Impero Quick-set Toolpost
An unusual, cleverly-designed, quick-set toolpost, the Impero was manufactured in Italy - production probably ceasing during the early 1970s. Although the company made a variety of other tool-holding devices, the Impero appears to have been their most popular
Made in six different sizes to suit a wide range of lathes, like all types of quick-set toolposts, a central block was used onto which could be mounted a variety of holders that took tools of different shapes and sizes - the height setting chosen being automatically retained as the holders were swapped around. However, the Impero was unique in that two types of holder were provided - one in which ordinary cutting tools could be clamped and another that took the maker's special T-headed, double-ended, carbide tipped type. The carbide tools were all formed with a circular mounting boss that fitted into the end of a holder, the design allowing then to be swivelled without having to rotate the whole toolpost. Hence, cutting approaches from left or right together with the angle of the tool to the work, quickly and easily adjusted. The maker's boast was that "Saves you up to 35 to 65% in set-up and production time" and "1 Impero tool replaces 8 conventional tools". One unusual holder, using a vertically disposed, split clamping bar, was arranged to take drill bits while another, the parting-off tool, was also of an ingenious design.
Although probably available as individual parts, the unit was advertised in English-speaking countries as the Uni-Kit, this consisting of a neat, fitted wooden box complete with a wide variety of turning, boring and parting-off tools.
Cutters branded Imperio are still made - though not the older types; however, some parts - though not the T-headed cutters - may still be available from Gnutti Bortolo..