services could get here, *if* and it's a big if, they can actually get up my road. Normal ambulance or police charger etc simply can not, and would likely get stuck trying, creating an impassible situation. 1 lane two track very steep, rocky and muddy mile long road, with a shear drop on one side and a in most places a very steep grade on the other. Even my truck which is a 4wd 3/4 ton Suburban, has gotten stuck numerous times trying to make it up some random old logging road that seemed passable, but can only be climbed by a vehicle on tracks. Most of them were made by a large Cat Dozier, which admittedly can climb anything. No place for a chopper to land either. All that to say, at minimum, it would seem irresponsible to be far from my cabin without at least a rifle, a knife, and some basic first aid. Of course everyone else in the small community with few exceptions, lives down at the main road. I was of course encouraged to do the same, this upper section of the mountain has presumably never been settled. Even before the Cherokee were forcibly removed, it doesn't look like it was utilized much, and the subsequent owners only used it for timber. Of course for me, that's much of the appeal. I get insane amounts of rain, insane winds part of the year, 5-10x as much snow as the valley, etc, but I'm never short of water, I have a year round creek that has over 100ft of fall across my property, best spring water I've ever tasted, and more wild edible mushrooms than any place other than perhaps the PNW, though I get significantly more rain than anywhere other than central Oregon.

It's pretty much paradise if you're into that sort of stuff. Hit me up if you're ever in the area, I'm a little over an hour from Asheville, NC, and only a few miles from the AT and the NC/TN border.

Thanks for the advice as well, and I agree with your line of thinking.
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
Haha, you're welcome any time bro. Funnily enough when I told one of my friends about a recent experience with those dogs, his response was "Sounds like it's time to setup some 12 gauge tripwires." I'm actually trying my absolute best to keep from making any enemies I don't have to, though my patience is wearing thin and I feel like I'm the only one putting the effort in to do so atm. The community is apparently already afraid of me since I usually walk around my property with a AR, AK, or some other military style rifle, which may be understandable in certain parts of the country, but I find exceptionally ironic here, where convoys of hunters on ATVs with packs of unruly dogs will drive up at midnight, with much higher powered hunting rifles. There are bears, bobcats, and presumably mountain lions, active on my property, plus any number of other suspected and unsuspected ways for me to get myself or my dog severely injured, and it would take a minimum response time of 45 mins to an hour, before any sort of LE or emergency services could get here, *if* and it's a big if, they can actually get up my road. Normal ambulance or police charger etc simply can not, and would likely get stuck trying, creating an impassible situation. 1 lane two track very steep, rocky and muddy mile long road, with a shear drop on one side and a in most places a very steep grade on the other. Even my truck which is a 4wd 3/4 ton Suburban, has gotten stuck numerous times trying to make it up some random old logging road that seemed passable, but can only be climbed by a vehicle on tracks. Most of them were made by a large Cat Dozier, which admittedly can climb anything. No place for a chopper to land either. All that to say, at minimum, it would seem irresponsible to be far from my cabin without at least a rifle, a knife, and some basic first aid. Of course everyone else in the small community with few exceptions, lives down at the main road. I was of course encouraged to do the same, this upper section of the mountain has presumably never been settled. Even before the Cherokee were forcibly removed, it doesn't look like it was utilized much, and the subsequent owners only used it for timber. Of course for me, that's much of the appeal. I get insane amounts of rain, insane winds part of the year, 5-10x as much snow as the valley, etc, but I'm never short of water, I have a year round creek that has over 100ft of fall across my property, best spring water I've ever tasted, and more wild edible mushrooms than any place other than perhaps the PNW, though I get significantly more rain than anywhere other than central Oregon.

It's pretty much paradise if you're into that sort of stuff. Hit me up if you're ever in the area, I'm a little over an hour from Asheville, NC, and only a few miles from the AT and the NC/TN border.

