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Here’s a New Post from Po River Furniture

A Navy Vet Will Make Your Holiday Gifts.

Hand-made, one of a kind, one at a time.

Big update:   As of this writing, my new wood shop is still not winterized.  That means I can’t put finishes on things once the weather dips into the 40s and 50s.  So…if you see anything  at PO RIVER FURNITURE that trips your trigger you may want to grab it.  There may be quite a lag in production later this month.  All my stuff is unique and handmade but I do replace popular items with similar pieces when they sell out.

And as always, you can be confident that any gift from Po River will always be appreciated for it’s tasteful, unique, hand-made quality.  In other words, the person you give that gift to will think you are REALLY cool and smart.

Here’s a smattering of what you’ll find.

Salute to Nurses/Hero Series/wall hanging/recycled/pallet art image 0

My recycled PALLET ART pieces are cool for several reasons.  They are rustic and “beachy” because I make no attempt to erase the character of the wood’s previous life.   I try to make them of a theme that is either funny or has real meaning.

Salute to Nurses

Salute to the Thin Blue Line

Fun and Beachy           Fun and Beachy 2

Silver Spark Tulip in Maple image 0You’ll find a bunch of world-class wine stoppers like this one for the vino fan in your life.  Browse the shop for one you like.


Here’s another example.  All recycled woods.




Kubb. Nordic Yard Game. image 0


I knew this was going to be popular, but I had no idea just how popular.  It is now my fastest selling item.  And it’s a lot of fun.  If you like lawn games you’ll love KUBB






There’s lots more.  Come by and shop around!


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Pallet Art: Some fun. Some touching.

Recycled Pallet Art from Po River Furniture

Unless I have a very specific project in mind, I tend to create furniture and décor based on on what kind wood happens to roll into my shop.

I recently broke up a bunch of bracing used to move large displays at Home Depot. The associate was happy to be rid of it.

With the wider pieces I was able to create some nice wall hangings. Some are serious. Some are fun. All, I hope, will be to your liking.

All these pieces have been milled just enough to make them usable.  The pieces are then cut, etched and hand-painted.  No attempt has otherwise been made to hide the character from their past life.

No two will ever be alike.  I make them by hand on at a time.  With each iteration there will be differences, subtle and not so subtle.  Even if the text and images are similar your  piece will be unique.

Here are some early samples with links to where you can get them.

Hero Collection


Now, more than ever, we need to show our support for the people who hit the streets every day.  They have one main mission: to make our neighborhoods safe.

Lately, that’s been a pretty thankless task.  I’ll keep making these for as long as folks order them.

Look here.





I really like how the nurse project came out.  Cute and rustic.

This is for all those double shifts and difficult conditions our medical bubbas have been toiling under.  The job is tough enough in regular times.

This is where I got the inspiration for the HERO series.

At the height of the Covid-19 shut down, a little girl wanted to do something nice for her mother, a full-time nurse. One day, while mommy was working she got her chalk and drew pictures all over the front walk to the house. At the end of the walk, in big, colorful letters she wrote, “A HORE lives here.”

Now you have to admit, a silent W might get past a little girl. And who would we be to judge? But the general consensus is that she meant “HERO.” And mommy loved the message.

What a little sweetie!

Get it here.

Let’s get to the silly stuff!

For the beach house, pool house, bar, porch or She Shed.

The beach theme pieces are made from the same recycled wood as those above.

The Flip Flop Zone

This wall hanging demands the viewer approach and read it.  Twilight Zone fans will love how it reflects Rod Serling’s opening monologues.







Here’s yours.

Buffett fans! ‘Nuff said.

C’mon Parrotheads.

Be a Better Person

I love summer.

I miss living where I could wear flip flops 10 months out of the years.

Get beachy.

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The Po River Queen


Some time back I started a special series of bottle stoppers – chess pieces. So far we have a rook and a bishop. Now we add the Queen.  She is a stylized representation from the dark side, made from the reclaimed Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood.   

The queen is slightly taller than the bishop and shorter than the king will be. In this style I have the king and pawn left to create. Then it will be on to the knight.  That cannot be purely stylized.  I’ll have to actually carve a horse head.

Be sure to order your pieces as they become available and look for new pieces on a regular basis.  This is a fun gift for the wine aficionado. Like all the gifts you can find at Po River Furniture, this one shows that you actually gave some thought and creativity in gift-giving.  Your friend or loved one will appreciate that.

For the wine super freak I will custom make a complete 32 piece chess set of stoppers and a special board to actually play a real game when your stoppers aren’t sitting on a bottle.  Price:$600. Just contact me through my Etsy site.


