As early as 1927, methods of rendering glass and glassy materials more susceptible to mechanical destruction have been investigated. Considerable literature has been published in the fields of diamond drilling, the scribing and identing of glass as well as other nonmetallic materials. Little significant progress has been made in either determining the conditions under which this can be accomplished or any sound description of the underlying mechanisms. This literature led us, some months ago, to attempt to apply these concepts to the possibility of applying precision machine technology and diamond turning to processing glass used in optical applications. Initial findings indicate that material can be removed from glass components without large tool wear, and that experiments relating surface character to machine parameters reveal near theoretical surfaces in the machined area. In this paper, criteria for determining what constitutes a machined "optical quality" or "easily polished" surface will be described. Also, experimental results relating machined surface character to machine parameters will be presented.