By Michael Buhler
Referring to Cameron Pfister’s purple ribbon-winning table from the Sedgwick County Fair as unique might be a huge understatement.
Pfister made the table this spring with the aid of his father, Tom, out of four generations of tools lying around his father’s shop – including tools that date back to Tom’s great-grandfather (and Cameron’s great-great-grandfather).
“I had stuff lying around the garage, and I just decided to make a square on the floor,” Cameron, a student at Cheney Middle School, said. “I started putting tools in the square and there was a little hole left in the center, so I put a crankshaft out of a 1953 Golden Jubilee Ford.”
Tom was a major source of guidance and help with making the table.
“I told him he needed to make a certain size on the ground and to make it look like an end table size – a sit beside your chair size table,” Tom said. “He drew his lines on the ground the size he wanted it, put everything down he wanted showing up face down on the concrete and just started tack welding everything together.
“We rooted through tools of mine, tools of my dad’s and tools of my grandpop’s and tools of my great-grandpop’s, so there are four generations of tools there. We found different broken parts we had lying around the shop floor and in the junk pile – and that’s about what it is.”
According to Cameron, the table took approximately six or seven hour to make. He believes that building the table inverted – from the top on down – helped.
“It was upside down on the floor,” Cameron said. “That’s why the top is so flat. We just tack welded everything on the bottom, so it’s on the bottom, not on the top.”
Cameron’s table not only won a purple ribbon at the Fair – the highest ribbon one can win – it also has qualified for the Kansas State Fair in September.
“I’m a little nervous, but at the same time, I’m excited,” Cameron said.
Tom also is excited for his son to make it to the state level with the table.
“I was happy for him,” Tom said. “I was hoping something good would come out of it. I didn’t know we were going to go all the way to the State Fair with it, but it is what is and we’ll just keep on going with it to wherever it takes us.”
While the table holds a lot of history for both Cameron and his father, the history of the table stands out especially for Tom, who remembers the older generations of their family.
“For me, it brings back memories,” Tom said. “Not so much for Cameron probably – he didn’t know the third and fourth generations of the family like I do. It brings back good memories of back home in Pennsylvania where I was born and raised.”