I do my work with a vaccum guage. I set the idle where it sounds half way decent, then I do the screws on the carb. You want to turn them clockwise till the engine starts to chug, and then back off slowly till you are where you get the maximum engine vaccum. If after you get the engine smooth, and you dont like the idle, adjust it again and then redo the carb. Eventually you will get the hang of it and not half to go back and forth so much. After that you want to advance the timing till you get your max vaccum at idle, and then retard it to get 1 in hg lower than your max. If it still pings upgrade your gas, or back off the timing whichever you want.
This procedure has worked great for me, but Im sure you will get some more opinions, go with what you think you can do, and good luck.