Last question first; I do not use a pickle fork unless my first method does not work, which is a rare situation. I remove the nut and then using a good size hammer, strike the end of the spindle arm perpendicular to the centerline of the stud thread. The tie rod end stud is tapered, so striking the side will often pop it loose.
Using the nail on the jackstand, you basically use this much like a lathe to scribe a line around the center, or somewhere on the raised portion of the tread from which to measure. The tires rarely seat on the wheel with the tread perfectly aligned with the wheel, so the scribed line takes care of this variable.