.had.to chamfer those edges, but how to do it? Fibers are tiny, glass, flexible, and fragile.
We had precision polishing equipment available to us, so I decided to make a fixture which would fit onto the polisher. I would use the rotating motion of the machine to rotate the fiber, which was just a few feet long and could be coiled up. The polisher was designed to hold parts in 5 inch rings, so I made my ring compatible with that.
The concept was easy enough. The ring would naturally rotate as the machine ran. I made a track on the top of the ring for a steel ball. The ball had a hole in it, into which was inserted a fiber holder. An arm held the ball stationary, but free to spin as the ring rotated under it.
The first attempt, using a flat track on top of the ring, was a failure.
The spinning ball wanted to align it's rotating axis horizontal, when I needed it angled down towards the polishing pad. Some additional thought and a few calculations revealed that there was a way to make the spinning ball's axis point exactly where I wanted it.
The resulting ring looked strange, but it worked! The fiber was now touching the polishing pad with nearly zero pressure. I could sharpen that fiber to a point, if I wanted to.
While we no longer use the idea ourselves, I occasionally see it referred to in scientific literature and other patents.