Dusty, I also have a DW-972 DeWalt drill. I bought it in 1998. I didn't remember that, the manual is still in its slot in the carry case and I wrote the purchase date on it.
We try to always do that.
Mine has almost no working hours on it. I bought it and too many other things were happening then so it got sat back on a shelf most of the time. I might have used it two hours but even that was not steady use. After a couple of years of mostly sitting the batteries both quit charging. I tried the shock treatment thing but it didn't help much. I had not done my homework and had no idea just how costly the #$%& batteries were for the silly thing. As I recall back then a pair of new batteries was about $120.
After you posted this I started looking and found a pair of higher mAh batteries to fit it for $39.99 for both. (At least they are not $40...
And with Prime, free shipping. I think I will give them a shot. It's not like I put a lot of miles on it before and I did like the drill itself. The listing is on this page:https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... ni-cd+9071
Since that time sometime after the turn of the century I bought a deal on a Ryobi 1/2" 18 volt with two batteries, charger and a nice 18 flashlight in a case for about $70. I liked it well enough that I bought a second one. I still use both the drills and the flashlights. Over the years I did replace a few batteries but I could replace them for about $20 each and they all lasted far better than those originals on the 12 volt DeWalt. I later added the circular saw and still use it now and then, usually away from the shop. Christmas 2015 my son Scott bought me a new set of Ryobi 18 volt drills, one a regular drill and the other an impact driver. They cam with a soft case, charger and they had the new Lithium +1 batteries. The thing I like about the Ryobi 18 volt stuff is that they make it all backward compatible. I can charge any of my 18 volt Ryobi batteries on the new smart charger. The old +1 batteries are still quite low cost but I can use the new batteries in my old drills.
I did not equip with Shopsmiths in spite of the setups but because of them.
1 1988 - Mark V 510 (bought new), 4 Poly vee 1 1/8th HP Mark V's, Mark VII, 1 Mark V Mini, 1 Frankensmith, 1 10-ER, 1 Mark V Push-me-Pull-me Drillpress, SS bandsaw, belt sander, jointer, jigsaw, shaper attach, mortising attach, TS-3650 Rigid tablesaw, RAS, 6" long bed jointer, Foley/Belsaw Planer/molder/ripsaw, 1" sander, oscillating spindle/belt sander, Scroll saw, Woodmizer sawmill