Well Randy, we use 2L graduate cylinders for 35mm film. There was a weight and the film was looped. It was removed from the tank and hung in a rack for manual re-exposure. It is difficult to overexpose the red IIRC. Nothing else is red sensitive, Then the film is hung up again and the process is continued. Etc.

Your "mesh" system was once used by the EK 35mm tank. They used crinkled "aprons" to hold the film in a spiral and yet hold the emulsion and base apart on each part of the spiral. I have one here somewhere. Nice system.

But by your analysis, you did see elements of the complexity that I alluded to. Your second method is more sound and less costly.