Most dedicated DIYs will recognize these:
These little cones are available for pennies at any Home Depot or paint store and keep your work from sticking to the work bench much more neatly than blocks of wood. Pick up a dozen.
And how do you take the niffy no-background pictures? With a cardboard box, some tape, thin paper or sheeting, and poster paper, a light tent is the trick. I like the daylight compact fluorescent bulbs.