It seems when paper's made on an industrial scale they use hydraulic presses to compress the pulp sheets, both to remove much of the water and to burnish the sheets. I figured I could probably jury rig a home version using vises and a couple cookie sheets and setting it on one corner. In hind sight I'm more surprised that it worked at all, but there was a trickle of water that came out over an hour's time or so. The resulting paper was flatter on one side, if it happened to be flush against the metal (the felt doesn't burnish in the least) but otherwise the final result was no different than any other sample. I -might- be able to get enough pressure if I build a full out rig for this specific purpose, but I'm not convinced that it would be worth it yet. Even using my current methods, 80-90% of the water is being reclaimed before it gets to that stage. I'll try another approach.
Round 8 was retrying a somewhat modified approach to the same technique but didn't fair much better. I did use a mix of roughly 50/50 printer paper and junk mail and I like how that's come out so I think I'll keep doing that.