I just got a new toy, a timing light.
This is an advanced Gunson's model that has a trigger wire around the spark plug lead and connects to the battery for power. The really neat bit is a dial on the back that allows you to dial in the advance. Hence you point it at the timing marks and when the engine is running you just adjust the dial so the TDC mark at 0 lines up with the crankshaft marking and read the actual advance on the back of the light.
Both my CJs run but have old and tired distributors. In times past I have advanced the ignition until they just start to pink under heavy load and then back off a bit. This is to make up for tired springs etc.
Tried it on Bagusjeep which I have been tinkering with recently and discovered at idle with no vacuum it was around 22 degrees before TDC.
On Jeepputhi it was 6 degrees AFTER TDC.
How far has your static timing been out?