Welcome bobwhite. As already mentioned as weathered as the piece looks I would question it's strength. Hard to tell the stremght of the piece from a pic so it's your call as to how strong it really is. As to finish, the wood will undoudtly suck up quite a bit of finish, tung oil and Danish oil are excellent products but might be a bit expensive. Cheapest oil to use would be boiled linseed oil. Readily available at any hardware or paint store. Slather it on, wait 1/2 hour and wipe off the excess. BLO, "use once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year."