Thanks for the advice as well, and I agree with your line of thinking.
Yeah, I'm the same way, but as the saying goes 'gotta draw a line somewhere'. And since LE is that far away, you're going to need to 'make your own law' as that saying goes or else someone else will, aka the hunters and tresspassers. Which is an important point because if there is a state law on tresspassing, you can find out what an attorney needs to nails these guys with a lawsuit and simply collect that evidence. There's also homestead and other rights as this is your primary home. I know in certain states you can use deadly force to defend your home and it's not looked down upon.

All that being said, I'm such a wussy that I probably wouldn't survive 5 minutes up there, lol. Well, at least away from power, shelter, etc. I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, but I definitely did enjoy a whole day of offroading with some guys with some serious rigs--and we were basically driving in an old riverbed a good part of the day. So maybe I could make do. But man the nature part of it sounds awesome--you could practically put a mini wind farm and you have your own water source which is awesome. I bet the fishing must be awesome too, even though I don't fish (I like to eat fish though, lol).

You're actually pretty close to a buddy of mine I think--he was in Greensboro, but I can't remember how far away from there he is now. He had his small wedding at a cabin in Maggie Valley and that was a sweet drive on some two lane canopy cover roads. :) I bounce between CA and N AL, so the NC/TN isn't too far. :)

At some point, I want to make a drive up in my Porsche Boxster to meet my buddy since he got himself a black Porsche speedster and his is black just like mine. I haven't seen the guy in almost a decade now except for a few days when he and I were working in N AL at the same time, and we used to work side by side for 12hrs a day when were had a business together. So whenever I get that trip put together I'll have to hit you up. Just hanging out and seeing the solution you come up with for your...ummm...pest control will great to see. :D
 

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
Yeah, I'm the same way, but as the saying goes 'gotta draw a line somewhere'. And since LE is that far away, you're going to need to 'make your own law' as that saying goes or else someone else will, aka the hunters and tresspassers. Which is an important point because if there is a state law on tresspassing, you can find out what an attorney needs to nails these guys with a lawsuit and simply collect that evidence. There's also homestead and other rights as this is your primary home. I know in certain states you can use deadly force to defend your home and it's not looked down upon.

All that being said, I'm such a wussy that I probably wouldn't survive 5 minutes up there, lol. Well, at least away from power, shelter, etc. I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, but I definitely did enjoy a whole day of offroading with some guys with some serious rigs--and we were basically driving in an old riverbed a good part of the day. So maybe I could make do. But man the nature part of it sounds awesome--you could practically put a mini wind farm and you have your own water source which is awesome. I bet the fishing must be awesome too, even though I don't fish (I like to eat fish though, lol).

You're actually pretty close to a buddy of mine I think--he was in Greensboro, but I can't remember how far away from there he is now. He had his small wedding at a cabin in Maggie Valley and that was a sweet drive on some two lane canopy cover roads. :) I bounce between CA and N AL, so the NC/TN isn't too far. :)

At some point, I want to make a drive up in my Porsche Boxster to meet my buddy since he got himself a black Porsche speedster and his is black just like mine. I haven't seen the guy in almost a decade now except for a few days when he and I were working in N AL at the same time, and we used to work side by side for 12hrs a day when were had a business together. So whenever I get that trip put together I'll have to hit you up. Just hanging out and seeing the solution you come up with for your...ummm...pest control will great to see. :D
Yanno, you'd probably be surprised how nice my lifestyle can be. I don't have much shortage of electricity for the most part. Even have an AC that'll run me out of here in the summer (mini-split for the win), and no matter where I live, I always want to heat with wood in the winter. That said I love the outdoors, I've fallen asleep outside here just on the ground on more than one occasion during the nicest parts of the year. There are some potential dangers with animals but ironically, the wildlife is pretty averse to humans, as they should be. My place in town I lived before on the other hand, like clockwork the bears would show up the night before trash pickup, and raise utter hell. More than once did I walk outside to check on some commotion on a Tuesday night, to find an old black bear pulling a bag out of my trashcan, look at me like I was the asshole, but gave no fucks, or a mama bear with 5 cubs using an old Willys pickup I had as a jungle gym (mama bears with cubs are the ones you gotta really be concerned about). Once my neighbors were out of town, and asked me to keep an eye on their place, when I heard a loud crash I was certain some tweaker was robbing them. Grabbed my pistol and flashlight and went looking to see what was what, and found their back screen door ripped open and bent nearly in half (one of those flimsy metal ones), and a gang of baby bears and mamma in their sunroom, where they had apparently left their trash hoping to keep the bears from getting into it... Wasn't really much I could do about it unfortunately. 🤷‍♂️ They're just fully acclimated at this point in the city, transplants and tourists actively feed them on their porches, and the population has boomed somewhat out of control because of well meaning, but ultimately misguided idealism. I've seen half a dozen bears dead on the Interstate in the last few years, which is just sad frankly, worst part is that the city bears are unlikely to even be capable of surviving in the wild anymore, and I've little doubt that whatever they've been eating out of most people's trashcans has left them likely quite unhealthy.


