Pitch is perhaps the oldest material used for optical polishing, leaving superior surface texture, and has been used widely in the optics shop floor. However, for its unpredictable controllability of removal characteristics, the pitch tool polishing has been rarely analysed quantitatively and many optics shops rely heavily on optician's "feel" even today. In order to bring a degree of process controllability to the pitch tool polishing, we added motorized tool motions to the conventional Draper type polishing machine and modelled the tool path in the absolute machine coordinate. We then produced a number of Tool Influence Function (TIF) both from an analytical model and a series of experimental polishing runs using the pitch tool. The theoretical TIFs agreed well with the experimental TIFs to the profile accuracy of 79 % in terms of its shape. The surface figuring algorithm was then developed in-house utilizing both theoretical and experimental TIFs. We are currently undertaking a series of trial figuring experiments to prove the performance of the polishing algorithm, and the early results indicate that the highly deterministic material removal control with the pitch tool can be achieved to a certain level of form error. The machine renovation, TIF theory and experimental confirmation, figuring simulation results are reported together with implications to deterministic polishing.