There are several possibilities here:
1. If the stand came powder coated the pin will be too large in diameter and you will need to remove some of the coating.
2. If it isn't then proceed like you are but combine a little taping on the end of the spring with the twisting
(if you use some vice grips properly adjusted you won't have to worry with keeping pressure on the pliers)
3. If you find a piece of tubing with a slightly larger inside dia than the spring, you can put it over the spring to keep it from going sideways on you while you tap on it. Sometimes this alone will get you on.
3. The leading end of the coil may be digging into the pin and you will need to smooth it with a dremel or hand file
4. When all else fails add a little heat to relax the spring some.
5. And above all have some fun!!