There are reasons for my recent silence: First, I’m in the middle of exams (one left to go, wish me luck!), and I’ve taken some forward steps in my career which have made me a whole lot busier. But this doesn’t mean nothing has happened. I’ve rebuilt the polishing board, to sort out a few problems that only became apparent while I was using it, put microfaceting on the lap, and done about an hour’s worth of polishing. Also, I’ve taken the opportunity to measure the focal length of my mirror more accurately than before (the semi-polished surface doesn’t need wetting anymore when testing), to close on 950mm, which translates to a focal ratio of f/6.2
The polishing board had two problems: It slipped and slid around on the workbench while polishing, and the rubber pegs (made by stacking tap washers and screwing down onto the board) were too soft and short, so that the rounded lower edge of the tool tended to deform them and then climb up over them. I solved both problems with more washers, and longer screws. The new pegs follow the exact same design as before, only they’re taller and the mounting screws have much wider heads. Result is a secure grip, and much less deformation. An additional four washers were then glued to the underside of the board (one per corner), making nice grippy feet. A brief polishing session confirmed that I now have a good, workable board.
Once exams are done, I’ll get back to work. But for now I’ll (and you’ll) just have to be patient!