Shop teacher used to have us apply some Danish oil (may have been a thin type of linseed)... we would apply, let it soak in a bit. Then rub it down to remove excess oil. Let dry. Steel wool between coats, wipe with damp cloth - then let it dry before coating again. I think we did 3 coats I gave a very thin finish, but really showed off the wood and grain.
If I want a real glossy finish, then I like to use polyurethane (which seems to be a good protectant from water damage - like rings from a wet glass).
But others who do finishing may have other, or better, ideas.