Recently purchased an intricately carved MAPLE CORBEL from a supplier...The surface was as slick as glass...I do a lot of wood cnc carvings at 95 percent overlap to decrease my cleanup time, however nothing I have ever machined comes close to the finish on this corbel i purchased...there were no tooling marks or any cross grain issues!!!
Would a vibratory tumbler produce this finish? It almost looks polished.
I have done gotten that kind of surface, using no finish or abrasive, by using a wool buffing wheel like you'd use on a car.
Experiment by initially using it light pressure, then apply more pressure. I started with a flat piece of birdseye maple that I had hand planed and then scraped to a very smooth finish. The result were quite stunning; the finish appeared to be like several coats of 1-pound cut shellac; ie, french polished.