Carpenters produce items out of wood. They construct beds, bins, barrels, and all manner of other furniture, as well as wooden training weapons, shields & bucklers, and 3 of the 5 standard trap components. A carpenter's skill level affects the speed and quality of his work.
Carpenters are also responsible for constructing architectural buildings designed with wood, wood blocks, or bars of soap. These buildings include trade depots, bridges, and wells, and their building quality and value are influenced by the carpenter's skill.
To employ a carpenter, create a task at a carpenter's workshop.
It is recommended that one of your embark dwarves has some skill at carpentry - beds, bins, and cages are typical early necessities.
Carpentry skill is also available in Adventurer Mode. To perform carpentry while at a carpenter's workshop, press x then the first option in create is Carpentry.