Our Publications

A Few Sections From Our Narrow Tang Knife Book

 How To Make a Narrow Tang Knife by Kevin and Heather Harvey

After more than 2 years, our book is ready!

Free downloads
Veld Knife – Drawing Neels van den Berg Final
Veld Knife – Draft Neels 2 Final

How to buy a copy of our book.

If you live in South Africa, you can buy a softcover book directly from us.  Please email us at heavin@heavinforge.co.za and let us know if you want the book personalized. The book costs R600 plus R150 for the courier.  We will need your full physical address and cell number for the courier.

If you would like a softcover copy of the book in South Africa, They are available from:

This book costs R600 each plus courier fees (which is about the same price as a nice piece of handle material!)

Internationally you can buy our book as a “print-on-demand” book from the following suppliers who normally ship within a couple of days and some even don’t charge for postage!  The prices vary by country.

The United States & Canada
for a softcover version

Pops Knife Supply

Via Ingram Book Group, IngramSpark titles are automatically made available to tens of thousands of:

  • Retailers
  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • E-commerce companies
  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Independent bookstores
  • Walmart.com
  • Target.com
  • Chapters / Indigo (Canada)

and other well-known book retailers and wholesalers across North America.

Australia & New Zealand

  • Amazon AU
  • Booktopia
  • Fishpond
  • The Nile
  • James Bennett
  • ALS
  • Peter Pal

The United Kingdom & Europe

  • Adlibris
  • Agapea
  • Amazon.co.uk
  • Aphrohead
  • Blackwell
  • Book Depository Ltd
  • Books Express
  • Coutts Information Services Ltd
  • Designarta Books
  • Eden Interactive Ltd
  • Foyles
  • Gardners
  • Trust Media Distribution (formerly STL)
  • Mallory International
  • Paperback Shop Ltd
  • Superbookdeals
  • The Book Community Ltd
  • Waterstones
  • Wrap Distribution

We would love to see any knives you make from the information in this book.  Please email the photos to heavin@heavinforge.co.za.
If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you.

Feedback on How To Make a Narrow Tang Knife

Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback on our book. We appreciate all your kind words.

Carolyn Hughes (Editor of the ABS Journal) Dear Heather and Kevin, BR and I were very honored to be asked to review your book and thank you for the opportunity.
Not being a Bladesmith, I relied on the few computer software textbooks I was asked to review while an instructor at Texarkana College. So, I used that method and took your book, went through step by step using text and pictures. You covered every possibility I could imagine went into making a knife and more. Each step was clearly explained and well-illustrated. I found no room for improvement. We are anxious to see the next one!
B.R. Hughes (Founding member of the ABS and author of many knife and gun-related books and articles) Dear Heather and Kevin, Thank you so much for sending a copy of “How to Make a Narrow Tang Knife”. I found it very well written and comprehensive, and the photographs were terrific. I look forward to your future efforts.

Tim Cumming We’ll done Kevin – and thanks to both of you for your book. It’s a fantastic reference piece. Best I’ve ever seen as a detailed guide on all aspects. It should be sold all around the world! Best wishes Tim
Charles Lessing Hi Heavin, I managed to get one of your books. What a fantastic read! It feels like I’m back on course. Thank you very much.
Di Mohr We have just skimmed through a copy of this book. It is phenomenal!! What a wonderful reference work written in such an easy to understand style and with excellent photos every step of the way. Bravo!!!!
Francois Coetzee All the tricks in the book by the Master!
Vincent French Got one!!! Awesome work!!! I have shared this post to my page to encourage more knife makers! Well done Kevin & Heather! Gold!  I cannot reiterate what an investment this book is! Gold!!!
Malcolm Tiley Got my book yesterday, all I can say is wow! Incredible detail, well done Heather and Kevin on putting your passion into words and pictures.
Mellies Victor Vir iemand wat begin met messe maak en niks weet nie, wow dit help baie en die leerwerk in die boek om n skeede te maak help soveel meer ek kan net sé koop die boek en kyk self.
garnersavory Reading my copy…. nicely done, detailed with an informative, informal, quirky twist.
I want to thank you for the book. I am enjoying reading it and trying to follow along by making my own knife based on the text. It is an awesome book. I have scoured the internet and bought every text I could on plunge grinding for example. Your explanations are by far the best I have seen. I truly appreciate it! I just wish the pages were more fireproof 😊 Hennie

From Ore to War: An Exploration into Traditional African Weapon Craftsmanship – by Heather Harvey

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my latest book, “From Ore to War: An Exploration into Traditional African Weapon Craftsmanship.” This study delves into the artistry behind 12 unique traditional African weapons from the Heavin Forge Collection. For blacksmiths and bladesmiths, this book offers valuable insights into potential forging methods used to create these fascinating artifacts. Meanwhile, for collectors or enthusiasts of traditional African weaponry or ancient armaments in general, this read promises a wealth of intriguing information.

A Few Pages From the Book

It is available as a hardcover, softcover or an eBook.
It can be ordered from amazon.com

Growing up in Southern Africa sparked my curiosity about the creation of traditional African weapons and tools. I was fascinated by their use in cultural ceremonies, their value as currency, and their role as status symbols. As the first certified female farrier, blacksmith, and bladesmith in South Africa, I had the foundation to explore these ancient techniques by recreating them in my own forge – often using my own damascus steel.

Fortuitously, I managed to acquire an extensive cataloged collection of traditional African weapons from a museum that was closing down. Despite scouring every available resource on the subject matter, written information about African weaponry remained scarce. So naturally, I took it upon myself to learn by forging these pieces firsthand.

This hands-on experience gave me immense respect for ancient African smiths who crafted such intricate pieces with what might be considered ‘primitive’ tools today. These artisans were not only capable of creating iron but also hardenable steel – crafting tools and weapons that defy their rudimentary means. Interestingly enough, 90% of these weapons bore decorations far exceeding functional necessity.

What humbles me most is how this craft has been passed down from generation to generation without any ego-driven branding or written language, preserving the art form within most cultures. If I can awaken just one modern mind to appreciate the rich heritage embodied in these items, then I believe I have fulfilled my mission.


Video: Grinding a dagger – Kevin Harvey
Filmed at Black Dragon Forge at the Southern African Bladesmith Association Hammer-In, 24 August 2019.  Thanks to Neels van den Berg for the footage.
Watch on youtube

Video: Bowie Forging, Grinding and Heat Treatment.

Kevin Harvey M.S. at the Goldfields Knifemakers Club Hammer-In demonstrates the forging, grinding, and heat treatment of a Bowie knife.  He talks about the history, types, uses, and selection of steel and basic carbon steel heat treatment.  Livestreamed from Seppie’s Forge in Odendaalsrus, just outside Welkom in the Free State, South Africa on 11 September 2021. 
https://youtu.be/OymVcAk_kN8  There is a slideshow for the first 8 minutes and the video runs for just under 8 hours.