Drilling holes into steel pole (for basketball net)

Hi all,
My contractor put in a steel pole for a basketball net, its cemented in the ground. However, its turned to the side, so when I mount the backboard, it will not face the driveway. The backboard mounts to the pole with bolts that go through the pole.
This was a freebie and I have more pressing problems with my GC, so I'm thinking to just drill new holes in the pole. I forgot to measure the holes, but I think they're about 1/2" diam. So here are my questions:
- Do I need a high RPM drill? How much RPM is needed? - Is there a special bit that will do this, or should I plan on using several bits from pilot hole up to full size? - Anything else I should know?
Thanks in advance,
S
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mrsgator88 wrote:

No. Pretty much any drill will do. I find ~1000 RPM to be about right. Too fast and you'll burn up the bits and it doesn't cut all that much more quickly.

There are step bits that have graduated hole sizes on a conical (ziggurat, actually) shaped bit, but you probably won't need one for a couple of holes. Just work your way up through the bit sizes.

The new holes will expose bare steel to the elements, so either prime them with some anti-rust primer or use some caulk to prevent water from rusting the bare metal. That'll just bubble the paint and the rust will spread.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Drill 1/4" hole first. Then 1/2". Use plenty of oil. I would get newer nitrided drill bits (gold colored).

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
those gold colored bits here are pure junk, buy dewalt or other name brand.
gold is spiffy color to fool you into buying pure junk
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not if they are from a reputable company and say titanium nitride coating.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mrsgator88 wrote:

Basic rule: the harder the material, the slower the bit speed (i.e., woodst, steel=slow).
But wouldn't brackets (like used for attaching to fence posts) be easier?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would also be looking for some stainless steel brackets.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mrsgator88 wrote:

Don't know precisely the mounting geometry but would seem far easier and better for getting the height set precisely to simply use a u-bolt around the pole rather than try to drill the pipe itself. You may need to fabricate a bracket out of angle to mount to the backboard if it has only a single point, but it's whole lot easier to do that on the ground and then put the thing on the pole and raise it and tighten a couple of u-bolts than to try to drill holes in precisely the right location balancing on a ladder 10-ft in the air on a round pole...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have used stainless steel muffler clamps, the ones with a "U" bolt. They make them to fit pipe up to 3" in diameter, possibly larger.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone for your advice. I did drill the holes. Started with a thin bit (1/8" perhaps, I don't recall) which only put a small divot in the pole. Went to a larger bit (probably 1/4" or 3/8") which tore through the steel pretty nice. Then went to the 1/2" bit to finish the job. It was really pretty easy, just my 12v cordless and cheap old bits, and I was done in 10 or 15 minutes.
S
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.