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I have an old sxs shotgun from around the turn of the century. I cleaned the stock with Formby's buildup remover and then applied a coat of Formby's lemon oil. Looked great but after about an hour the lemon oil dried (I guess) and the stock looked exactly like it did before applying the oil. Is this normal? Will applying additional coats of lemon oil improve the look of the stock? I would like to get a little sheen (not shine) on the stock before putting it back in the display cabinet.
 

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Yeah, lemon oil isn't all that great of a protectant finish.
Remember the slogan (I forget which brand used it)...
Once a day for a week,
Once a week for a month,
Once a month for a year,
Once a year, for life.
It's a never ending process.
It's more of a mildly acidic cleaner type oil and it'll never dry into a protective coating that lasts. It does work good for gentle cleaning of oil-finished wood.

For an old oil finish like that (or however much is actually left of the finish), I really like using a boiled-linseed oil or tung oil type finish to both clean and reseal the wood. A clear finish would probably work just fine since you're just wanting to put a light sheen on the wood. I'm assuming it's stocked in walnut...
Watco Danish Oil Finish. Formby's Tung Oil, Lin-Speed, Minwax Antique Oil finish, etc... are brands to look for.

Basically do the same that you probably did with the lemon oil.
Wipe the wood down with a saturated rag. Don't leave any excess on the wood though. Wipe off the excess right away, then buff with a soft cotton or flannel (diaper) cloth. Let it sit for a few hours to cure it out and then buff again with the diaper cloth.
 

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1 part linseed oil, 1 part turpentine, 1 part white vinegar mixed and applied with 0000 steel wool will clean and nourish the wood. Make sure you dispose of the steel wool properly--linseed oil can spontaneously combust.
 

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Bindernut's advice is right in line with what I do as well. Any type of oil finish is going to take several applications. Don't think of it in terms of "coats" of finish. An oil finish doesn't work that way. It soaks into the cells of the wood, which takes time. So the reason it looked the same as before after a few hours is because the wood had absorbed the oil. You need to reapply and go through this same process several times. It can take quite a while to start looking like you want it to look.

Definitely do not try to overapply an oil finish by leaving extra on the surface. You want to rub it in, either by hand or with a rag or fine steel wool, then wipe the excess away, giving the wood time between applications to absorb the oil. After a few days, or even a few weeks in some cases, the beauty of the oil finish will start to come out.

As for boiled linseed oil, it doesn't really spontaneously combust. What happens is that it heats up as it cures. So if you have a rag or steel wool that's saturated in BLO and then you throw it in a trash can, that heat will build up inside of it as the oil cures, and will eventually get so hot that it ignites. So if you're using BLO, it's best to spread the rag out on a rack instead of wadding it up. That way there's no concentration of mass that can build up heat. If using steel wool, best thing to do is rinse it thoroughly with a thinner to get the oil out of there, or unroll the steel wool and spread it out.
 

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I would think that the first thing you need to do is to get the old oil out of the wood.
 

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I would think that the first thing you need to do is to get the old oil out of the wood.
If you're wanting to completely refinish a piece of wood, then yes it is best to get as much of the old oil out as possible to make for a more even finish.

As I understand w1spurgeon, he's just wanting to get a little gloss back onto the existing finish.
He already stripped the wax & dirt off using Formby's Buildup Remover. Normally, they recommend polishing with lemon oil or almond oil afterwards...but both of those are just light oil polishes that really don't last all that long.

The steps I described in my post above will actually use a light coat of fresh oil to soften the existing oil finish and allow you to burnish it out to bring back the shine. It'll leave pretty much all of the existing "character" of the original finish unchanged.
Once that coat (which is the original finish that has been softened and polished) has dried, you can just buff it with a cloth and final polish the surface.
I don't like to use steel wool unless there is a lot of grime to clean off. A good diaper cloth has just enough abrasive texture to scrub the finish without removing much at all. Scrubbing too hard with steel wool can take off a lot of the old finish...although that method definitely has it's place too.

After the oil polishing steps it works good to apply a wax type topcoat, but it's not necessary. Watco's Wax Finish is the one that I normally use on furniture. But on a working gun, I like to use good old Johnson's Floor Wax over an oil finish since it's tougher than most furniture wax coatings like the Watco stuff. For a wallhanger, I have bypassed the wax final step and it still looks just fine.
 
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