So now I have my press. It ended up costing me around $225.00 You could definitely make it for less if you had some lumber or used a discarded countertop. I bought cheap kitchen cabinet doors for the base and the platen. The melamine finish makes the press easy to clean.
Here's one of my first test prints. I wanted to see if there was enough pressure to embosse a leaf skeleton. First I rubbed the skeleton with a watercolor crayon, then I put it on a piece of acrylic that I had painted with dish soap and watercolor paint. I used damp paper.
I look forward to doing some more printmaking soon!