Thanks for the compliments guys. I just can't believe that it took me this long to figure it out and it is so simple an inexpensive, plus it works great. The latch secures the door pretty tight but is still very easy to release with a pair of gloves or a poker. I like the idea of a welding extension to the bolt, but for now I think I'll leave it be.
As for the grate issue, I've been still thinking on that. What I did find out when I cleaned the stove out and was that one of the biggest problems that I had with the grate system, was the fact that I had not installed the shaker dump section grate the correct way. After a closer look, I noticed that the round grate has a lip molded under the round grate section for the slider dump grate to travel in and out. This molded lip secures the two grate sections together for a solid back and forth rotation. Since I did not have mine originally assembled correctly, only the center dump grate section was the part that I was actually shaking. That is the main reason that I found my grate system sucked.
I got a chance to look at an Alaska Kodiak Stove and it has a very similar grate system. With closer inspection, I realized I had to investigate my Vogelzang Potbelly stove to see if it was made the same. Surprise, it was. So, I thought that if this style of grate system was good enough for the Alaska Kodiak, maybe I can finally get my Vogelzang Potbelly stove to finally function.
I currently have the Vogelzang Potbelly Stove loaded full of anthracite coal and I'm going to put it though the paces, now that I have corrected an error in my assembly of the grate sections, to see if I can get this stove to perform any better with continuous burning of anthracite coal. I'll post my findings of my firing method, with burn times, stove temperatures and stovepipe temperatures after I run my test burn for a few days.
Thanks again for all of your responses. DOUG