Greensboro is not far away from the Asheville area at all, couple of hours, and Maggie Valley is in the area, just west in Haywood County. I've spent countless days of my life over there, Canton, Waynesville, and Maggie, one of my mentors in knifemaking (handmade custom knives is my primary occupation these days, but I dabble in hand engraving, gunsmithing, machining and machine tool restoration) lives in that area, they're one of the old legacy families there. His brother used to own the bow shop in Maggie actually, so we spent quite a bit of time there.

Speaking of Maggie, are you familiar with, or did you ever have an opportunity to visit Ghost Town? It's worth a google if you aren't.

Yeah man, don't lose touch with a friend like that for too long, the good ones won't hold it against you, but you'll probably regret the time you lost. I've got very few people I'd consider no questions down AF real friends, and we all lose touch now and then as life takes it's toll, but I'm always confused as to how we let it happen, when real MFs are so few and far between, let alone ones you actually trust, enjoy the company of, and always have a blast being around. Also, this is definitely the area for fun driving if you like the twistys. Lookup Hot Springs NC, that's the closest town to me, about 25-30 mins away, cool little off the beaten path town with cabins and a little spa resort type thing (and actual Hot Spring), right off the AT. Lots of fun road to ride around there, you'll catch some small groups of bikers etc that are in the know, but unlike Gattlingburg or Helen or, some of the other places in North Georgia, Western NC, or East TN, it's not overrun. I'll happily meet up with you guys for drinks there or anywhere in the area anytime.
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
I don't doubt it's awesome. Just knowing you have ice cold AC like that and the peace to sleep outside like that. I've never been able to do that before--sleep with just me and the Earth. Grounding in a true literal sense of the word.

Sounds like the city bears is a real problem at your old place and sad too that they're eating our trash because we probably shouldn't be eating half of it (reaches for bag of cheetohs :D).

That's super cool that you know the area so well. I'll have to mention this to my buddy as I think he's spent some time there to want to get married there. (y)

I don't even have a knife but have found that now that I'm doing things with a house, I need one from time to time and have thought about getting something. Handmade custom sounds pretty awesome, but I'm sure it would be overkill for me. It is always nice to have the finest of things, but then I find that if I'm not using it to its potential its a bit of a waste.

I never heard of Ghost Town, and it seems I missed the boat as it's now closed and apparently for sale because it's cursed?
http://www.strangeandcreepy.com/cursed-north-carolina-ghost-town-theme-park-up-for-sale/

Yeah I've got a lot of friends that I've not been able to connect with for the better part of this decade, and it eats me alive because those times are some of the best of my life. You're right that they won't hold it against you, but that lost time is really hard to recover if even possible. And you're damn right about those AF real friends and how we allow life to even get in between like that considering all the joy and trust that is there. Makes me want to make it a point to call all the guys I've lost touch with this week, but I know that's not even close to realistic since I still haven't finished what I was supposed to have done on the 25th. :(

Oh wow, Hot Springs sounds really nice. I love these smaller towns to go cruise into and just wander around. Plus, the springs would keep the wife occupied if she tagged along.

