I just replaced front axle so is fresh in my mind(well sorta fresh).
I jacked up axle with 2 floor jacks just high enough to get tire off. I then supported frame with jack stands, removed wheels, shocks,(which need to come out the top), and upper sway bar links. This should allow axle to drop down and springs will fall out. If you are gonna weld in new spring pocket with axle in place that is all you should need to do. If you plan to remove the axle completely I would recommend to begin lubricating lower control arm bolts a week in advance, order new bolts and have a sawzall and blades handy as bolts rust in sleeves and may need to be cut in order to remove. Hope this is helpful.