Big-Time Boxes, Jacob Eldridge, Cornwell Quality Tools

Sept. 1, 2022
This shop owner came across a green, 223” Cornwell toolbox he had to have.

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Jacob Eldridge has been a technician since before he could legally buy a drink. He’s always loved cars and bonded with his father-in-law, a long time shop owner, over repairing vehicles. When his father-in-law became ill, Eldridge bought the shop from him — Don’s Auto Center — and has ran it ever since. The shop is located in Corsicana, Texas.

About 18 months ago, Eldridge was looking for a new toolbox, one he could consolidate all his tools into and organize. Over the last two decades, he’s had multiple brands of boxes, including three Snap-On, two Mac, and two Cornwell boxes. After a few months of looking, he came across a green, 223” Cornwell toolbox he had to have.

“I wanted one box. I had two Cornwell boxes and two Mac boxes before this box, and they weren’t the same color and size. I wanted everything to match,” Eldridge says.

One of the features of his current Cornwell box that drew Eldridge immediately was the charging cabinet. He noted it’s big enough to hold all of his cordless tools, which happen to be his favorite type of tools.

“I love all my Milwaukee cordless tools,” Eldridge says. “They’re really strong tools. I use a lot of the 1/4” when I do a lot of my interior work. The ratchets are really fast, and the batteries last good. It allows me to do all the work I need to do all day with a lot of flexibility. I’ve got a ton of M12 and M18’s.”

One of the advantages of having a big toolbox is it is a lot easier to organize the tools the way you see fit. For Eldridge, that means putting each kind of tool into its own drawer.

“Everything has a place,” he notes. “There’s two sides to the box. On the one side, I have all my sockets in my top drawer. The next drawer down I have my metrics. After that comes my standard wrenches, and then I have my pliers and pullers. On the other side, I have my extensions and ratchets in one drawer, my torque’s and Allen's are in another drawer, and then I have my solder iron in another drawer.”

When asked if he plans on adding any other tools to his arsenal, Eldridge says he’s not specifically looking to add any tools to his box at the moment.

“Mainly now, I just buy special tools. With vehicle repair, you have to stay up on your tools because certain jobs need certain tools I may not have, so I will buy those, and then I will replace any tool I lose, but I’m not looking to add any specific tools to my collection right now.”

Don’s Auto Shop currently has four employees. As for the type of work the shop conducts, Eldridge was quick to point to almost everything.

“We do all mechanical work, and a lot of work on foreign cars,” the shop owner says. "The only thing we don’t do is alignments and rebuild transmissions.”

For 21 years, Eldridge has seen and done a lot of repairs on vehicles. When his father-in-law passed away a few years ago, he did not hesitate to keep the shop open.

“I want to continue building on his legacy,” the 40-year-old says. “You do what you’re good at. I’m good at fixing cars.”

About the Author

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis is a fomer freelance editorial assistant for Endeavor's Vehicle Repair Group. A recent graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, he held various positions in student media, including Web Director and General Manager at Black Squirrel Radio -- KSU's student-ran radio station. Lewis participated in web managing, copyediting and SEO practices.

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