MAKING THE METAL pen BOX
An illustrated story of how we create our aluminium pen box
Aluminium production starts with the raw material bauxite, a clay like soil type found in a belt around the equator. After being mined The bauxite is transported to plants where the clay is washed off and the bauxite passes through a grinder. Alumina, or aluminium oxide, is extracted from the bauxite through refining, which is then separated using a hot solution of caustic soda and lime. The mixture is heated and filtered, and the remaining alumina is dried to a white powder.
Three different raw materials are needed to make aluminium, aluminium oxide, electricity and carbon. Electricity is run between a negative cathode and a positive anode, both made of carbon. The anode reacts with the oxygen in the alumina and forms CO2. The result is liquid aluminium, which can now be tapped from the cells. The liquid aluminium is cast into extrusion ingots, sheet ingots or foundry alloys, all depending on what it will be used for.
Our custom box profiles are extruded in Cumbria by the extrusion specialists Capalex.
The process involves the use of a high pressure ram to push a solid cylindrical ingot of aluminium through a mould.
The long sections that emerge are straightened, and then cut to size using computer controlled saws. Before the box sections leave the factory they are de-burred and checked for imperfections.
To add the details and markings to each product, we use a specialist laser engraving technique called deep laser engraving.
Our engraving company LSquared, design and manufacturer a specialist laser, which is powerful enough to engrave deep into the metal without distorting the form.
The final step of the process is to apply our protective finish to the box.
Our anodising company Alpha Anodising firstly shot blast the aluminium bars, using a fine ceramic medium, which cleans the surface and creates the soft matte finish.
The bars are then placed onto the anodising trees and dipped into either black or silver anodising tanks, to produce the finished look.