There are two items in your crafting menu that are a bit misleading: the chopping block and the tanning rack.
These items don’t actually function—you can’t use them for chopping wood or tanning leather, and that can be a little confusing. What they actually do is upgrade your workbench.
Crafting the chopping block and placing it near your workbench will upgrade your bench to level 2. The tanning rack will upgrade your workbench to level 3. This will allow you to upgrade your weapons, tools, and clothing to level 2 and 3 as well, giving your weapons more damage, clothing more protection, and so on.