I'm going to have to remember all this once I get the time to get out there in the next few years. I'm even going to let my friend know so he can remind me or if he's in the area. :) It will be awesome to meet you in person one day and hang out. :)
 

Nicklebon

Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
867
I've spent countless days of my life over there, Canton, Waynesville, and Maggie, one of my mentors in knifemaking (handmade custom knives is my primary occupation these days,
I think I've seen photos of your work and maybe even handled a piece. I'm not so much into knives as firearms but I've a friend down the road in Raleigh that is big time into them. From what I gather you guys have a close knit community. I'll not toss his RL name out but does the name Fitz the Rogue mean anything to you?
 

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
I think I've seen photos of your work and maybe even handled a piece. I'm not so much into knives as firearms but I've a friend down the road in Raleigh that is big time into them. From what I gather you guys have a close knit community. I'll not toss his RL name out but does the name Fitz the Rogue mean anything to you?

Honestly it's not ringing any bells personally, however, it does remind me of a crowd some other makers in the area interact with, Shelby or Charlie maybe, we are a pretty close crowd, especially those of us involved in the ABS (American Bladesmith Society), which I am. The friend I mentioned (Bill Wiggins) is actually a board member of the organization and was the main driver for getting our school setup out there at Haywood Community College. Another maker that was pivotal in getting me into making pocket knives, Daniel Warren, lives a few minutes away from ol Bill, and is an accredited Master Bladesmith (MS) in the organization also. Any knifemaker worth their salt around here will know about the school, and hopefully be involved in the community, if they are, they'll know me or know of me. In fact, most of us that are involved in the community worldwide, know each other, or know another maker that does. There's definitely some sub-groups and cliques like anything, but it's a pretty small world, for one of, if not the oldest actual human trade. First caveman that rubbed a bone on a rock to make it pointy or smashed two stones together until one of them was sharp enough to scrape bark off a tree, was a knifemaker. Anything used to separate matter, is a knife, or technically; cutlery.

FWIW, I'm pretty big into firearms myself. A lot of my focus lately has been on gunsmithing, though mostly traditional pistols (1911s, SAAs, etc) or military style rifles, AKs especially. I haven't had the chance to get into more traditional rifles yet, though I hope to.

You guys can find some photos of my work on IG if you're interested @javan.dempsey though I'm not much on self promotion or taking photos lol, so you may have to do some scrolling, prob more photos of wild mushrooms than knives on there. I'm kind of underground in that most of my work sells to other knifemakers, which is a point of pride for me. I'm known primarily for fine slipjoints, but also damascus, which I used to make fulltime for other makers, and have invented a bunch of unique patterns in, primarily complex mosaics.

Here's an example of my style, from a few years ago, including one of my unique damascus patterns I call warbonnet (the pattern in the blade, which is two alloys of steel smashed together at 2300F under a giant violent machine (power hammer) and manipulated to produce the pattern you see which is homogeneously diffusion welded into a monolithic piece of steel in which the pattern is consistent through the cross section), with blue fossil woolly mammoth tusk ivory handle slabs, textured and anodized titanium fittings. Everything is completely handmade, even down to the pins which are domed from rod with a tiny ballpeen hammer. My focus is mostly on fine traditional construction methodology utilizing rare and unique materials coupled with modern materials (titanium, etc) and advanced embellishment techniques. Small, thin, svelte, extremely hard, designed for precision and performance over say, being able to withstand being driven over by a tank or used to chop cinder block... Scalpels not crowbars lol.

blue-slip.jpg


Here's another one I really enjoyed making, this one is antique W2 high carbon steel, that's been rust blued (the same way turn of the century (20th) firearms were finished), along with vintage rag micarta, and anodized titanium fittings (photo from the collector who bought it).

longhorn.jpg


Another angle which shows the handle slabs and color of the blade better:

bullnoseandme.jpg
 
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jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
P.S. definitely not my keyboard in the background of that last photo (from customer), I'm a zelotously religious believer and user of split keyboards. Just wish you could get a craptop with one, although I think I recall a vintage model that actually had a built in split kbd that sort of lifted up and slid apart?
 

