If it's your own time, it costs nothing to get the engine apart and find what the issues are. Even if you do a top end, you will not know if you have a reliable engine without complete disassembly. By the way, I liked the idea of asking the hot rod folks about a good machine shop. It takes a lot of careful thinking and work to make a good hot rod engine.
It is possible for you to do your own overhaul if you are doing the head anyway. As Sailorchic mentioned...it's not too complicated. If the ridge at the top of the cyls in not too bad, you may get by by just honing the cylinders, cleaning all up and installing new rings on the pistons (chek those pistons closely!) Then possibly new rod bearings etc. We used to call this an overhaul as opposed to a rebuild. A rebuild would renew everything. You need to have the capability of measuring some things.
__________________ "I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard