Home How-to Articles 3M Products for a Productive and Safer Shop

3M Products for a Productive and Safer Shop

by Moses Ludel

3M Means Lasting Quality

3M products have been a mainstay at my shop. Trademarked and patented 3M products meet the highest standards. In these three HD video tours (Part 1: Body Work, Part 2: Service Work and Part 3: Safety/Protective products), I share my favorite 3M “soft tools” and safety gear.—Moses Ludel

3M offers both commercial and consumer packaged products. Bondo “Complete Dent Repair”, “Bumper Repair” and “Scratch & Chip Repair” are crossover products available to DIY users, available at popular retail outlets.
3M tools and products have the stamina to go the distance. This Scotch tape and paper dispenser has been in my shop for decades. Scotch 3M masking tapes are superior to any other brand or source. If you want professional results, use 3M professional products.
For sanding papers, 3M has the best products available. The lastest “Super Flexible” papers provide the superior edge and contour sanding that commercial users demand. If you want professional results, turn to 3M pro products.
3M products serve automotive repair facilities and body shops. My shop has used 3M products for over half a century. I use 3M products to achieve professional results. Here are my current top picks for 3M automotive service trade and DIY shop products.
Not surprisingly, 3M Silicone Paste is the best product in this niche. If you are tired of struggling with urethane bushing installation and lubricating these parts, look no further than this product. The 3M “Car Care” line is popular with productive shops and serious DIY users.
3M High Power Brake Cleaner is just that: exceptionally good at dissolving oil and grease around brake backing plates and lining areas. For metal brake parts clean-up during a brake job, this product is doubly effective over the competitive cleaners. Cost is justified by the minimized amount of cleaner needed to get the job done.
All silicone RTV sealants are not the same. 3M Black High Temp Gasket maker is easier to use and seals better than Brand-X products. The adhesion, heat resistance, shape holding and clean-up make this product optimal for shop and in-the-field sealing needs.
Safety is a priority at my shop and should be at yours as well! 3M products have been the first choice for health and safety protection. For professional or DIY automotive service or body shops, industrial plants and welding environments, 3M meets the highest standards. Here is a tour of our current top picks from 3M.
We can get in a hurry when trying to complete projects. Hand cleaner and water are not a substitute for protecting yourself from harmful shop solvents and chemicals. 3M products are an industry standard that frequently meet Federal and State safety guidelines. Read the labels on contemporary paints, solvents, fillers, shop chemicals and cleaners. Take these guidelines seriously. See the many safety and health-related products available from 3M.
3M paint and chemical protection is the best in the market. Commercial body and fender workers turn to the Versaflo® product line for superior hood, helmet and air supply systems that serve busy shops. Your passion for this work does not need to be a health detriment. See the full line of 3M Versaflo® products and download a Versaflo® brochure at the 3M official website.
A 3M Versaflo® hood, helmet support, fresh air supply and 3M ANSI-approved coveralls can make up a NIOSH approved system. There is no point in exposing yourself, co-workers and family members to the health risks of modern VOC laden paints, thinners, cleaners and two-part epoxy primers. If you want professional paint results, include your health in that process...Note: Mixing 3M safety components with other brands will not satisfy NIOSH requirements. Versaflo® is approved as a complete system.
Suiting up means protection from VOC paint products in all areas: hands, eyes, ears, nose and mouth—plus skin. Since many VOCs are attracted to moisture, the only real protection is full-body coverage with a fresh air supply.

Workdays Involve 3M Products

3M products are an ongoing part of our shop’s workflow and projects. Day-to-day work involves a variety of 3M products at my shop. For quality automotive repairs, precision rebuilding, paint-and-finish needs and welding/fabrication work, 3M provides reliable “soft tools” for these tasks.

How do running boards last for fourteen years? These Mopar boards by AMP Research have raised and lowered since 2005. There are no grease fittings on these link arms. Their only lubrication has been occasional 3M Silicone Paste. The motors’ brushes have worn out but not the running boards or the link arms.
The driver’s board motor stopped a few years back, and a replacement motor was not available. Disassembling the motor turned up a dirty set of brushes. When the passenger running board stopped working, the brushes were once again suspected. Here’s what we can do using 3M products and some knowledge of brush motors and generators.
For scuffing, polishing and bringing back metals, Scotch-Brite is the solution. This popular 3M product has been a mainstay at my shop since Scotch-Brite first came to market. Here is one more niche for Scotch-Brite...
This small commutator is copper and relatively soft. Scored by the brushes, there is an arc spot where the dirty brushes put up resistance. The restoration process involves polishing with 3M Scotch-Brite. Very Fine grit works best here.
Gentle pressure only…if the pad drags, I spray a small amount of electrical contact cleaner onto the commutator. The armature is chucked and spinning at moderate speed in the drill press. A lathe would work but is not necessary since no metal will be removed. (The commutator runs true.) This is a surface cleaning and polishing procedure. There is no risk of undercutting the commutator slots. Sand paper at this abrasive grit would shred against the spinning armature and commutator. Scotch-Brite is the 3M solution.
Like all other 3M professional grade products, Scotch-Brite offers reliable, predictable results. Here, the gains are apparent. As soon as the commutator looks consistently smooth, the process will be complete.
The finished job looks factory fresh. This took just minutes with 3M Scotch-Brite. With no shorts in the winding, a set of new brushes should restore this motor.
The incentive for this unusual repair? The obsolete motor has no replacement. AMP Research’s solution is a new link arm with the updated motor. Retail price: $360 plus freight (per running board motor; $720 for two arms and motors)…Repair or DIY solution: $9 plus freight for two carbon brushes, a small piece of Scotch-Brite, a few beads of 3M High Temp Black Silicone Gasket sealant, and an hour of my time. It took longer to find the carbon brushes than to fix the motor.
For assembly, the best possible assurance of a lasting seal is 3M High Temp Black Silicone Gasket. This sealant has excellent adhesion and shapes readily. With a smaller cut on the nozzle end, the product is easy to control and clean up. The end result will be a running board motor that weathers the underside of our truck—for another fourteen years!

For quality work that you can trust, even under the harshest driving conditions, 3M is the brand…After fifty-two years of professional automotive work, 3M stands out as my benchmark for quality products.

To review the full range of 3M products or download detailed brochures for the Versaflo® air filtration systems and many other lines, go to the 3M official website at:


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