I watched a video of a professional finisher, a friend of mine, do a table top (not quite as large as your project in less that 5 minutes with a large sponge brush (applicator). He actually poured (dribbled) ARM-R-Seal on the entire table, spread it around paying no attention to the grain direction and then made his final full length passes, daubing the excess off of the sponge (into a thick folded rag) after each full length stroke. And then walked away. It worked well. I would try a practice your dance steps on a large sheet of MDF or plywood first to get a fell for how much you should pour on. That being said, I am 5'-10" (almost) and a 36" reach would be tough.
Just thinking, If you go the wiping route and wipe it all off so that you do not have to worry about wet edges or exact brush control. You could wipe it all on and then wipe off starting in the middle. If you lean over and touch a wet spot it won't matter because you will be wiping it off when you get to that spot. Just don't wear your favorite shirt. Of course it will take more coats this way.
Yeah, sorry James, but I disagree.
I'm not gonna make the "Festool is great" argument because I have my own set of problems with them. But if you think Festool is only capable of doing sheet goods and loose tenon projects, you didn't even scratch the surface and maybe you should have done a little more research on what the system is capable of...especially the MFT. That thing is an incredibly versatile tool that does WAY more than you're giving it credit for.
I think the truth of the matter is, when you started woodworking you thought you wanted to use power tools, then later decided you enjoyed hand tools more. That's great, I'm all for it. But don't pretend there's some deficiency with the Festool system that left you disillusioned. Your shift to hand tools was based purely upon preference and I think you might be just a little bit bitter about wasting some money at the start. And that's fine too...I also have a few thorns in my side from bad decisions I made early on. But I'm not gonna cast blame on anything or anyone but myself. Let's be real about it.