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as long as they are big enough to clamp in a vice, you can start your groove with a small rat tail file. When you file a pivot in one of these blocks you then need to give the groove a quick brush out with a wire brush as particles can spoil the finish when you then burnish it. If you want to make a bigger block you could inlay the lignum into the edge of a cheaper wood block as its only the edge you need.
Hope that makes sense?
I was thinking of holding the pivot in a collet in the 8mm lathe or a Jacot lathe and using this wood as a burnisher. In your example, does the groove hold the pivot which you then file with a metal burnisher? If so, that ia a much simpler approach. Simpler is usually better (david has taught me that).