Drilling holes in wood is not difficult if you use the right tools and proper technique. Some common mistakes are to use bits for drilling metal, and drilling at high speeds with too much pressure. Here are a few pointers that will have you drilling like an expert carpenter.
Purchase Flat Bit drills, as pictured here, for holes from 5/16 inches up to about 1.5 inches. They are efficient and relatively inexpensive. They can also be resharpened using a metal file.
Measure and mark your hole locations carefully. Measure the thickness of the wood you will be drilling. By marking the shank of the bit at the same length as the wood's thickness, you can determine when you are getting close drilling through to the other side. Mark the bit with a piece of black electrical tape.
Before starting the drill, press the sharp tip into the wood at the precise center of your mark and twist slightly to embed the tip and set up the alignment of the bit.
Start the drill and use a slower speed and moderate pressure. A steady and patient approach works best with wood, to avoid slipping, splintering and mis-aligned holes. If you spin the drill too fast, the drill bit will overheat, soften and become dull. It can also char the wood. Relieve the pressure on the drill by backing off slightly from time to time. This will allow the sawdust and woodchips to exit out the along the shank of the bit. Continuous pressure will cause the sawdust and woodchips to compact, making the bit stick or lock up.