The function of the tools I use and how they work are explained here. Specific tools used are noted in bold.
Before the finish is applied all pieces are sanded to 320 grit. The table is darkened slightly via ammonia fuming. This process was used extensively in Arts and Crafts style furniture in the early 1900’s. The tannic acid in the wood causes the wood to darken when exposed to concentrated ammonium hydroxide. Not all wood species have high concentrations of tannic, but white oak does. The table pieces are placed in a box trailer along with an open bowl of ammonium hydroxide. For this table the wood was fumed for 60 minutes. After fuming, multiple coats of varnish finish are applied with a HVLP sprayer. Once the varnish cures the top is rubbed out using very fine sandpaper and polishing pads.