Drill without damage
2. Back up your cut
Regardless of bit choice, any time you punch metal through wood, unsupported wood fibers on the back of the workpiece can tear out. So get in the practice of backing up your workpiece with scrap wood. The backing board traps the wood fibers around the exit point, preventing the bit from pushing out the last splinters. At the drill press, simply slip a scrap beneath the workpiece; for handheld drilling, clamp the backer in place, as shown right. If your bits lift fibers around the entry points, apply masking tape to the face of the workpiece before marking your layout lines and drilling.
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