We haven't said much about how much slurry to use, how long to work before adding water or cerium oxide.
That is near impossible for me to know without watching an entire work session.
I can tell you what I do, but details of quantities are not so easy to communicate.
MOT gravity pulls water into the channels and away from between mirror and pitch, and work dries faster.
TOT gravity pulls water in the channels to the mirror surface and work dries slower.
If you keep the lap too wet, the lap can slide on a relatively thick layer of water, sort of like hydroplaning tires on a wet road.
As the water in the slurry evaporates or spills away from the lap the layer of water between mirror and lap gets thinner, friction increases and you must work harder to push the lap, more work is done to the mirror's surface.
Try to make a wet last without adding water until you can no longer stroke smoothly.
Sometimes that will only be 5 minutes or so, sometimes 20 minutes. I rarely ever get much more than 20 minutes. It depends on humidity, the stroke and stroke speed being used, working only MOT, only TOT, or alternating MOT TOT, and other factors.
It is good to have a misting spray bottle to add water when needed. When you have a good wet going and it has dried too much, just adding a very light mist can add enough dampness to work several more minutes. There is probably some cerium hiding in the channels or clinging to the edge of the facets that the mist will bring to work, enough to continue working. It's not necessary to separate the disks to mist the surface, just offset the top disk to one side and mist, then to the other side and mist.
For working by hand I find using a bush more convenient to paint thicker slurry and add additional water if needed from the misting bottle. Slurry is kept in a jar and allowed to settle to a sediment at the bottom of the jar. During a work session if cerium oxide is needed I will dip a corner of the brush in the sediment and paint a thin line on the mirror or lap. For pressing I paint the entire lap surface with the broad end of the brush. There seems to be a relatively wide range of
The best result is somewhere between too much water and too dry. Of course it would be best if it was just right through the entire work session. It's not likely to happen that way but you can do things to keep it near just right most of the time.
Most likely it's wetter than necessary when you start a session and as you work it gets better and you will feel more drag. Drag is not bad. If you add water to reduce drag too soon you don't get to the best part of the wet. Keep stroking as long as you can keep smooth motion. Grabbing and jerky motion is not good. Speed change is ok. Sometimes slowing the stroke or speeding it up can maintain a smooth stroke.
I press all the time and frequently the lap will stick to the mirror. I put water in the channels and let it soak in TOT. When it has soaked between the lap and mirror I pour the excess water out of the channels, then slide the disk on top to free it and go right into stroking. If they weren't stuck I don't add water or cerium oxide (that was applied for pressing) I just start stroking and if too dry I will add just a little mist and things will be working good right off the bat.
There is a feel when things are working right. When things don't feel right water (mist) or cerium oxide might be added in and attempt to make things right, or if it's too wet either pour some water out of the channels and work or wait until it's dried out some. It takes a while to see the correlation between feel and results seen on the mirror surface. Then you know what you want to feel when you are stroking.
You mentioned that you had 100 pounds in you work table. I like to work around a 55 gal drum barrel (drum). I fill it about half way with water, in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. Not that I'm tipping it working on a 6" mirror, but if I only had 100 pounds holding it down I think I might sometimes tip it a little.