The initial phase in crafting a world map from the StoneCut series involves material selection, with a primary focus on choosing the perfect stone. When procuring sizable stone slabs, our first step is to engage with our trusted stone supplier. We request detailed photos of the current stock, specifically focusing on quartz stone for this particular instance. The quartz stone, sourced from the Northern region of India by our supplier, serves as the foundational material for our Rusty Lady world map.
Once we identify a suitable slab, we proceed to place an order with our supplier. Simultaneously, we collaborate with our wood supplier based in The Netherlands to secure certified wooden base materials. Drawing upon nearly a decade of experience in sourcing materials for map production, this phase is arguably the most straightforward aspect of creating a StoneCut world map.
Pressing wood on stone
Once all necessary materials are at our disposal we can proceed to the next stage; pressing both materials on to each other. The complete stone slab as well as the wooden plate are first treated with special glue before they are placed inside a gigantic hydrolic and electrical heated press. This press presses an enormous amount of weight onto both layers making sure the sturdy stone is pressed onto the complete surface of the wooden plate.
After a couple of days of resting under high pressure, the stone can be taken out of the heated press. But before the real magic is done by our laser machine, the pressed layers first undergo a quality check.
Cutting StoneCut maps
Following a strict quality check, the entire slab comprised of pressed stone and wood undergoes placement onto the laser bed. Cutting through these diverse materials, together approximately 0.6 inches (15 mm) thick, poses a considerable challenge for regular CO2 lasers. Nevertheless, at MapaWall, we leverage state-of-the-art, high-powered laser equipment from the top tier of industries. This enables us to navigate the intricate process of cutting through all layers.
On occasion, the stone, particularly certain segments of the quartz variety, may prove so thick that even our advanced laser equipment struggles to penetrate the very end of the wooden base layer. In such instances, we resort to manually cutting through using a precise small jigsaw.
Finalising the cutouts
After all components of the world map are cut and engraved with country borders, the entire map undergoes a thorough inspection on a large table. Each continent and island is scrutinized for any imperfections. Occasionally, the laser may not cut all the way through the wooden layer, resulting in small bumps in the contours. In such cases, sanding is required to ensure that these bumps conform to the contours of the stone layer above.
Once the wooden base contours align seamlessly with the stone layer, any color discrepancies on the sides are diligently marked black. This process ensures that the entire outer contour regains its original black color, achieved through the laser's combustion.
After a double-check of all continents and islands to ensure their smoothness, the next step is to affix the installation kit to the back of the world map. Both continents and islands come equipped with an installation kit, offering the convenience of effortlessly putting on and taking off your MapaWall world map with just a simple click. Robust steel plates on the back of the continents are secured by the included magnets embedded in the wall, ensuring these larger components are firmly attached. Even the islands have their own magnetic mechanism for wall mounting. Each small island is fitted with glass spacers and double-disc magnets, enabling a swift and seamless attachment or detachment from the wall in a matter of seconds.
Whether you're rearranging your entire MapaWall or giving the wall a fresh paint job, this installation kit facilitates the quick removal and reattachment of the entire map.
Packing, securing and wrapping
Our foremost priority is to ensure the secure packaging of the MapaWall world map, safeguarding it during transit and providing resilience against bumps and impacts to prevent any damage.
Occasionally, we receive requests for special wrappings, especially when the MapaWall is intended as a gift. In such instances, we go the extra mile in enhancing the outer packaging, creating a presentation that not only piques the curiosity of the UPS driver but also sparks a touch of envy.
Should you desire an additional layer of surprise for your MapaWall, feel free to reach out to us. We'll explore what special touches we can add to make the unveiling of your MapaWall an even more delightful experience.