Drilling hole in wood block -- how close to edge?
I don't normally do woodworking, so please bear with me if this is just a stupid question.
I have a decorating project I want to do. My husband is warning me that something bad (splitting?) might happen if I drill the hole I'm imagining drilling too close to the edge of the wooden block. (He's good at thinking up things like this while I just want to try it out and see what happens. I admit that I waste more materials my way.)
Here's what I want to create:
Take a wooden block (say poplar) that's 5 inches wide by 2-1/4 inches high by 2-1/2 inches deep.
Drill a 1-3/4 inch diameter hole, centered in the 5 inch by 2-1/4 inch face, drilling all the way through to the other side.
To end up with this block with a 1-3/4 inch hole in the middle of it. Given the 2-1/4 inch height minus 1-3/4 inch = 2/4 divided by 2, that leaves 1/4 inch on the top and bottom of the hole.
Should I have that 1/4 inch between the hole and the block edge be wider, for avoiding the wood splitting during the drilling or otherwise ending up with that narrow piece broken while working on it?
That's what my husband is warning me about--having too narrow a piece of wood there.
I'm not constrained in the height--I can make it wider, except that I'd like the overall block to be as narrow in that dimension as possible. If 1/4 inch is too narrow, what would be better? Does it depend on the diameter of the hole?
Thanks in advance!