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
I don't doubt it's awesome. Just knowing you have ice cold AC like that and the peace to sleep outside like that. I've never been able to do that before--sleep with just me and the Earth. Grounding in a true literal sense of the word.


I never heard of Ghost Town, and it seems I missed the boat as it's now closed and apparently for sale because it's cursed?
http://www.strangeandcreepy.com/cursed-north-carolina-ghost-town-theme-park-up-for-sale/


I'm going to have to remember all this once I get the time to get out there in the next few years. I'm even going to let my friend know so he can remind me or if he's in the area. :) It will be awesome to meet you in person one day and hang out. :)

Haha well, pro tip, whiskey helps.


Yeah Ghost Town is forever in a state of being for sale, and promises of being reopened. It was an incredible experience as a child though. For those that haven't read the wikipedia entry, it was basically a Wild West themed amusement park on the top of a mountain. You had to take a rail car or a chair lift up to it, and they had rickety wooden rollercoasters built hanging over the sheer faces of the mountain. Random western style gun-fights would break out in the streets of the park, and all sorts of other Wild west style choreographed events, with the employees all wearing period garb and such, saloon style restaurants, etc. I'm sure I'm exceedingly romanticizing it, but as a kid, I thought it blew Six Flags, Disney whatever, etc out of the water. Everyone I've met around here that got to experience it seems to feel the same. Fingers crossed it'll ever be reopened. I know it got close around 10 years ago, someone poured a ton of money into it, and even had actors hired for the gunfights and such because my friend's Bow store (was an FFL as well) in Maggie acquired a bunch of the SAA pistols for the gunfights for them. Unfortunately yeah, it seems cursed lol.


Yeah definitely hit me up man, and the wifey will love Hot Springs. Rent a cabin, and cut her loose with some cash, a wink, and a slap on the rear, then come hang out. We can smoke fine cigars, drink some fine whiskey, and make shit go boom. The American Trifecta of Perfection. :ROFLMAO:



Also, we're usually in Alabama for a knifemaking event, every year, late March at Tannehill State Park? Not sure if that's anywhere near you, but it's a fun weekend for anybody remotely interested in knives or blacksmithing, or just something out of the ordinary, open to the public. There's demos, classes, and usually even some hands on forging for anyone interested, along with food/drinks and an auction to benefit the organization that puts the event on (The Alabama Forge Council). It's called "Baton's Bladesmithing Symposium", old man Baton's passed away not long ago but they're keeping the event going, hell of an interesting guy and one of the biggest drivers of keeping traditional bladesmithing and forged blades alive, as it nearly died out completely 50 or so years back, he was an actual rocket scientist before he retired. Developed shoulder fired missiles for the DoD and worked with NASA in his youth, he was a riot to hang out with, one of those guys I could listen to for any length of time and he never ran out of stories.
 
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SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
Honestly it's not ringing any bells personally, however, it does remind me of a crowd some other makers in the area interact with, Shelby or Charlie maybe, we are a pretty close crowd, especially those of us involved in the ABS (American Bladesmith Society), which I am. The friend I mentioned (Bill Wiggins) is actually a board member of the organization and was the main driver for getting our school setup out there at Haywood Community College. Another maker that was pivotal in getting me into making pocket knives, Daniel Warren, lives a few minutes away from ol Bill, and is an accredited Master Bladesmith (MS) in the organization also. Any knifemaker worth their salt around here will know about the school, and hopefully be involved in the community, if they are, they'll know me or know of me. In fact, most of us that are involved in the community worldwide, know each other, or know another maker that does. There's definitely some sub-groups and cliques like anything, but it's a pretty small world, for one of, if not the oldest actual human trade. First caveman that rubbed a bone on a rock to make it pointy or smashed two stones together until one of them was sharp enough to scrape bark off a tree, was a knifemaker. Anything used to separate matter, is a knife, or technically; cutlery.

