If you can't get hold of vacuum bagging equipment, I found wrapping in duct tape works pretty well. Use the same spacer/soaker layers as for vacuum bag, then roll on the duct tape.
Instead of clay, look up Q-cells - a light weight filler powder that you mix up with epoxy. Or use a stiff sandwich foam and epoxy the nuts into it. The advantage of the foam would be you could pre-shape and lay up all in one hit. Q-cells might be a bit easier for prototyping - lay up inside, then q-cells, shape, lay up over the top. Either way, make sure you've figured out a way to have absolute confidence that the nuts will stay put when you put the power down!
Yeah, that's one thing I did leave out. I wrapped the layup in the umbrella fabric ( I read somewhere it was good as a breather and released well once it had cured) and then wrapped it in a lot of electrical tape to compress it. I'm also thinking of just getting one of those food vaccum packing machines and use that next time. Small steps...
I was sort of leaning towards foam for the next iteration, for sure. Moulding it in two pieces and then bonding it together is not perfect. Q-cells could also be helpful, for sure... Cheers.
I put heaps of carbon in the cleat area (there's probably close to 6 layers there) with that in mind haha. I'm thinking I might use a more shear-resistant composite (kevlar?) in the area for safety. One of my friends has a CNC machine and I was thinking of getting him to machine a three-bolt plate from aluminium to distribute the loads more evenly. I've already got the CAD drawing for it done, courtesy of procrastination.
You're missing a crucial step in the shoemaking process, you need a last to mould the shoe around. Moulding straight over the foot won't work in the long run, the foot needs to be able to move and bend so allowances need to places in the dimensions of the last to accommodate the foots movement.
Getting a last made to your measure isn't all that easy, I could make you one because I'm a bespoke shoemaker, but I don't know of anyone is Aus doing it. You could try casting the inside of a shoe that's fits you well and using that ad your last though.
I mentioned above I made a cast of my foot (with the toes under a wedge to lift them up) and then filled that with plaster to form my last
I do admit it's hard getting it right. Once I got the plaster last, I got some filler and extended it a bit at the toes and made a layer over the top of the whole thing to allow me to wear socks (but that didn't work well...). I then wrapped it in electrical tape. I believe most custom cycling shoe makers use the customer's last to make the inner sole and then use a standard last modified to the customer's dimensions for the outer.
Cool that you're a shoemaker! I've really come to admire some of the work people are doing and I'm pretty keen to go to a course (if I can find one) in the next break to learn some of the techniques.