Most items in Pathfinder Online are crafted by players, meaning all your weapons, armor, implements,etc. will be gained by making them yourselves or interacting with other players. There will not be merchants selling equipment (aside from player-run auction houses) and monsters will not drop finished gear beyond basic gear in the starter areas. Items are made by gathering raw materials, refining them into components, then crafting them into finished goods.
Raw material components drop from creatures or chests (often as “salvage”) and are gathered from nodes. The skills used for gathering are Dowser, Forester, Miner, and Scavenger (each targeting a different type of gathering node). Gathering a lot of a specific resource in a given hex will make that resource appear in fewer nodes and tend to be of greater weight (as only the lower-concentration versions remain). Higher Knowledge skills (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Geography, History, Local, Nature, Planes) and Survival improve the chances of getting salvage items from chests, depending on the associated creature types.
Often, raw materials will vary in their prefix to indicate greater weight (e.g., Dilute, Fair, Infused, or Potent chemicals), creating difficulty getting less pure materials back to a safe location. These items are identical once refined: Dilute Foxfire and Infused Foxfire both count as a single unit of Foxfire once refined. In most cases, you should use up the heavier ones first.
Raw materials have one or two “stocks.” This is often just the name of the item (e.g., all purities of Iron Ore have the Iron Ore stock). Some materials, particularly herbs, minerals, and salvage, can be used for two different things (e.g., Foxfire is Weak Acidic and also Weak Luminous). Materials with one stock are often more straightforwardly and generally useful, while those with two may be less frequently used but have more options when they are.
The item’s stock is used when making refined components.
Several profession skills are used to turn raw materials into refined components that can be used with craft skills. The skills used are:
• Apothecary (chemical)
• Gemcutter (gem)
• Sage (essence)
• Sawyer (wood)
• Smelter (metal)
• Tanner (leather)
• Weaver (cloth)
To refine, you must have access to an appropriate facility, have trained the relevant skill, and have learned a particular recipe (which may demand a minimum rank in the skill). For example, to make Dwarven Steel Ingots, you need to be a Smelter of at least rank 7, have learned a recipe for those ingots,and be at a smelting facility of sufficient level.
Recipes come in four variations for each component: +0 to +3. You usually get the +0 variation for free upon training the minimum rank that supports it, but to acquire recipes +1 to +3, you must find recipe consumables in the world and use them to learn the upgraded recipe. You do not have to have the entire sequence (e.g., you might only have +0 and +2 of a recipe).
Each upgrade of a recipe consumes more components than the base recipe (generally 20% more per upgrade), as you use only the choicest pieces and discard results that didn't meet your standards. However, as your skill improves, there is an increasing random chance that each component created improves for free by one or two pluses. The only way to get a +5 component is as a bonus result of a batch of +3 components.
When you've loaded the refining interface by clicking the door of the appropriate facility, your screen displays (on the left panel) a list of the recipes you know for that facility. Selecting a recipe displays the item that will be output (on the top right panel), and the material requirements to create it (in the center right panel). Each recipe will often produce several components at a minimum, and you can increase the output by that number (e.g., if a recipe outputs five items, you can make five, ten, fifteen, etc.). Selecting multiple batches increases the required materials by a proportionate amount, but averages any inputs across the increased batch (i.e., each batch is not made independently).
You can now fill the required materials for the item by clicking the icons for each stock required and selecting items from your inventory and storage to meet that requirement (selecting from the panel that appears once you’ve clicked a stock). For example, Dwarven Steel Ingots +2 requires 14 Lodestone, 28 Iron Ore, and 28 Coal for every five ingots. As mentioned above, some materials count for multiple stocks, so make sure you’re not using a material you’d rather use in another recipe for its second stock.
Once you've made all your selections, the recipe is ready to Add to Queue (consuming the materials and queuing up the job). The total time for production is based on your skill level, the facility level, and the difficulty of the recipe. Once added to your queue, you can see how long it will be before the item is output (in the queue panel in the bottom right). This countdown progresses whether or not you are online, so you can queue up several jobs and expect that they’ll be significantly advanced if you come back later. Once you have queued up at least 24 hours’ worth of refining, you cannot add anymore (e.g., if you had 23 hours in the queue currently, you could add something that would take three hours, but then not any further jobs).
Once you've refined a few components, you can sell them to a crafter or make crafted items yourself.
Crafting works similarly to refining, but has some notable differences. The skills used for crafting are currently:
• Alchemist (consumables)
• Armorsmith (metal armors)
• Artificer (arcane weapons and implements)
• Bowyer (ranged weapons)
• Engineer (shields, campsites, and kit implements)
• Iconographer (divine and miscellaneous implements)
• Jeweler (jewelry accessory items and trophy charm implements)
• Leatherworker (leather armors and leather accessory items)
• Tailor (cloth armors and cloth accessory items)
• Weaponsmith (melee weapons)
Crafting has several elements that are very similar to refining. You get a few recipes for free based on attaining the required rank, and must find the rest. You’ll use these recipes at a facility that supports them, and must have the right skill and rank to learn them. Once in the facility, recipe choice, output item, adding materials, and looking at the queue will appear in basically the same areas of the screen.
Unlike refining, each recipe supports the whole range of plus values for an item; you’ll determine the
final upgrade by which refined components you use to make the item. When you select from your inventory or storage to fill a component requirement, the average value of all components used is displayed (e.g., if you need five Dwarven Steel Ingots, and choose two +0 and three +1 ingots, that stack will display +0.6).
The collected values of all component stacks required is averaged together (with some weighting based on tier variations and your total craft skill) to generate the final output value and how close it is to going up to the next plus. If you’re very close to another plus, you might want to swap a few weak components with some stronger ones, and if you’re midway into a plus, you may want to replace some better components with weaker ones so as to not waste them (remainders are lost).
On many items, you can apply an enchantment (an additional recipe that has a minimum Spellcraft rank that you must have learned separately). This is selected from the far right panel from those enchants that are appropriate to the item you are crafting. This is the only way to add magical properties to an item; once it’s crafted, you cannot enchant it subsequently, and will be limited to its base properties. Enchanting an item adds an additional component stack requirement, and that’s figured into the final upgrade total of the item (e.g., if you add an enchantment with +0 components to a previously +3 item, it might be reduced to a +2 or even +1 item depending on the new average). (Enchantments may not be available until late Alpha or Early Enrollment.)
As with refining, once you've made all the required selections, you can add the item to your queue and will receive it when its job time is complete. Unlike refining, there is no chance that it will come out at a higher plus; the bonus for high crafting skill is a small predictable increase to the plus of the final item.
Guides and Information
Craft/Refine Time Equation = (Basetime)*((Item Quality^2)/(Skill*Facility Quality))
Crafting Recipes - You automatically get all Common Recipes, but you must find the Uncommon Recipes.
Refining Recipes- You automatically get all +0 Common Recipes, but you must find all Uncommon and Common +1-+3 Recipes.
Goblinworks Crafting Guide - 
Crafting Achievements - 
Refining Ingredients/Substitutes -