Galvanized pipe is essentially carbon steel pipe with a bonded zinc coating. Therefore, drilling into a galvanized pipe is basically the same as drilling into a standard steel pipe. One problem that is more prevalent when drilling into a galvanized pipe however, is the drill bit wandering, or moving along the surface of the metal rather than drilling into the metal. This problem is easily overcome by performing a few additional steps before you start drilling.
Put on your safety glasses and leather work gloves.
Place the pipe stand near the table-mounted vise and turn the handle of the pipe stand clockwise to raise it to the height of the vise. If the galvanized pipe you are drilling into is installed, skip to Step 5.
Set the length of galvanized pipe into the table-mounted vise and onto the top of the pipe stand.
Raise the pipe stand so it supports the end of the length of galvanized pipe and tighten the jaws of the table-mounted vise to secure the pipe.
Use the tape measure to determine where you want to drill and mark the surface of the pipe with the soapstone.
Align the tip of the center punch with the soapstone mark and strike the back of the center punch with the hammer to make a depression on the surface of the pipe. The depression will keep the drill bit from wandering.
Secure the drill bit into the chuck of the variable-speed drill motor and coat the drill bit with cutting and tapping fluid.
Place the tip of the drill bit in the depression you made on the surface of the galvanized pipe.
Apply pressure on the drill motor, toward the galvanized pipe.
Pull the trigger of the drill motor to start drilling into the galvanized pipe. Apply cutting fluid while you are drilling the hole.
Once the hole has been drilled, wipe the area around the hole with a clean rag to remove excess cutting and tapping fluid from the surface of the galvanized pipe.