Taylor Damrath

Elements Of The Pencils - How Are They Made?


Pencil 'leads' actually contain no lead whatsoever. They are made of a mixture of graphite and clay that comes from Bavaria, Germany which is finely ground, thoroughly mixed, and fired in ovens to produce a strong fused stick, similar to chinaware.


Californian incense cedar wood is sawed into small slats, each the length of a pencil but half its thickness, and about nine pencils wide. After months of seasoning, the slats are run through a grooving machine which carves out parallel groves just deep enough to hold half the diameter of the stick. The grooves are then impregnated with a resinous binder that locks the wood fibres into a non-splitting sheath (this is the second half of the super-bonding process) and the sticks are laid in the grooves. Binding glue is applied to a second slat, similarly grooved, and the two slats come together under great pressure to form a 'sandwich'. These sandwiches are washed, thoroughly dried, and fed into a shaping or moulding machine. The cutters first of all shape one side of the pencil; the sandwich is then flipped over and fed through a second moulding machine which shapes the other side. The shaping machine runs at a carefully calculated speed to give the smoothest possible surface to the wood.

Mexico's Natural Resources

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Manufacturing in Mexico

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Transportation in Mexico

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Natural Resources Needed to Make Pencils

There are two different kinds of graphite from Germany that are mixed together. This graphite is shipped by boat or flown by plane to Mexico from southern Germany.

Map of Germany

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California to Mexico

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Cedar Wood From California

The cedar wood comes from CA and it is used to make the body of the pencils that surrounds the graphite in the pencil.

Wax - For a Smoother Writing Point

The wax is a petroleum derived product; spermaceti is no longer used. However, the stick has to be glued into the wood in such a way that it will not slip out. It is a well known fact that glue will not stick to wax unless it is specially treated.

This wax comes from Mexico.

Four Categories of Globalization

Environmental - Supplies are limited such as graphite and cedar. They could run out.

Technological - Machines are needed to make the pencils at the factory, and breakdowns occur.

Cultural - There's too many cheap labor, but workers are not skilled enough and not well educated. People are coming and going all the time.

Economic - If pencils made by Mexico are cheaper, and are shipped to the US, people in the US will not buy US made pencils. It's cheaper to make things in foreign countries and be sold to the US.

Possible Solution

Things coming from other countries to the US are cheaper than US made products which causes people to buy things from the foreign countries and not the US made things. American businesses should be encouraged to stay in the United States by giving them tax breaks to keep the factory open in the US. We could also limit how much foreign can send to the US for sale.

Pros & Cons of Globalization

Pros: People have more choices in many things like food, clothing, supplies, etc... We can shop around to find the cheapest price/object.

Cons: Say you have a radio made in China and a part breaks. It would be difficult to find a new part or how to fix it.

In other countries, there may not be regulations on how things were made and who is making them. For example, children forced into making things...

Globalization Relating to Me

I can travel to other countries and meet people from different cultures. I can shop around for products and items from other countries and have it cheaper.

My Claim

People speak different languages in different areas. The economic system is different everywhere. Some areas are cheap. some poor, and some rich. Purchasing items in our country can impact the economy in either a positive or negative way.