A method for reducing the emission of wood dust from orbital hand sanders was developed. A pneumatically powered hand sander which lacked dust control was utilized in an initial study, in which air and particle patterns produced by the sander were measured. Results revealed that air and particles were pushed away from the sanding pad on all sides at similar velocities. An exhaust plenum, which removed dust at the source without affecting the worker's vision or performance, was designed. The plenum primarily consisted of a series of exhaust slots and was connected to the exhaust source by a vacuum hose. By simulating a sanding operation in the laboratory, the plenum was evaluated. Particle concentrations were measured using a light scattering photometer placed at various positions and distances, relative to the operating sander. Ten consecutive samples of 20 seconds each were taken for each determination and were averaged. Use of the control plenum resulted in statistically significant reductions in particle concentrations, by an average of 90%. Next, the plenum was evaluated in the field at an industrial chair sanding operation. Particle number and mass measurements were performed at eight positions, relative to the sander, including a personal sample placed on the operator's lapel. Operators used both the standard and control sanders for equal amounts of time. Again, the plenum was discovered to significantly reduce the particle concentration and mass. Reductions of 86% were found in the area samples, while reductions of 79% were determined in the personal samples. The authors conclude that the control plenum designed for orbital hand sanders is an effective reducer of particle emission.