A couple of other solutions I've found to common problems have been:
• When soldering a tiny jump ring to a big metal component, I put the component on my table top kiln to heat the larger piece so I can get the solder to flow at the tiny join point. Otherwise the torch flame would have to be used to heat the larger piece of metal so long that the solder would probably never flow. (I have to admit - I tried to do the solder join four times before I thought of using the kiln.)
• For a bead that was formed on a straw that needed to be suspended while drying, I set crumpled paper in a coffee cup which held the straw perpendicular to my work surface until the bead was dry. You could also use rice or upholstery foam as support material. If the straw needs to be horizontal (parallel to your work surface), place it on two wedges of polymer clay, or cut two V-notches into a Styrofoam cup.
Have you found some good solutions to production problems? We'd love to hear!