JD, finished reading your post and on the bottom paragraph, it reminded me of my daughters furnace (our old cottage) that had no fan and relied upon air flow to circulate heat.
I made a plenum work that set on top of the furnace,and used a coffee can filled half way with water, for moisture content.
Now the big offering of circulated heat came with a oil burner blower motor fan assembly, using an electric clothes dryer clicks-on switch, to start and stop the blower. Clicks-on was installed in the plenum work, so when the heat was reached the clicks-on switch, it started the blower motor to circulate the hot air.
Thought you might be able to use something like that to add to your wood burner in your shop.
Just offered as a suggestion.