|After ripping your own pen-blank stock square, you dont necessarily want to start cross cutting from an end of the long blank material. Look at the wood carefully and mark crosscut lines for the best-looking grain and X out problem areas. As shown in the maple burl stock below, the best figure can be at the ends of the stock or in the middle. It varies from piece to piece. Since the material selection and kit selection determine the final outcome of the pen, take your time and make sure to use the best material possible. Since the end, or nib of the pen gets the most visibility, consider crosscutting the stock so the best figure will be at the bottom of the pen.