I want to give making my own valves a go, but first I've got to overhaul my vacuum pump, because it doesn't suck. (Well, I need at least 35torr, and it has trouble getting to 120torr.)
I've got this book and like it: Instruments of Amplification.
It's not so much a howto guide as a recounting of "I did this, and this is how it worked". Useful tips on how to cut open bulbs and harvest filaments, how to drill glass, basics of vacuum working and lots else.