Big-Time Boxes: Eric Armstrong, Cornwell Tools

April 2, 2021
Shop owner Eric Armstrong’s new tool storage setup is something he can continue adding on to as his tool collection and shop grow.

Owner: Eric Armstrong

Shop: Armstrong Automotive Repair

Location: Muskogee, Oklahoma

Five years ago, Eric Armstrong and his wife Robin decided to open their own repair shop: Armstrong Automotive Repair. To keep up with the shop’s growth and his expanding collection of tools, Armstrong decided it was time to upgrade his toolbox.

“I was completely out of storage in the [toolbox] I had before. This is about 10 times bigger than my other one,” Armstrong says of his new Cornwell Platinum Series toolbox.

Before purchasing his new toolbox about a month ago, Armstrong’s old setup was bursting at the seams with his tool collection. His previous box had a hutch, and while he tried to add on to it, he never seemed to have enough space. Armstrong even resorted to buying different tool carts to make up for the lack of storage.

Now, with his 84” two-bank Cornwell toolbox, Armstrong has plenty of room to store his tools. But that’s not all he got. The shop owner’s new setup also includes a hutch, two lockers on either side of the toolbox, and a roll cart positioned at the end of the setup.

The 6’ tall structure is done up in the shop’s colors, red and black, and the inside of the hutch sports a wrap featuring the shop’s logo, which also happens to be Armstrong’s favorite part of his new toolbox. Although, the hutch isn’t the only area of the toolbox Armstrong customized. On the top of the roll cart, he had an image of his racecar made into a wrap, making it a standout feature.  

As far as organizing his tools in his new setup, Armstrong didn’t … but his wife did.

My wife put them all in there for me, and I make sure to put them back,” Armstrong laughs. “It would have been a disaster if I'd have done it.”

Armstrong’s wife does more than just organize toolboxes around the shop. She runs everything in the office, and even lends a hand on the shop floor from time to time. Having put together a show car by herself, Robin knows a thing or two about cars.

His wife also played a major role in Armstrong Automotive Repair going from a dream to reality.

Growing up, Armstrong was always helping his father, who was a technician for 31 years. Fast forward to Armstrong working for a construction company and being gone all the time, and his wife wanting him home more. He jokingly said, “Let’s open a shop.” And she said, “Okay.” Then, she went out and found a location for the shop, and the rest is history.

Now, Armstrong Automotive Repair has eight employees and does just about everything in terms of automotive repairs except diesel and body shop work.

“We’re still trying to grow,” Armstrong says.

And with that growth, the shop owner is sure will come future additions to his toolbox. He’d love to get some drawer organizers for his wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers, as well as another locker or two or maybe another roll cart for the other end of his setup.

Overall, Armstrong is pleased he has a toolbox he can add on to as his shop continues to grow. 

About the Author

Emily Markham | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Emily Markham is the editor of  Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group.

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