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...
Marco E. Nicosia | http://www.escape.org/~marco/ | email@example.com
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
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.
Marco Nicosia wrote:
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.
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
Tell us what you find.
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