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Do I Want To Stain Or Oil?

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I have a maple neck with a black walnut stripe in it that i am about ready to put finish on. I don't want a spray on thick glossy finish like you normaly see but a finish like you see on higher end models. Should I use some kind of oil or stain to rub on the neck? Something that will penetrate good and protect the wood from the oils of the skin.

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I'm working on the same thing at the moment. Laminated neck of maple with walnut stripe. From searching around here the conclusion i've come to in order to achieve a finish like what you are talking about is to use 'tru oil'. It's sort of as glossy or matte as you desire it to be based on the number of coats and how you buff it, etc. Do a search for it and you will find some info and pics of examples.

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