This is my first time ever attempting anything like this, but I figured I might as well start. I've read up on the Ken Gilbert manuals and they mention a specific tool to keep the gear from turning...is that what I am missing?
If you strip them just drill them out... Costs like ten bucks tops per bolt.
The other option is to use an old timing belt, keep it in place, and use vice grips to cramp the belt together on either side of the crank cog... This will keep everything from turning while you're torquing on the bolts.