Hey... that's another good point!
I've about resigned myself not to sweat trying to get this to work. The current customer(s) will have to just get semi-gloss (which I really don't like). When the availability of funds and one of those temp-controllable double-sided dryers intersect, I'll resume my efforts with one of those.
That increased curvature thing might have more to do with it than anything else.
I worked one or two places that had the huge chrome-drum dryers, and someday, when I build my dream darkroom I'll try and find one, but I've never really used one. Alas, when they were available to me, I was too young, in too much of a hurry, and saw no reason to anything other than RC and usually machine-processed RC as well. Ick.
Oh -- and on a minor sub-thread, I've checked around and although other forms of toning are reported to react adversely to heated drying/glazing, selenium appears to weather it with no ill effects (according to various discussion group reports).
Thanks Thilo. I think that curvature idea may be the missing piece of the puzzle. I think that my dryer might have worked just fine with most of the contemporary papers back when it was made, but I've heard that most papers now have way thinner emulsions than those of 20 or more years ago.