I would like to strip the veneer off of the back side of a strat's neck - I'm guessing that, like furniture, I would need to lock in/out the moisture so that the neck won't warp. Any oils work better than others?


Music Man is petty well known for their raw necks. Almost all of their standard guitars and basses have unfinished necks and this has been the case since their EVH model was introduced.

They used to recommend Birchwood Casey gunstock oil & wax and for years this is what their instruments left the factory with.

The procedure is pretty simple and I went thru it many, many times w/ my Music Man instruments:

  • use 0000 grade steel wool to "sand" and smooth out the neck
  • make sure you tape up your pickups so they don't get get steel wool flakes to stick to them
  • after its smooth as butter wipe w/ a paper towel
  • apply Birchwood Casey gunstock, wipe off the excess oil & let it sit for about 5 minutes
  • wipe off the rest with a paper towel then apply the gunstock wax
  • again wipe it off w/ a paper towel

Your neck should be buttery smooth after that.

I've since abandoned that process b/c it takes a while and buying the gunstock oil and wax was usually a minor affair and i'm lazy. I've since simplified the process and have a similar, if not identical, outcome.

  • still use 0000 grade steel wool w/ pickups taped off
  • use Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes fretboard conditioner on the back of the neck pretty liberally
  • let it sit a few minutes
  • wipe off w/ paper towel
  • let it sit a few mintues
  • play and smile

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