any other tips as i plow ahead? order of assembly, little tricks, etc?
I would say that assembling the bottom end is trickiest.
Clean. Everything should be CLEAN.
I like to have a squirt can of clean oil and lots of lint free towels to keep my hands clean.
Regular rags will have lint if you start wiping out inside of block all sorts of it gets stuck to cast iron then comes off later and plugs oil pump screen.
Wipe off the bearings before you install them, wipe out the bearing bores before you install the bearings. Squirt some oil in cylinders wipe it around, squirt some oil into ring grooves and orient them so they're not lined up.
Get some 3/8 vacuum hose to make protectors to put on rod bolts, gas engine cranks are like butter one little bump and you have a little nick that could wipe out the bearing.
Get a good torque wrench. Be sure to put oil on bolt threads, also on rocker studs before you install the nuts. Seen where a guy forgot ended up having to replace them all because they galled up threads. Use sealer on head bolts though.
Lets hear somebody else tricks.