Thanks av8r for reporting back your real life stove findings.
It helps others who find this thread and then see the resulting solution. It validates what other replies may of been saying all along and would/could be dismissed as not likely the case...but surprise, it just might be.
I'll also add this about this stove air issue...Anytime when reaching the near to bottom of a coal tote/bin you will then find your higher precentage of coal fines there due to the scooping and settling during use. Best to avoid the urge of frugality and set this aside and screen out the fines rather than having the stove grate do the screening for you.