FWIW, I'm pretty big into firearms myself. A lot of my focus lately has been on gunsmithing, though mostly traditional pistols (1911s, SAAs, etc) or military style rifles, AKs especially. I haven't had the chance to get into more traditional rifles yet, though I hope to.

You guys can find some photos of my work on IG if you're interested @javan.dempsey though I'm not much on self promotion or taking photos lol, so you may have to do some scrolling, prob more photos of wild mushrooms than knives on there. I'm kind of underground in that most of my work sells to other knifemakers, which is a point of pride for me. I'm known primarily for fine slipjoints, but also damascus, which I used to make fulltime for other makers, and have invented a bunch of unique patterns in, primarily complex mosaics.

Here's an example of my style, from a few years ago, including one of my unique damascus patterns I call warbonnet (the pattern in the blade, which is two alloys of steel smashed together at 2300F under a giant violent machine (power hammer) and manipulated to produce the pattern you see which is homogeneously diffusion welded into a monolithic piece of steel in which the pattern is consistent through the cross section), with blue fossil woolly mammoth tusk ivory handle slabs, textured and anodized titanium fittings. Everything is completely handmade, even down to the pins which are domed from rod with a tiny ballpeen hammer. My focus is mostly on fine traditional construction methodology utilizing rare and unique materials coupled with modern materials (titanium, etc) and advanced embellishment techniques. Small, thin, svelte, extremely hard, designed for precision and performance over say, being able to withstand being driven over by a tank or used to chop cinder block... Scalpels not crowbars lol.

View attachment 514892

Here's another one I really enjoyed making, this one is antique W2 high carbon steel, that's been rust blued (the same way turn of the century (20th) firearms were finished), along with vintage rag micarta, and anodized titanium fittings (photo from the collector who bought it).

View attachment 514896

Another angle which shows the handle slabs and color of the blade better:

View attachment 514898
That's some seriously beautiful work. Functional art at its best. (y)
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
P.S. definitely not my keyboard in the background of that last photo (from customer), I'm a zelotously religious believer and user of split keyboards. Just wish you could get a craptop with one, although I think I recall a vintage model that actually had a built in split kbd that sort of lifted up and slid apart?
There was a thinkpad that did this to make a larger keyboard, but not one as a split afaik. It sucks when what you need no one makes--but then again, I'm sure you could just make one. ;) I've been lucky in that the Model M works perfect for my hands and I bought like 20x of them 20 years ago for 50 cents each when no one knew what they even were, lol.
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,752
Haha well, pro tip, whiskey helps.


Yeah Ghost Town is forever in a state of being for sale, and promises of being reopened. It was an incredible experience as a child though. For those that haven't read the wikipedia entry, it was basically a Wild West themed amusement park on the top of a mountain. You had to take a rail car or a chair lift up to it, and they had rickety wooden rollercoasters built hanging over the sheer faces of the mountain. Random western style gun-fights would break out in the streets of the park, and all sorts of other Wild west style choreographed events, with the employees all wearing period garb and such, saloon style restaurants, etc. I'm sure I'm exceedingly romanticizing it, but as a kid, I thought it blew Six Flags, Disney whatever, etc out of the water. Everyone I've met around here that got to experience it seems to feel the same. Fingers crossed it'll ever be reopened. I know it got close around 10 years ago, someone poured a ton of money into it, and even had actors hired for the gunfights and such because my friend's Bow store (was an FFL as well) in Maggie acquired a bunch of the SAA pistols for the gunfights for them. Unfortunately yeah, it seems cursed lol.


