Go to your local welding supply and see what size tanks and torches suit your needs, there are many types, most tanks are leased or rented by the month or quarter, some companies offer lifetime leases. Consider propane rigs for cutting and bending, they are much cheaper to use.
I use a tank size that Linde Air calls "C" and "WC" The tanks are about 30" high and I'm told they are the largest size you can buy outright. Anything bigger is a lease deal. I've been using them in my home shop for over 30 years and they are plenty big enough. Friends who have the smaller tanks are always running to get them refilled. (my two cents)
Most setups just use the "tall" Oxygen and the "short" acetylene. They tend to get empty about the same time. My lease is $80 per year for the pair. It cost about $16 for the refill on the Oxygen and about $26 on the acetylene.
check out harbor freight (wait, ain't that Willys's line?) they have a Victor kit on sale every now and then for a bit under $200. I thought about getting a cheap knock off kit but my machine guy told me you may not be able to walk in anywhere and find parts for it......but a victor or harris caloric is another tool.
[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: crazy larry ]</p>
Hey bud, I bought a $475.00 torch outfit by Victor for my welding truck. It was stolen while I was on a lunch break. I had to go and buy another one that day. The only shop that was near by was an Airgas shop. I bought a pipe-cutter kit with the oversized gauges for $225.00. Needless to say for the price and for the durability of this torch and regulators--I will never buy another Victor torch. I have had this torch for almost 3 years. It has not had one problem. I have never had to do anything to it. It still has the same tip from when it was bought.
FYI--I have no ties to Airgas or the Radnor cutting torch people. I am just telling what I know.
I bought a small Victor (Chinese) at Tractor Supply for under 200 bucks and it works fine for me. If you plan to use it for bending, you'll want to spend about another $60 or so and get a rosebud tip, a wonderful contraption that really lets you heat in a hurry and save gas in the long run. I hate that it is made in China, but what isn't these days. It was cheap and parts are available when you need them.
Check harbor freight, they have genuine victor outfits for a lot less than $475 in fact they have the victor jr outfit for about $179.It has every thing you will need for the home shop and it is top of the line gear to boot!