one would think the turpentine would be counterproductive
No - turpentine helps the boiled linseed oil dry. I'm personally not a big fan of boiled linseed oil finishes as they are soft and really not very water resistant. I only use it on things like tool handles (axes, rakes, shovels, etc.) as a wipe down after use to keep the wood from drying and splitting. For a fine finish, there are far better oil finishes.
A tung oil finish is a better finish and applies the same way as boiled linseed oil. Tung oil needs to be the polymerized type and not raw. With the tung oil, you apply the oil + thinner and then let it sit for 24 hours. The oil will penetrate the wood and then harden. You can easily build up the finish from that point as the oil will not penetrate past the first layer. A commercially prepared tung oil finish is easily found in products like Waterlox.