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November 17,2011- Craftsman Project Center...

Five years ago we purchased a rolling toolchest to house our growing collection of tools. A few years later, we went with a more industrial unit because we needed a bigger one. When the interns wanted their own tool cabinet, we looked around to see what would be appropriate. What we found (on Craigslist, of course) was a rolling Craftsman Project Center which is a hybrid between a tool cabinet and a workbench...perfect!

The Craftsman Project Center is a five-drawer rolling cart with a reversible medium-density fiberboard (MDF) work surface. Underneath the removable work surface are moulded wells for tools, screws, and misc bits. Next to the work surface is a holster for an electric drill. The cart also has a... [more] - Craftsman Project Center


October 12, 2011- Boxster Top Repair...

Plastic rear windows were standard equipment on Porsche Boxsters until 2003. The window was made of plastic because it needed to fold in half to fit into the storage space. It was eventually replaced with a glass version because the plastic would cloud up over time or dry out and crack.

We have always treated the convertible top of our 2000 Boxster as a consumable item and assumed that we would have to replace it every few years. Porsche replaced it once under warranty in 2002. Fortunately for us, that replacement has lasted over 9 years! Last Fall the plastic started to show clear signs of stress cracks. We began looking at replacement options last Winter knowing that we would probably have to deal with it this Spring. The prices we got from various installers were kind of insane, so we decided to... [more] - Boxster Top Repair


September 8, 2011- Sugru Hacks...

If you don't know what Sugru is, check out our FirstLook post. If you have ever looked at something and thought "if only...," then this stuff was created for you! The stuff was created by people-who-love-to-hack for people-who-want-to-hack, even if they don't know it...yet.

Sugru comes in a few basic colors and can be combined to create lots of different shades. The stuff feels like putty. It can be moulded, shaped, and worked just like putty. It will cure in about 24 hours. Once cured, the stuff is... [more] - Sugru Hacks


August 31, 2011- Raen Sunglasses...

High tech materials and exotic lens coatings have taken sunglasses from just a pair of "shades" to performance "gear." The styling of sunglasses have followed suit. Oakley has developed a billion dollar business by taking it to the extreme. While not just anyone can rock the look of iridescent lenses in a X-metal frame, everyone looks great in a pair of Wayfarer. Even better if they incorporate the latest tech along with the retro styling. The interns are always on the look out for modern sunglasses with the Wayfarer sensibilities. Recently they happened upon a boutique brand that may just have us reaching for them before our Oakleys.

Raen Optics is a relatively new entrant in the eyewear market. RAEN, headquartered in Encinitas CA, was created in 2008 by the designers at Libre Design. In three short years, they have managed to... [more] - Raen Sunglasses


June 20, 2011- Visionary Lenses: Summer Colors...

Tomorrow is the first day of Summer. We have been getting things in place for the day. We have cleaned and vacuumed the convertible, put on the Summer tires, and did the basic checks (oil, transmission, etc...). The iPod has been loaded with new songs (Lady Gaga, Roger Penrose, etc...). There are still a few more tasks left on our PrepForSummer list, but we are amost there.

We completed one more on the list late this weekend...swapping new lenses into the Oakleys. We got some fresh new colors from Visionary Lenses and have been looking forward to giving them a try. The tough part is to pick a color. After a bit of discussion, we decided to go with the green and the purple. The high contrast yellow lenses were excellent for those... [more]- Visionary Lenses: Summer Colors


May 17, 2011- CarChip Pro...

If you have a car built after 1996, sooner or later the On-Board-Diagnostic (OBD) or Check-Engine (CL) light will come on. This little yellow light will stay on and nag at you until you get it checked out. Some owners will ignore the light and hope that it will just go away. Others will try all kinds of ways (fiddling with the gas cap, disconnecting the battery, etc...) to try to get it to go off. However, the proper thing to do is to read the code, see what triggered the fault, and decide if service is required.

The RainyDayGarage folks have looked at many OBDII readers over the years (CarChip, OBDKey, CarMD). Their favorite is the CarChip. Like all OBDII readers, the CarChip can read and download the fault code, but unlike many of the others the CarChip can also... [more]- CarChip Pro FirstLook


Apr 29, 2011- Kryptonite: Bike ID Kit...

Now that Spring is here, many are getting their bicycles tuned-up for another season of pedaling. With the ever increasing gas prices, the incentive to get on the bike for short trips is higher now then ever before. Bicycling is a great way to keep in shape, save some money, and does not add more pollutants to the air we breath. Unfortunately, according Kryptonite, it can take as little as forty-three seconds to steal a bike and it happens twenty five times every hour! Fortunately, there are things we can do to make it harder for thieves to ride off with our bikes:

  • Join and register the bike with the Bike Revolution
  • Tag the bike for extra protection
  • Lock the bike properly

Registered bikes statistically have a greater recovery rate...or at least not be sold by the local police at auction for pennies on the dollar. Kryptonite, the bike lock people, and Bike Revolution, a UK based global bicycle registration provider, partnered up last Fall to tackle the theft problem. They are providing cyclists with a FREE... [more]- Kryptonite: Bike ID Kit


Apr 22, 2011- NYIAS: Opening Day...

We just got back from NYC after spending a few days at the NYIAS. It was a blast. We sat in every exotic car we could, played with the knobs, and imagined what it would feel like driving them on an open road. The press preview started on Wednesday and the show officially opened to the public today. As with any show of this magnitude, there is something for everybody: sports cars, fuel-efficient hybrids, trucks with built-in gun racks, concept cars, and some which defies description.

