I was not sure if my machine was the problem, or whether it was the basic process that was the problem. To try and figure out what was causing the issue, I tried doing some experiments by hand without my machine, and then the same experiments with my machine. Those "by-hand" experiments were pretty bad, but at least I got some results. I was getting NO results with my machine. So how to figure out what is wrong with the machine? Well, there is a problem.
See, here is what the holder for the slide looks like:
|Figure: Note, solid metal construction.|
|Figure: The holder, pretending to stamp something.|
|Figure: Thing 1 and Thing 2|
If you look closely, the vertical cloudy line is where I drilled, and the drilled surface is not perfectly clear. But I had to get access to the vacuum holes somehow. The outer ring is also visible, as in the metal version.
And look! One can see through it! So now, I should be able to actually watch as the slide contacts the stamp, and the ink does (or does not) transfer.