123pugsy, you're spot on w/the 36 degrees at 3000 rpm.
You want the total (w/o the vacuum advance) all in as early as the engine/vehicle combo will allow. This is usually around 3000 rpm (or less if it'll let you) w/o pinging when under a load.
If more info on the HEI is wanted, you can take a look here
, especially the section on ignition advance