Sperry T-44012 Lathe Restored

This is a small 7" swing Sperry T-44072 collet lathe custom restored and modified for Michael Strom, Ft. Worth, Texas. by Skip Campbell, MKC Tools. It is a collet type lathe with drawbar and uses size 3 collets with a 1/2 dia. maximum. It came with a 1/4" collet which is perfect for the pen turning mandrel. It is also equipped with a 1/2" collet, a small custom made spur center and live center and an expanding bowl turning chuck. Distance between centers is 7 1/2". A tailstock from a Carbatech mini lathe was added and a 6" tool rest for pen and small bowl turning.. The motor is a 1/3 HP DC motor with a KB controller mounted in a custom enclosure and equiped with an MKC digital tachometer. The original color was a black wrinkle paint but was in very bad condition. The new finish is a gray hammer finish paint. The lathe has proven itself very capable by turning lots of pens and bowls. Happy turning, Michael.

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More info on the Sperry lathe below.

Sperry T-44072

Sperry T-44012/44072 Collet Lathe


Universal Precision Parts Co. New York, New York

The Sperry Company was established by Dr. Elmer Sperry in 1910 to develop gyroscopes for ship and aircraft navigation. All the company's test and calibration equipment was labelled with a part number comprising a prefix "T" followed by a number and this "lathe", labelled as a "Sperry T 44012". Honeywell bought Sperry many years ago and a recent search by a Honeywell employee through the Company's older microfilm and test-fixture data base, together with conversations with other employees, drew a blank on further details; however, the item can certainly be dated, by its appearance and the relatively short serial number, to be of pre 1950 origin, and probably much earlier. The purpose of its original function is, however, another matter; during World War 2 Sperry produced bomb sites, autopilots, gyrocompasses, etc., at its works in Long Island, New York. These instruments would have contained a steel or copper rotor suspended in die-cast magnesium gimbals, and much the same construction continues today in gyros fitted to light commercial aircraft. The right-angle "tailstock/steady" at the end of the lathe bed closely resembles the attachments still used to hold the ball races on the end of the gimbal spindles, rather in the way that bench centres can be used to hold a balancing rig, and it is possible that this bracket was used to hold a bearing on which the end of an item to be machined (or tested) could spin.