Regarding: sealing the leak between the grate assemble and the bottom of the reactor - The only fiberglass gasket I had was for a wood stove window, so I tried using that, with black rtv around the holes and tape joins, making sure it didn’t bunch up around the curve, but it still leaked air. I was afraid to tighten the nuts too much, as I had already stripped threads on one of them, so the nuts being too loose might have been the cause of the leak.
Anyway I took it all off and started over using the same product Ben pictured in the book, “Rutland fiberglass stove gasket cement”. I put lots of it on in between the two metal faces, and around the bolts and after it dried it didn’t leak.
I had fixed several leaks (I thought I had them all) and then I added 15% by weight of water to my 1/8’ - 1" charcoal (when mixing, much less dust with the water) and lit the reactor. The video shows the best results edited together. It seems like there is not enough suction from the engine to get rich enough gas to keep it going. There was a lot of condensation in the condensate collection shell. I have discovered one more leak just before the carb to fix before my next try. I’m wondering if I could improve the gas by plugging 3 of the 6 nozzles, which would make the reactor air speed faster, and thereby increase the gas quality. Another thing you have suggested, which I will try, is to have it running on propane (which it does well) and then slowly transitioning to chargas. I will post the results.