You mention that you open the ash door vents all the way, to load
and get the fire going. Does that help the fire really get going?
If you run it like that for 10-15 mins, are you able to see the fire
start really going? If you can get that result from sliding the
vents to full open, that may be all you need to get the stove reloaded
during shake down. I don't think on my harman that spinning my 1
dial all the way out would be enough extra draft, but your door has
vents all the way across the front which may be (in the manufacturers
opinion) sufficient to get the fire going good .
Not sure about your startup procedure, but once the hot wood fire
is going, did you start with a small amount of coal, let that get
going good, before adding any more?
Do you have a thermometer anyplace to monitor changes when
you open the vents etc?
I agree opening that lower door with the loading door open will
defeat any purpose trying to build fire/heat. Too much cold air
going up the chimney.