Pro tip: No matter how cold it gets in the garage, do not bring your project in to work on it on the dinner table, and particularly not if you’re going to be using power tools.
This was a really stupid mistake. Actually, it was a series of stupid mistakes: I was drilling through a piece of plywood with a quarter-inch bit on the dining room table; that’s the first stupid idea I had. I didn’t put a piece of scrap wood under the piece I was working on; that’s the second stupid idea I had. It was about an inch off the table so I thought if I was real careful I’d be okay; that’s the third stupid idea I had.
I always put a sacrificial piece of wood under the piece I’m cutting or drilling. I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, okay, obviously I wasn’t. But it’s such a rookie mistake. I never make that mistake any more. Except this time. Smack my damn head.
At about the time I knew the drill bit was going to come out the bottom, I eased pressure off the drill until the bit was just barely cutting into the wood. The problem with these bits, though, is that they’re very sharp and when they come out the bottom, the flutes bind against the inside of the hole and pull the bit through very suddenly. Which I already knew so I shouldn’t have been surprised when the bit came out the bottom, caught the wood and nearly yanked the drill out of my hands. The tip of the bit cut through the two tablecloths underneath and into the plastic mat as it twisted all that material into a big burly knot around the bit before I could take my finger off the trigger to stop the drill.
I was sure I had drilled a hole into the dinner table. I don’t know how I didn’t. I had to reverse the drill to back the bit out of the twisted-up mess of the tablecloth just to get a look at how bad the damage was. There wasn’t a scratch on the mahogany surface of the table. Not one I put in it with the power drill, anyway. Totally lucked out. Well, except for ruining two table cloths.