I took my cockpit table to bare wood some number of years ago. Probably more than I realize now. I take the table off every other year, sand it with 220 grit and then put a couple of top coats. I think the sanding takes off about what I put on and will work indefinitely, unless I let it become damaged.Would an annual single coat of varnish keep the finish look great "indefinitely" or would be be too built up? Would a good rub down with ScotchBrite be the prep needed on 1 yr old varnish which essentially still looks good?
I did have a guest close the leaf against one of it's supports and split a piece off the edge, along the grain. It was heartbreaking to find. They didn't fess up, but I know who did it. I took it home, epoxied the broken piece in and clamped it. Then I rebuilt the split edges, with a little varnish at a time, until it was proud to the surrounding finished varnish. It took several layers, but maybe not the full 10. Once it was proud, I then sanded everything level and put a tooth on the rest and top coated. You literally couldn't find it right now. Very time consuming, but varnish is repairable.