Okay, Joe, thanks for checking in. I guess the point is that this isn't rocket science. The idea is to expose the paper uniformly and in a controlled and repeatable manner.
I might pick up a new bulb -- or just try the wax paper as you suggested.
Someone else here suggested a yellow filter and showed some pretty impressive with/without results. Do you have any experience with or thoughts on using a yellow filter for exposing paper negatives?