Friday, November 5, 2010

The Lowdown on the Steampunk Drink Dispensing Bustle

I had a request to show the drink dispensing bustle I wore with my Halloween Steampunk costume. I discussed it briefly here. I warn you, it isn't pretty. I was short for time and it is nothing but functional at this point. :)

Here is a close up of what the cutoffs would look like under the lacing of the corset:

All that could be seen of the dispenser was the cutoff knobs, bicycle pump and a tiny bit of hose. Well, and my larger than normal bum. I know, it wasn't very steampunk of me to hide everything. You'll see the reason I chose to conceal most of it under my outfit in a sec. :)

There are three cutoffs shown. Though I had only two functioning for this maiden voyage. The third was to be an air tube for weapons and other gadgets. But, after testing the tanks for weight problems on my back, I may just add a third tank!

The bicycle pump pushes air to all three cutoffs. But, air will only continue through the open valves. So, I had to remember shut all but the one I wanted to use. For wine, this air then travels to the tanks in back pushing down on the liquid in the tank and pushing it up through the dispensing hose that ends on my left hip. The water is the same, except that it ran through the right sleeve of my dress. I will eventually have a water gun attached to that one.

All together I had about $30 in the whole setup including the dresses. The brass cutoffs were the most expensive parts at about $6 each! I used 1/4" tubing and garden sprinkler parts for most of the inner workings. The hose connectors on the tanks are actually gold plated coaxial cable connectors that I found. I had to melt out the plastic to use them. I don't condone using unapproved parts of unknown origins, but I'm not using this everyday. And, most of the parts do not come in contact with the liquid in the containers. I made my own "O" rings out of wide rubber bands. It worked really good to seal the connectors.

I was really please with the results of this project. After a few minor improvements, I may make a smaller version as a regular accessory for my ren garb. ;)


hose adapters said...

Nice project! I can't wait to see the result of that project. I like it. Thanks for sharing.


Jessica Peter said...

This is about the coolest thing ever. I found the steampunk costume on Craftster (btw, it also rocks), and had to follow the links to check out this system. And yep, I'm in awe. Yet even with your explanation, I still don't think I could do it myself. (I'm one of those crafty-but-not-practical types).

mieljolie said...

Hi, Jessica. Thanks for stopping in to comment. The drink dispenser wasn't too difficult to rig up once I got one tank figured out. I'm sure you could do it. I've since found a plastic fish tank cut-off valve set that is way cheaper than my brass cut-offs. Wish I'd spotted it sooner. They're already mounted together.

I've actually added the 3rd tank. Not really so much for drinking but to widen my bum a bit more. ;D I'll probably fill it with rum for my friends.


Baron Bon Bar said...

Dear I do think we where made for each other, or to be arch rivals, not sure which. To see my steampunk drinking gear, please look me up on face book Baron Bon Bar, or contact me at

Baron Bon Bar said...

I just went a head and copied my info for ya. Add me if you like.!/profile.php?id=729644017

mieljolie said...

Ha ha, Baron! I guess there is no choice but "arch rivals" since I'm spoken for. ;) Can't wait to see your work.


Rossanne said...

Wow I love this! Would you ever consider making a tutorial for building one? I find it a lot easier to just go for the steampunk 'look' than functional gadget things...the gadgets are way cooler(and way more steampunk I think) than anything else, but I just don't have the practical brain for constructing them! I think perhaps I need to make some engineer friends