And don’t miss out on all our other great pieces at Po River Furniture.  I make them one of a kind, one at time!

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Hail to the Chiefs…and Senior Chiefs and Master Chiefs!

First let me say to those First Class Petty Officers before the board, we’ve all been in your shoes.  For the E-6 waiting for the results, this is the longest month of the year.  I wish you all the best of luck on selection.  If I could, I’d wave a magic wand and get all of you your hooks.  I speak for all Chiefs when I say we look forward to welcoming you to the community.

Also, congratulations and well done to the new crop of Senior and Master Chiefs for FY 2020.  The air gets thinner with every step up so you should be duly proud of your accomplishment.

All that said, I have been working in the shop on some special designs for all the chiefs.  I am hoping that you, or those who love you, might take this occasion to pick up a VERY unique and thoughtful gift.  These will definitely NOT be seen as something you ran to the exchange to pick up.  And they damn sure out rank a gift card.  Look for your pen below.

All pens come with a blue velvet pouch for their protection.

CPO Pen, Walnut and Brass

This pen is turned from reclaimed walnut from Fort Belvoir.  About ten years ago my neighbor told me his crew was renovating some conference rooms and the tables were being thrown away.  I asked him very explicitly, and in my most colorful Navy language, to please acquire said table wood for me.  I have been using it all in smaller and smaller pieces.  One of those is this pen.

It is turned down to what we call executive slim.  I find this the most challenging since by the time you get a pen down to this width there is very little wood left to turn.  One slip and you have a piece for the burn pile.

The finish is a hard, semi-gloss.  The hardware is Cross-type and it takes Cross refills or the generic equivalent.

 You can find your Chief’s pen here.

SCPO Pen, Cherry and Brass

Oh, baby!  When you are in the business of selling things, especially things you’ve made, you’re really not supposed to show favorites.  But this one is a humdinger!

I had forgotten how much I like working with Cherry wood.  I recently made a pen for my granddaughter and was VERY pleased with how it turned out.  So I immediately replaced the last Senior Chief pen to sell with this one. 

Cherry is so workable that the process I use to create a semi-gloss or satin finish (usually my preference) produced a gloss finish over some of the prettiest grain you’ll ever see.  It dances in the light.

This uses the same Cross hardware and refills as the Chief and Master Chief pen.

This is one of my all-time favorite projects, even though it is for one of those even-numbered chiefs.

If you love your Senior Chief, go here.

MCPO Pen, Olive and Brass

Olive trees are impressive. They are tough, craggy gray trees that can survive in the toughest conditions.  They can live for over 1000 years.  Which is interesting, because when I was a wet-nose bootcamp in 1977, that’s how I saw the old-school Master Chiefs.  I learned very quickly that a Master Chief was the very last person in the world you wanted to see in your workspace, unless you knew for a fact that you had done something right…and even then you were a bit nervous. So, here’s to the Master Chief.

Olive wood is a fine medium.  An olive pen blank had been included in an old pen making kit I bought a while ago.  I wish I had used it sooner.  It has some amazing grain patterns and beautiful color.  Again, just like a Master Chief.  And the wood does smell like olives when you work it.  Most of the Master Chiefs I knew in the 70’s smelled like cigarettes and coffee.

Like the other two Chief pens, this one uses Cross hardware and refills.  In the case of all the slim pens I make, it is like having a Cross pen, but not one that thousands of others have.  I make ’em one of a kind, one at a time.

Somebody, somewhere has GOT to love a Master Chief!


Fair winds, my brothers and sisters.

Matthew E. Jordan III GMC (SW), USN Ret.

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My Work Upclose: Mixed Species Stopper

Find beautiful and unique gifts for weddng parties, holidays, graduations, promotions, and more here, at Po River Furniture!



This is one of the first of Po River’s turnings to go on the market.  The stopper is one of a pair made from recycled wood.  It contains Walnut and mahogany from conferences tables discarded on Fort Belvoir in the previous decade.  There is a piece of Pine heartwood used to brace missiles for transport to Naval Weapons Station Yorktown (can only be used once and must be discarder by the Weapons Station).  The center  of the work is a piece of oak from the Civil War era barn torn down around 2004. You can find the finished art HERE.




Your stopper is 4 1/2″ long and 1 5/8″ wide.  The turning sits atop a triple chrome stopper with a rubber gasket.


What I Love About This Item

Like many of my turnings, this piece draws you in.  Each cut of wood has it’s own character. You want to turn it and enjoy the patterns playing off each other.  It is rich and heavy. It has a very manly appeal and will look good on your bar.  Look for our display racks coming soon!





