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The Carpenter is a machine added by Forestry. It acts somewhat like a crafting table that needs to be powered by an Engine. It requires water for most recipes, and some other liquids, such as Seed Oil, for a few recipes. It is used for a variety of recipes such as the Basic Circuit Board, Woven Backpacks, and the Apiary.
When connected to BuildCraft waterproof pipes the Carpenter will waste liquid while the pump is running. Use Liquiducts instead.
To create anything using the Carpenter, a set of items are required in the crafting area of the Carpenter to define the recipe as well as the required liquid for the recipe and another set of items to actually craft the desired item within the two rows of item slots below the crafting area at the top of the Carpenter GUI.
In order to place an item in the recipe area, you use a left click. This will not take any of the resources in the stack you are using to make the recipe. Right click to remove an item from the recipe area. In order to automatically refill the Carpenter with materials, connect pipes to the bottom, and the items will be put in the Carpenter's lower inventory, where the recipe draws from.