You're right. I beat the heck out of it, and that's as far as I got it for fear of messing up the paint. It's one of my "minor fixes". Drop the fork, prop up the front with the 2x4, then seat it better. The BB cups didn't seat as well as I liked either, but it's always been that way. But turns out I have a crap part in the BB, so I'm going to replace the whole thing with a NOS set. Again, when the paint cures more.
CRASH! When the time comes, build yourself a DIY headset press out of a length of threaded rod, a few big fender washers, and a pair of nuts. That's one of the easier homebrew tools to make and would be equally effective on the BB cups when large enough plates are substituted. Even a really big C-clamp is a favored alternative to the hammer/mallet. With bearing surfaces, it's always better to press than to pound.
Gorgeous bikes, BTW. You're WAY too critical of your own work...Obi-Wan.
There is a tool for that--essentially a piece of pipe with changeable end caps that match the race you're trying to install. The preferred "at-home" method usually employs a section of PVC pipe that slides over the steerer tube and can drive the crown race home without marring. I have access to the Park tool, so I've never had cause to build one myself. It sounds plausible, though. Whatever solution is used, I recommend supporting the fork at the crown before wailing away.
The guy at this link built some sweet homebrew headset tools, but one could do the same for less money if cheaper materials were used.
When I was a kid in Jr High I worked on my own bike with pliers, a pipewrench that doubled as a hammer, and a big o' bent screwdriver I used to take tires off the rim... I never needed any of them there fancy tools...