As always, our favorite car from the show were the concept cars. Concept cars are the manufacturers' way of showing off to each other. The majority of the concept cars (Porsche Boxster being one of the rare exceptions) never make it into production, but they serve as a showcase for... [more]- NYIAS: Opening Day


Apr 21, 2011- NYIAS: Black Edition Boxster...

Porsche is the reason we go to the NYIAS whenever we can. This year, visitors to Porsche's booth will get a close-up view of the Black Edition of the Boxster S. There will only be 987 of these specially outfitted vehicles. Each will be numbered and labeled.

Boxster owners will immediately notice the subtle difference: black instrument dials and shifter, black rear side intake grills, embossed logo on the convertible roof, black twin tailpipes, body-matching... [more]- NYIAS: Porsche Black Edition


Apr 20, 2011- New York International Auto Show...

We are spending a few days here in NYC for the NYIAS. If you are interested in the basic coverage, there are dozens of major networks, mainstream press, and folks from the usual car-focused publications to tell you all about it. Our plan at the 2011 NYIAS was to find the unusual or extraordinary.

Of course, like most plans, it went out the window once put into action. When we arrived at the show, we saw a long row of Jaguars parked out front. We soon discovered that fifty years ago, the New York Auto Show played host to the launch of an automotive classic: the Jaguar E-Type - or XKE as it was known in America. If any country took the E-Type to its heart, it was the... [more]- NYIAS: Jaguar


Mar 1, 2011- Headlight Maintenance...

There are a few simple things every car owners can check to ensure their vehicles are operating safely: properly inflated tires, good brakes, and bright headlights. We have shown a few DIY RainyDayGarage projects on those topics (Litronics upgrade, headlight restoration, brake pad replacement) over the years. Once in a while, we have an opportunity to go back and repeat a project using a different approach. The headlight restoration is such a project.

Our decision to repeat the headlight restoration project was initiated when one of our editors complained that her lights appeared really dim. We took a look and realized that not only was one of the bulbs burnt out, but the lenses of the headlights had yellowed again. Instead of just replacing the bulb, we decided to... [more]- Headlight Maintenance


Feb 21, 2011- Boxster Projects...

When the near-60º temperature wafted through Boston last week, those of us with convertibles started to think about the day it will be warm enough to take off the hard top and snow tires (it will be soon). Such enthusiasm may be dampened (a little) by yet another snow storm hitting the area. However, our spirits were lifted today when a copy of 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster showed up at the office.

The book was written by Porsche expert Wayne Dempsey. Wayne co-founded Pelican Parts, an Internet-based automotive parts company which has been a go-to source for Porsche DIY-enthusiasts for more than a decade. 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster is a result of the author's... [more]- 101 Boxster Projects


Feb 15, 2011- Visionary Lenses...

The X-Men movies made the Oakley Juliet with the ruby red lenses into an icon. Deep ruby-red lenses are very difficult to find. Most of the aftermarket lenses are yellow with hints of red at certain angles. Visionary Lenses have come the closest in achieving the the deep red many have sought for the Oakley sunglasses. We looked at a set from them last September.

Last week, we received some new lenses from the folks at VL. Included was a set of lenses with a MUCH deeper red color. There is still a little hint of gold at the edges, but these are the darkest and richest ruby-red lenses we have seen from any vendor. Along with the ruby-red lenses were a set of... [more]- Visionary Lenses: Red and Purple


Jan 27, 2011- Snow Day at the Office...

Bostonians woke up to another twelve inches of snow this morning. If this keeps up, we are going to run out of space to put it. The depth of the snow was deep enough that moving around was a problem for more than just the two-legged. Still, Eliot was out at the crack of dawn to perform his morning perimeter checks.

Milo, on the other hand, was less enthusiastic about his morning outing. Maybe his winter coat is not as thick as Eliot's, maybe he is just not as hardy, but whatever the reason...he seemed to have no trouble sayingt... [more]- Snow Day at the office


Jan 13, 2011- Sears Craftsman Socket set...

A week ago we wrote about our surprisingly pleasant DieHard battery experience at our local Sears automotive store. We now follow up with a story of an even better experience at the main Sears store.

Our tale starts with a Holiday present (of a brand exclusive to Sears, exactly which is not relevant) given to us from an out-of-state relative, for which we were not supplied the receipt. Unfortunately for us, the item, cool as it was, was not something for which we would have use. We were hoping we could exchange it for something more useful to us at Sears. However, after a few email exchanges with Sears online support, we were told that, in the absence of a receipt:

"...We do not have an exchange process. Please arrange with the person who gave you the (item) to have them return for credit. The suggestion would be for you to go to the Sears store with that person and pick out another item. I know this is not an ideal solution, but appears to be the only option that you have..."

Undaunted, we took the item to the Sears store in Dedham, Mass. A pepper-haired gentleman in his late 50s greeted us at the tools department and asked if he could be of assistance. We explained our situation and asked if an exchange was possible. Without hesitation, he said... [more]- Sears Craftsman Socket Set


Jan 6, 2011- Porsche Battery Replacement...

Most of our shopping is done online (Amazon, EBay, TireRack, etc...) these days. However, every once in awhile, we still venture into a brick and mortar store for things which we can't easily get online. One of those things is a car battery. The primary reason is when a car battery dies, you need another one immediately. Waiting a few days for it to arrive via UPS is just not going to cut it.

We first noticed the battery problem on Sunday when the car wouldn't start. A quick jump with the JNC Air brought it back to life and we had no more problems until yesterday. The battery just would not hold a charge even after we had driven it for a while. Good thing we had brought the JNC Air with us... [more]-Porsche Battery Replacement






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