FINISHES / MUST KNOW / MAINTENANCE
Direct sunlight, high heat or very low humidity will crack or bleach out your hand made wood furniture. Also leaving water on any surface will most likely over time leave a watermark no matter what finish is on there. If you have a table in the sun I recommend covering it with something when not in use.
If you are considering maintaining your furniture it is always a good idea to put on another coat of oil once in a while.
All of my father's furniture was finished with LTV. If you own one of his pieces this is what he used.
LTV is one part linseed oil, one part turpentine, and one part high gloss spar varnish. All oil based.
I usually mix these with less linseed oil and more varnish. The linseed oil can be very sticky and does not dry well. So I recommend mixing about 2 cups varnish , 3/4 cup linseed, and 1 cup turpentine. This is a rough mix . Do not worry about being accurate. The turpentine currently is only found in Art Stores.
If you are oiling a large item that has many parts, oil sections at a time and wipe it off with a dry rag. Do not leave any drips. You can apply it with #0000 steel wool or even wet the sandpaper with the oil using 220 or 320 grit to clean off any dirt. Sand with the grain. If starting with 220, go to 320, then to #0000 steel wool to finish it off. Re-oil with #0000 after that process anytime you like. Remember to wipe it off completely and make sure to throw away the rags in the fireplace or where they will not spontaneously combust.
If you own one of my pieces, Tripp Carpenter or signed Espenet III, I still use the LTV on most everything that does not come into contact with heat or moisture. I will tell you which finish I used when you purchase the piece.
However, on table tops I use another finish. It is a ZAR product which now comes in a white can. It is called: WIPE ON TUNG OIL, HAND RUBBED FINISH, SEMI GLOSS.
You can apply this with a damp oiled cloth and rub it on your tabletop throughout and wipe off with a dry cloth. Let it dry overnight. I use this on my bowls too. Using #0000 steel wool works well here too.