At MapaWall, we craft a variety of metal world maps, and one standout creation is the MapaWall Stainless Steel. True to its name, this world map is crafted from a premium grade of stainless steel, possessing magnetic characteristics that allow it to attract magnets. These magnets play a dual role, serving both as part of the installation kit and as pinpoints, like the functionality of our magnetic wooden maps.
Before the stainless steel plates undergo the precision of the fiber laser machine, our steel supplier subjects them to a ceramic sanding process. This treatment imparts an even and luxurious finish to the steel plates. Given the pressure exerted during this technique, both sides of the steel plate are sanded to prevent excessive bending once the laser begins its cuts through the metal.
Following the meticulous sanding process, we apply a protective layer of special oil to the entire steel plate. This oil acts as a shield, protecting the fine surface of the map from sparks and tiny particles that might otherwise cause minor damages.
Cutting & engraving Corten Steel
In contrast to the Stainless Steel world map, the MapaWall Black Industrial Steel is crafted from Corten steel. This particular steel is cold-rolled, featuring deliberate imperfections and color variations, ranging from blue to black. The result is a captivatingly rugged appearance with a distinct tactile quality. Notably, this metal exhibits similar magnetic characteristics, allowing the MapaWall Black Industrial Steel to be installed using our magnetic installation kit and adorned with our special pin-magnets.
Unlike the Stainless Steel maps, the plate itself undergoes no specific pre-treatment before the cutting and engraving process in the fiber laser machine. We only apply a protective oil across the surface to shield the steel from sparks and tiny particles, akin to the approach taken with the MapaWall Stainless Steel.
However, it's important to note that not all metals undergo identical cutting and engraving procedures. The fiber laser is programmed with specific parameters to ensure uniform clear-cut outlines and consistent engraved country borders for each unique MapaWall creation.
Similar to the other two metal variants, the MapaWall Brass world map boasts its own distinctive characteristics. Given that the raw material is relatively costly and lacks the robustness found in other metals, we enhance its structural integrity by incorporating a steel backing across the entire surface. This not only provides essential support but also allows the Brass map to integrate with our magnetic installation kit. Additionally, like its metal counterparts, the map can be pinned with our unique magnetic pins.
Before these two metal components come together in our workshop, the brass undergoes a meticulous sanding process by our steel supplier. Similar to the treatment applied to Stainless Steel plates, the Brass is ceramic blasted to achieve a refined appearance on the surface of this exquisite material. Following this, a thin layer of protective oil is delicately sprayed onto the Brass plate.
Instead of engraving the map with country borders, we opt for a distinctive approach, leaving the surface blank and abstract. Given the challenges associated with engraving on this precious metal, this decision results in an exceptionally luxurious and golden aesthetic for the MapaWall Brass, emphasizing its unique and opulent character.
Polishing the Stainless Steel
Once our fiber laser completes the intricate task of cutting and engraving the entire world map, the initial step is getting the continents out of the laser machine. The laser deliberately leaves the contours of smaller islands partially intact, ensuring they remain secured within the steel plate. By stopping the laser with a fraction of material left to cut, the islands remain firmly in place, preventing them from descending through the laser bed.
After the laser session concludes, the steel plate containing the islands is also carefully removed from the machine. The islands can then be gently released from the steel plate through subtle wiggling.
Following this process, all steel pieces undergo a thorough inspection and cleaning. Initially, the protective oil applied prior to cutting and engraving the stainless steel is removed. Once the entire surface is free from grease, all components are polished using a special spray, creating a consistent shine and allowing the country borders to gleam.
Cleaning the Corten Steel
After our fiber laser cuts and engraves the steel for the Black Industrial Steel world map, the substantial layer of protective oil, initially applied to shield the surface from scratches, is wiped away by hand. Using a specialized cleaner, every trace of oil and grease is thoroughly eliminated.
Given that corten steel is prone to corrosion upon contact with moisture or acidic substances, we go a step further by applying an additional layer of protective oil once the previous coating is removed. This supplementary oil not only ensures an even color but also acts as a formidable barrier against corrosion. With this exceptionally thin layer, the steel remains safeguarded for years to come, negating the need for frequent reapplication of the coating.
Spraying the Brass
The preparation of the MapaWall Brass undergoes a distinct process. After the fiber laser cuts all continents and islands, each part undergoes a thorough inspection to identify any damages or scratches. Similar to the other two metal world maps, the brass variant is subjected to a cleaning process before advancing to the next phase.
This phase involves the merging of two layers: a steel layer and the brass layer. Each piece is methodically joined together by applying a special glue to both sides. Once the layers are aligned, they are firmly pressed against each other, forming a durable bond that lasts a lifetime.
Following a brief press, the two layers are securely attached and ready to be treated in our spray booth. Due to the susceptibility of almost pure brass to corrosion from even a simple touch, the entire surface is coated with a varnish. All components undergo a four-layered spray process. Clients ordering the MapaWall Brass world map can choose between a high gloss or matte varnish, both resulting in a stunning piece of art.