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Yes, what Johnnie said, the pointy end is the sealing surface that you are attempting to repair. The sides are critical to keep the whole thing aligned when it slides up and down (open and close), so avoid any abrasive on the sides of the needle.
On my model there they are all metal. I have rebuilt all 4 bowls and there is no rubber tip on the float valves.
I'm thinking after reading this that there is still a possibility of crud from the gas tank causing the needle valve to stick open and leak gas, no matter how well it is polished or it's condition (if rubber tipped). Probably it would be the case if the leak occurred on different carbs, not just one. You will see after you run for a while.Possibly you addressed this but it is not clear from the postings. I mean by that the condition of the in-tank filter.It's what I found when I pulled my filter and checked its condition. The PO had creamed the tank yet left the damaged filter in place. It had a hole in it. With Cream removed (that was difficult) and new filter installed, no more overflows going on three years now.