I've heard some things about SH Frank & Co., but it wasn't until this week that I actually went by. I followed all the rules (like ringing the bell, standing behind the stop line) and ended up spending some time making wallets with Larry.
He told me lots of things about leather and his die cut and his tools, but he also told me I wasn't allowed to ask questions, which was actually a nice practice for me as I am normally asking a ton of questions.
He showed me how to use all the tools (he sells a kit for around $120.00 that comes with everything you need), and told me the secret mix for that stuff you see that seals off the sides of leather (I tried to do it at home today, it is working quite well).
SH Frank & Co. has a good selection at pretty reasonable prices, but I'm still on the look out for what I need. It seems they get in new stuff often, so I'll be checking it out again soon.
The whole experience just confirmed my theory that people want to teach you things that they love and care about. If you are nice and personable, a whole new world will open up to you. (real) People respond to sincerity. Sometimes people are neurotic or seem strange, but deep down a person is a human being with life experience and creativity to share. Fake people may be easier to work with, but they usually don't know much nor have any kind of perspective.