Need help with jointer purchase

I have lurked here for years but this is my first post.
I have an opportunity to get a Rockwell 8" jointer model 37-315. The information I have is from an internet posting & a phone call to the owner. It has been in use in a furniture shop but was decommissioned recently for an upgrade. It has a 66" bed "in good condition", a 2 HP motor, weighs about 750 lbs. and "was used in production until the shop was moved and it was replaced by a larger unit".
I plan to look for flat tables with a straight edge and flash light. Checking for play in the knife head probably is not going to tell me much about bearings and the shaft unless they are completely shot.
I would like any recommendations on how to check it out.Also how available are parts for a 37-315.
Now about the motor. It is a 240 volt 3 phase/single phase 2 hp. I was told "It has the wiring diagrams to do this and has been wired and in use as a single phase 240 volt since I got it". I am aware of motor generators to produce 3 phase and electronic converters that fool the 3rd winding to get it started and then run the motor on two windings but not a dual phase motor. Please commitment on this and if it exists what would be the loss in HP and increase in amperage. Like I said I am along time lurker here, and I look forward to input from both Lew and Doug, but play nice guys.
I'm trying to build a shop for my retirement and a jointer was not the next tool I had in mind, but the price is $325. From what I have seen online this could either be a gloat or an expensive project. A gloat would be nice right now but I've got enough projects to last past retirement.
John
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John Packett wrote:

I don't know about parts availability specifically as I don't recall how old the specific model is from the model number. I wouldn't worry about it though, as it either will be in good shape and you won't need parts or it won't and you won't take it home...
As for checking it for flat tables, simply run two boards across it of 4-5' length and check that they match w/o gap -- if it joints a straight edge, it's kewl. Only if not do you then need to worry about it.
As for bearings, listen to it -- that'll tell you. Even if they are dry and a little noisy, they're nothing to fret over if it is otherwise in good shape.
I've never seen a 3/1 _phase_ motor by swapping leads -- I suspect either the guy misspoke or you misunderstood what he meant that it is just a single-phase 120/240V motor. If it's on 240V that's good, that's where you'll want to leave it.
Sounds like a good deal to me...
--
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If you are gong to use this method, I'd suggest doing it twice--once with the fence near the back of its range of travel, and once near the front. That will give you a rough check that the tables are coplanar (more accurately, parallel planes).
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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After posting I had a thought, I wonder if this is single phase and he is running it thru a 3 phase contactor and is confused.
John

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<snip>
So, John, the real question is whether you want a jointer. If you want one, this may be the one you want. Replacing the motor, should it come to that, won't cost an arm or a leg. And parts are available. The jointer I bought is at least a decade older, and works fine. Parts are readily available.
If you have projects to do that need a jointer, then go ahead. It's unlikely that you'll wear this one completely out. But, unless you have something to use it for, I'd hang on to the cash.
Woodworking isn't always about having enough machinery.
Patriarch
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As a general rule, I'd be concerned that equipment decommissioned by a production shop might not have a lot of useful life remaining, or they woulda kept it. Upgrading to a larger unit is a different story, though. Just the same, I think I'd want to check this out very carefully.

Check for play in the gibs, too -- they may be worn. Make sure the tables don't wobble up and down, and that the infeed adjusts smoothly in both directions.

Hmm. I'll be the first to admit that what I know about three-phase power probably wouldn't fill a thimble -- but I've never heard of that before. I'm familiar with dual-voltage 120V/240V single-phase motors, but not anything that will operate on either single- or three-phase, and I didn't know such a thing was possible.

If that's the case (and I'd suggest checking the power plug to verify it) you should be good to go, power-wise.

I believe you'd lose 33% of your power; seems the motor would want to run hot, too. I don't think I'd do that.

If it's mechanically sound, I'd be thinking long and hard about buying it and replacing the motor with a normal 240V motor.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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