Reclaimed wood is lumber that has been removed from a pre-existing structure. This wood is known as salvaged wood or antique lumber. Repurposed wood is not necessarily reclaimed wood, but, rather, wood not used for for its original intent. I bought some wood from a barn that was left over from its construction. It was stored in the rafters for well over 100 years and never used. Would this be reclaimed or repurposed wood? One could argue the former, and another might argue the latter. I would say I claimed it from those rafters and purposely built some furniture from it.
Not all reclaimed wood is good for building furniture. It is, after all, simply old construction material, not choice lumber. That is not to say it isn’t wonderful wood; it is! When the original buildings were constructed all those years ago, the choice lumber was selected for staircases, furniture, moldings, and items that would be seen, leaving the less than desirable wood available for construction material. Do you think 115 years from now they’ll be pulling down those tract homes in order to build furniture with the 2x4s? Probably not. This old growth wood is far different than the construction lumber of today. There is a beauty that only time can create, and with the old growth lumber, that beauty is exquisite. There is an abundance of reclaimed wood on the market that can be used for almost any project.