I would follow up the varnish oil with several coats of a fine paste wax, the first coat applied with a very fine steel wool gently rubbed. Buff, re-appply, etc.
For the shellac, if you haven't applied it yet, start with several thinned coats (I think alcohol as a thinner).
The more you can get the finish to permeate the wood the better. The wax seals it in and can be freshened up at regular intervals.
Post a few pics when you're done.
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