First off, Flint tools are way too slow for Gathering, so you should get Iron Tools as soon as possible. Even the lowest Iron tool will speed up your harvesting time by 50%. Steel tools will reduce it by more than half. Costs are minimal.
Don't forget to Level Up. You can get through Tier 2 and some Tier 3 Crafting before you're level 20, but to get the materials for the rest of Tier 3 and Tier 4, you'll need to get into your high 20s and 30s. Many Tier 4 items require level 35 to use them. Tier 5 items are level 50 to use and expect to be in your high 40s or 50s (with friends) to harvest the materials.
You can greatly improve your refining yields by making low cost armor with Luck perks. Focus
on Duelist Boots or Gloves at the Outfitting station to make use of Luck perk items. These
can give you from a 2% to a 3.5% chance to increase your production during refinement. A
full set can add 17.5% extra items per refining run.
The Perk items are added during Armoring crafting and almost never fail to add a perk.
You'll find perk items while Gathering based on your Luck. These production increases result from the associated perk item.
Logging -> Woodworking perk items.
Harvesting -> Weaving perk items.
Mining -> Smelting and Stonecutting (only for Stone, not Gems) perk items.
No Leatherworking perk items were found.
There are Gathering Luck perk items in the selection list for Armoring, but none were found. Gathering Luck perk armor (Harvesting, Mining, Logging, Skinning) was all from drops.
There are two ways you can increase your Settlement storage capacity: Select "Increase Storage"
when you receive a Settlement reputation point and Buy a house to hold storage chests.
1. Using up a reputation point for increasing storage is useful for the mainly-crafting player although running out of space can be managed by cycling through mass gatherings and refinements.
2. Buying a House is expensive at the start; 2000 to 4000 gold. The advantage is that you can have up to three storage chests to increase your Settlement storage. Storage chests can be made at the Woodshop station with a Furnishing skill of 5. They are listed in the Trophy area. Even the lowest tier chest can give you over 200 lbs of space. Chests can also be found by looting caches.
Although you can carry a fair amount of stuff, you will find yourself quickly overloaded
once you start serious Gathering. There are two way to increase your load capacity: Adventure's
Satchels and Armor with a capacity perk.
1. You can gain your first satchel by doing the Settlement part of the introduction quests. It will give you a 50 boost to carrying capacity. The Adventure's Satchel T2 can be made with Armoring Skill Level 3 at the Outfitter's Station and increases you weight limit by 100. Making this item should be one of your first goals.
NOTE: You can only equip one of these satchels at a time until level 20.
2. Armor drops can have a carrying capacity perk. These will usually be for a 10 to 20 weight increase. If you find or buy a capacity perk augment, you can add it to armor during Armorsmithing.
When Refining, make at least 50 items per session. This will make the most of your Luck gear in generating additional items. The recommended level is 100 items per session. The statistical minimum is about 30.
These are additional reagents needed in Refining some raw materials. They are acquired by looting crates and supply chests and are sometimes MOB drops.