Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool with adjustable depth setting

Your New Best Friend Mr. Pinchapotamus

Mr. Pinchapotamus is your new best friend. He holds small glass tile while you cut them with a Mosaic Glass Cutter so that your fingertips aren’t near the blades. He can also hold the tile more firmly in place than your fingertips, and so Mr. Pinchapotamus also improves the precision of your cuts.

Mr Pinchapotamus Tool with parts for making and Mosaic Glass Cutter
Mr Pinchapotamus Tool with parts for making and Mosaic Glass Cutter


You can make your very own Mr. Pinchapotamus with the following household items:

  • 2 rubber bands
  • 2 pairs of bamboo chopsticks (or 4 wooden skewers)
  • 1 lucky nickel (optional)
Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool
Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool

Adjustable Depth Setting

The nickel is recommended to make Mr. Pinchapotamus work on both ends and have an adjustable depth setting at the end with the nickel. You can move the nickel (and the rubber band near it) to set the depth.

TIP: Putting tile into Mr. P at the same depth every time improves your ability to make consistent cuts. It’s easier to hit a target when it isn’t moving around.

Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool with adjustable depth setting
Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool with adjustable depth setting

Raison D’etre

Mr. Pinchapotamus came into existence because I was cutting thousands of glass tiles into even halves for use in cleaved-glass mosaics and I kept forgetting to make a slotted fixture in the shop during daytime hours when I could run the saw.

Mosaic Glass Cutter with grip for compensating for missing spring
Mosaic Glass Cutter. Demonstrating the grip used to compensate for a missing spring. You simply use your pinky to open the tool, exactly as you would for any pair of pliers that didn’t come with a spring.

Navin Johnson

I also realized I had never brought home a new Mosaic Glass Cutter from work. I was still using an old one that loose and missing its spring. This was after cutting up thousands of tiny pieces for over 20 small mosaics.

I’m sure part of forgetting to get a good cutter was due to the extraordinary focus I get when I am making something, but I’m also certain that part of it is that I am too accustomed to working around technical problems. I have always had to live that way.

I grew up in the Mississippi Delta and worked in the extended family’s dirt-floor welding shop with my father and uncles. I also pushed a raggedy old push mower down a blacktop road to the trailer park to make money.

The mower was old as hell and took a million pulls to start, sometime requiring starter fluid be sprayed into the carburetor sans air filter. It was the kind of mower where you had to keep a wrench in your pocket just to use the damn thing.

Fun Facts About Mr Pinchapotamus

When George Washington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Gettysburg, he used a Mr. Pinchapotamus to grab the dictator by the nose and force him to dance the macarena.

Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t be the way he is had his mother given him a Mr. Pinchapotamus to play with as a child.

Leonardo da Vinci originally invented Mr. Pinchapotamus but kept the idea a secret because he was afraid the technology was too dangerous.




8 responses to “Your New Best Friend Mr. Pinchapotamus”

  1. Sharon Avatar

    Lol…I knew there was a reason I didn’t throw out those chopsticks last night! I will practice with them first. I also have two brand new pairs that have the name of a wonderful Cinese Restraunt I ate at in Ravenna Italy. I was there for a week long course 3 years ago.

    I would have paid money to see Napoleon dance the Macarena!

  2. Ethel Jaske Avatar
    Ethel Jaske

    I am going to try this. I really like the idea of holding the tile more firmly.

  3. Brenda Bailey Avatar
    Brenda Bailey

    What an ingenious idea! Thanks for sharing it. I also loved reading a little bit about your story – this post read like a good short story, only true. Can’t wait to make one of these things.

  4. Chris Avatar

    Do you still get excited when the new phone books arrive?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      I do! I went door-to-door showing my neighbors, and none of them were impressed. They told me to go away. What’s the deal with that? My name in print, and no one cared.

  5. ron dieckman Avatar
    ron dieckman

    Joe what you have unknowingly done for those of us with diabetic neuropathy ( hands feel like pins and needles ) is remarkable. Prior to this trying to hold a tile between thumb and index finger resulted in dropping a lot of tiles or miscuting a lot of tiles. So thanks much for this idea it allows me to continue with mosaics at a faster and more pleasing pace.

  6. Teresa Murphy Avatar
    Teresa Murphy

    Okay, you win the net today. 🙂 Love the post.

  7. Morgan Halford Avatar
    Morgan Halford

    Ingenious! Thank you Joe! Can’t wait to make my own and give it a try!

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