Yeah definitely hit me up man, and the wifey will love Hot Springs. Rent a cabin, and cut her loose with some cash, a wink, and a slap on the rear, then come hang out. We can smoke fine cigars, drink some fine whiskey, and make shit go boom. The American Trifecta of Perfection. :ROFLMAO:



Also, we're usually in Alabama for a knifemaking event, every year, late March at Tannehill State Park? Not sure if that's anywhere near you, but it's a fun weekend for anybody remotely interested in knives or blacksmithing, or just something out of the ordinary, open to the public. There's demos, classes, and usually even some hands on forging for anyone interested, along with food/drinks and an auction to benefit the organization that puts the event on (The Alabama Forge Council). It's called "Baton's Bladesmithing Symposium", old man Baton's passed away not long ago but they're keeping the event going, hell of an interesting guy and one of the biggest drivers of keeping traditional bladesmithing and forged blades alive, as it nearly died out completely 50 or so years back, he was an actual rocket scientist before he retired. Developed shoulder fired missiles for the DoD and worked with NASA in his youth, he was a riot to hang out with, one of those guys I could listen to for any length of time and he never ran out of stories.
Haha! Too bad drinks don't calm my demons but cause them to start constantly talking, haha.

I remember at my friend's wedding there in Maggie, a bunch of people did ask me if I took the train to the top of the mountain as that in itself was supposed to be great. I bet it was still operating then too. Hate that I missed it as that was over a decade ago and I'm sure they would have been open.

Yep, although she'll tell me not to hit her when I slap her on the rear, haha! Yes, that does sound like some fun for sure!

I know exactly where Tannehill is because there's several car groups that will do a drive through there. About an hour from me I believe. I'll definitely have to check it out as that's the type of events that let you get up close and personal with something in a way just looking at it never will. If Mr. Baton worked for NASA, I bet he spent a lot of time in Huntsville which is in my back yard. :)

There's a lot of history and cool characters in this area. I still remember my high school physics teacher telling me about growing up in Huntsville down the street from Dr. Warner Von Braun. He a lot of other kids would hang out on his front porch and he would tell them about concepts like a space station that spins so that there is artificial gravity--had to be super-cool to hear that from the man himself.

I also met Homer Hickham (https://homerhickam.com/) who's story as a kid was made into the movie October Sky. Apparently, when he became a scientist in Huntsville back in the day, he was also a president of the local Porsche club that was celebrating their 50th anniversary and had invited past presidents to the event. I was covering the event for my web site and it was an absolute blast being surrounded by cars and finally meeting him.

I remember in elementary school, we took a field trip out to the Florence area to visit the home of Helen Keller, probably the most famous blind and deaf person that has ever lived. It was a neat visit and actually not boring like most field trips. Ironically, even the elementary school I attended, Chaffee Elementary School, has its own history named after Robert B. Caffee who died in the Apollo 1 fire. The middle school, Ed White Middle School, and Grissom High School were also named after the astronauts that perished in the Apollo 1 fire. I never attended those but my cousins did graduate from Grissom. When Huntsville built some new schools, they named them after the Space Shuttles--Challenger, Enterprise, and Columbia. And for many years one of the shuttle mockups was parked at the Space and Rocket Museum. But the last time I drove by it was missing. I just found this article and it seems they're restoring it:
https://www.space.com/space-shuttle-pathfinder-lowered-for-restoration

I was privileged enough to be given permission to get on top of the space and rocket center building to take a picture of almost 50 Honda S2000s that were given permission to park under the shuttle for a group photo as part of the 5th annual Southeast Super Meet. It's an awesome shot with the shuttle right there on top of all these cool cars and their owners. (y)

It was always neat to drive by the space and rocket center where the space shuttle, an sr71 black bird, and saturn V rocket would just be a normal view as you drove by. I think it's the only city in the US that has that view.

I didn't realize how many memories I had--man I'm getting old! :D
 

jdempsey

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
143
I didn't realize how many memories I had--man I'm getting old! :D

You and me both bro. Good memories though. People that aren't from the south don't realize how much of a rich history there is, and how much all the rest of the country's success has been predicated on.


If you're curious about the ol codger, checkout his bio from one of his books on Amazon, which is just the cliff-notes, guy was larger than life: https://www.amazon.com/JAMES-BLACK-COFFIN-BOWIE-KNIVES/dp/0578472236

He of course was the authority on James Black and antique Bowie knives, though this is a highly contentious subject of interest only to egocentric, pedantic, and wholly insufferable cutlers, such as myself.
:ROFLMAO:
 
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