Things to look for in a used drill press?


I found a used drill press on Craigslist for a good price, and I'm supposed to go inspect/purchase it tomorrow. I've printed out the manual, and looked at the parts list.
Any words of advice about what to pay attention to? I am not really sure how to distinguish what's fixable, and what's going to be a real headache...
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Marco E. Nicosia | http://www.escape.org/~marco/ | snipped-for-privacy@escape.org
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I'd take a good 1/2" drill bit I know to be straight and use it with a dial indicator to measure runout: the less the better. I'd look for smooth quiet operation with no vibration. I'd also look for cracks in the castings.
I can't speak to which parts are easy to replace. I wouldn't be too worried about a bearing if the drill were less than 20 years old. Although, if the bearings are shot, you'd know that it got a lot of use. And it would probably show in the runout. I'd look for the price to be really good. If it were a behemouth for $50, I might attempt a bearing replacement myself. I'd hesitate to replace anything other than a bearing, pully, switch, or motor.
brian
Marco Nicosia wrote:

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Anything is fixable. Worth fixing? depends on a lot of factors.
If the machine works smooth, the only real concern is excessive run out. What is excessive for a precision machinist is still OK for 98% of woodwork and 100% of typical handyman stuff.
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Marco Nicosia wrote:

The most important thing to check is run-out. Take a long *straight* bit or rod and, if possible, a run-out gauge. Alternatively, take a nice brad-point bit and check the wobble of its point. Check the run-out when the chuck is at top (rest-position), middle, and bottom (full-extension). Also check for slop in the quill by grabbing it by hand at full extension and trying to wiggle it side-to-side (and back-and-forth). If the run-out is bad but the quill has no slop, then the problem is likely due to the mounting of the chuck and that can be easily replaced. However, if the quill run-out is even remotely excessive, give the machine a pass.
Also check that the table can be raised and lowered easily and smoothly. Make sure that the tooth rail is not bent either side to side or outwards from the post. It'll drive you crazy if that mechanism isn't smooth.
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