You would no doubt find the three-volume series Amateur Telescope Making very interesting. Originally published by Scientific American quite some time ago, it's probably out of print, but perhaps has been reprinted or can be found in a good library. While most of it pertains to mirrors and other trappings of amateur astronomy, there are some chapters dealing with lenses. My books are packed away right now, so I can't give you a specific reference, but I believe volume 3 has a chapter on making a triplet of the Cooke type.

It's one thing to make a single surface as in a telescope mirror. A simple lens is a bit more work since the two surfaces must share the same optical axis. A multiple element lens is something else altogether. Did you plan on leaving any time for photography?