Baby pictures

Our mixed species friend is seen here with this big brother soon after I found them hiding in a laminated block of wood.





You can bring this piece home from Po River Furniture Shop for yourself or someone special. All my stoppers and pens come in their own attractive velvet pouch.

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Po River Furniture: Discounts

You have to work for some discounts!

A very sweet young lady approached my table at a craft festival recently.  She was lovin’ on one of my snowman wine stoppers.  And what’s not to love?  Right?  She and her friends were discussing the piece and she asked if she could get a discount.

I smiled and said, “Listen carefully to these three questions.”

Me:  Are you military or retired military?

Her: No.

Me: Are you an Uber of Lyft driver?

Her: No.

Me: [With heavy emphasis] Do you love Po River Furniture?

Her: Well, I don’t know…I…uh really don’t know much about…

Her friends caught it and laughed.

Again me:  Do you LOVE Po River Furniture?

Her: [looking around for a second] Oh! Yes! It’s my favorite!

Me: Well, there you go! 10% off!

What can I say?  She was obviously a woman of good taste and character.

I have three discount codes on my Etsy site. The first is for active duty and retired military.  No need to explain that one.  The code is MILITARY.  The second is for UBER and LYFT drivers.  I know what it is like to be out there schleppin’ for tips behind the wheel.  So I want to give them a little break too.  Code: UBERLYFT.  I post those codes everywhere.

Flame finial wine stopper (maple)

But the one code you have to look for, or be a brilliant and attractive Entrepre-Nutty reader to get is the easiest to qualify for.  You don’t have to put your life on the line for you country.  You don’t have to drive drunks home at 0200 when the bars are closing.  You just have to appreciate the look and feel of hand-crafted art produced in a wood shop.  In this case you simply have to “love” Po River Furniture.  [twisting my evil mustache] Discount code: LOVEPORIVER

So there you are.  As a discerning fan of, you can now get a discount at my esty shop, the Po River Furniture Shop.  Enjoy.  Hope to see yo soon.


Walnut Acorn Bird House. Everything including the hook eye is recycled or repurposed scrap. SOLD.


Po River Furniture is 100% owned and operated by a service-related disabled veteran.



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Okay, Okay! So It’s Maple!

This is the wood pile in the back of my shop.

I have a bunch of wood stored in the back of my shop.  Some of it is small pieces of wood that I am slowly using up as I recycle it.

I know.  It looks like a soup sandwich.  In recent posts to Etsy, I got the species of wood used wrong.  I just want to go on record here to correct the errors so if anyone revisits the site they don’t say, “Hey!  That’s not what you said before!”  And hopefully have this out before the work in question is purchased!





The first goof was a tree ornament that I said was a mahogany acorn.  I got a chunk of mahogany table legs mixed up with walnut legs.  Both were from a renovation on Ft. Belvoir.  The acorn/birdhouse is walnut.

The second species miscue was wine stopper.  I was milling the wood for it at the same time as some old barn oak.  I mislabled the stopper as barn oak, then as plantation wood.  IT’S MAPLE!  It was milled from a horde of wood a friend at Lighthouse Woodturners gave me.  I wish I had a ton of the stuff.  It works down so nicely and the stopper came out exactly as I wanted it to.

Maple flame wine stopper. Pretty, ain’t it?

The Po River Furniture Shop is a brand new project.  The objects were all made this fall by hand in my shop.  You are, of course, welcome to visit.  Hit “favorite” so you can see the new stuff as soon as it goes online.  I will be doing a lot of wild experimentation in the coming weeks to provide some very unique Holiday items!

I might even reorganize that wood pile.

Have fun.

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Car vs House: Ask the Experts.

Before we get to the experts…

If you are visiting here after a bit of an absence, you may find a lack of content or Latin gibberish on the screen.  I am still rebuilding.

But what do you think about the new look?  Better than the old, blah grey screen, right?

But that’s Not Why You Are HERE.

I am linking this Facebook post because my best girl and I found ourselves in this very pickle when we bought our previous house.  Hmmm, house or car…house or car…what to do?

We ended up buying the car first.  The mortgage company then required us to roll our car loan into the mortgage loan.  I had mixed feelings about this.  Basically we ended up with $20,000 less equitity in the house.  This chicken did come back to roost when we sold.

At the same time, it could be said that my car payment dropped to just a few dollars a month.  Like I said…mixed feelings.

But I will ask Ken to comment here about the pros and cons of that part of the experience.

But this is an interesting video. Watch it here!