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I've only looked at the pics posted above, never done this or seen it done before so apologies if i'm mistaken.

If you haven't knocked the bearing races into the frame far enough then when you tighten up the nut, the shaft won't come high enough up to get the locking nut on. Possibly your problem?

As for the steering feeling hard, i'm assuming there is no spacer that holds the bearings apart at a set distance, so when you do the nut up tighter, you are squashing the bearing into its race, which will make it harder to turn as there is too much preload on the bearing. You need to check in a workshop manual how tight, but i'm guessing finger tight plus a very very small amount.

I would be pulling it back out and checking everything has been knocked home against its seat. If you don't find anything wrong i would get someone more experienced to look at it for you.

As for a tool for the nut, your method is fine but may be awkward when trying to lock the 2 nuts together. Remebering that you will not want the bottom nut turning with the top nut after you set the preload.
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