Register :: Login
Manufacturers Index - R. A. Ness & Co.

R. A. Ness & Co.
Chicago, IL; Niles, IL, U.S.A.
Company Website: http://www.raness.com/
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery

Last Modified: Dec 16 2010 10:13AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Raymond Anthony Ness worked for woodworking machinery manufacturer J. D. Wallace & Co. for years before he founded R. A. Ness & Co. to sell woodworking machinery. That happened in 1944, and the retail business is still around as The Woodworkers Emporium.

Ness also developed and manufactured a series of products that were sold under the Acme name: edge sanders, spline mortising machines, dowel- boring machines, over-arm router machines, and a panel saw.

Ness died in 1976. The edge-sander manufacturing operations continued under his foreman, Mike Lopriore, until the design was sold to Delta in about 1992. Delta did not make the smallest machine, but sold the 4"x132" as the 31-380 and the 6"x132" as the 31-390. The 31-380 is no longer in Delta's catalog.

After Ness's death the store was taken over by brothers Joe and Frank Ring; Joe had been a Rockwell representative before that.

Support for Ness Machines

Ness continues to offer limited support for the sanders, including drive and idler drums, and graphite platens. Delta should also be able to provide at least some parts for the models they manufactured.

Information Sources

  • A nephew of Ray Ness provided corrected information on Ness' full name, and filled us in on the rest of the product line. He also told us of the connection with J. D. Wallace, and provided the names of Chuck Armstrong, Mike Lopriore, and the Ring brothers.
  • The R. A. Ness web site provides a bit of history on the company, including the year of founding. There is a nice picture of Ness's long-time friend and employee, Chuck Armstrong, loading a panel saw.