and I'm sure things have changed. We were taught to ensure bolts were clean, usually by the wire brush mounted to a grinder motor method. Wash in solvent, dry, and lube lightly with 30 wt.
Check each head bolt hole carefully, blow out with air, make sure it is clean to the bottom, and run a tap down if any damage. Make sure no threads protrude from the block surface and if so file and level them.
Then torque to 1/3 of spec, half spec, and full spec. If you have no pattern available go from the center of the head and work your way out to lay it flat. They will all work that way. If you have no spec go by bolt size specs and be sure to torque small outlying (fix) bolt to spec in pattern by size. Fix bolts are usually there because somebody made an error that caused gasket problems in testing, they should have gotten it right the first time.
By the way, we are not yet using in production the maximum gasket cures developed during ww2 for the piston gas engine.
After you are done it does not hurt to come back the next day and re torque.
Run the engine to normal operating temp for a time, this depends on what you read. I like an hour or so, and re torque, then re torque at 1,000 miles and forget it. I've only had two consistent failures in a large number of engines so this works in most cases.
All the above instructions are superseded by specific gasket instructions in a manual or with a gasket kit.
Many errors are made and it is not unusual for revisions so check for the latest stuff.
For example Subaru has had six gaskets for their 2.5 engine. I'm running revision six, and I'm not sure they have it 100% right yet. Sometimes the after market does better than the manufacturers so the more knowledge the better.
A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad.
Owner of 4.4 76s and one lone 75 Wings (does a spare engine make .2?)