My tabletop is made of selected SPF boards and has been planed with a handplane. I've added breadboard ends to each end. I'm preparing the surface for a finish, and trying to avoid sanding altogether, using a combination of planes and/or scrapers. I can obtain a sufficiently smooth and reflexive surface with just planing on individual boards of the same material.
I was hoping I'd be able to do a final pass with only a card scraper over the surface to remove irregularities, remaining visible glue, remaining pencil marks, and remaining little bits of tearout around knots, but my scraping makes the glassy surface I had from just planing look more dull -- i am losing some sheen.
I could maybe re-plane the entire surface one last time, but planing has been made difficult at this point with the addition of breadboard ends, orthogonal to the grain direction of the main panel. To a lesser degree, this is also true of the possible grain-direction reversal at the boundary of each board of the main panel (i.e. I don't think I considered grain direction when assembling my panel).
On softwoods (i.e. woods with low-density fiber), in practice, can card scrapers (once sharpened properly) be used to achieving a surface comparable in smoothness and reflection to that obtained by planing (i.e. well-tuned bench plane)? Can card scrapers achieve high gloss also on softwood endgrain?
Or should I just give up the blades, and sand it like it's 1999.