I made my first CBG about three months ago. Since then I've made another 4 and I like to think they are getting progressively better. However, there is a problem I don't seem to be able to get over.

Open strings are perfectly in tune but the further I go up the frets the sharper the notes get.

I have been using the "WFret" template and have been meticulous in positioning the frets.

I have asked around and have been told that maybe this can be fixed by adjusting the intonation but as I'm not using an adjustable bridge I don't see how this can be done.

Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Art

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Every bridge has to be just a bit further out than the scale length.  This is due to aa coupl of factors:. The mass of the string, strings being stretched to fret or slide, and maybe the tension, too...    Take a look at any electric guitar.  They are made with adjustable bridges for a reason .  Acoustics with fixed bridges are affected by string gauge changes accordingly.    

It has been my experience that a slide guitar with a 25 inch scale, the low g string has to be about 3/16 inch longer than the scale length, and the high g string has to be about 1/16" too long...

YMMV...

If your using a non-adjustable fixed bridge that could be your issue.

Try a floating bridge and angle as needed.

Here’s a good video to watch.

https://youtu.be/Y6pE6E7iuvI

Andy - great video! Thanks for sharing.

You string height (action) also is a factor.

Take a picture of the bridge you are using. That would help.
I purchased a uke (defective, 1 of 2200 made, but repaired) with that problem.

I kept thinking "the frets must be...no, how hard is it to get them in the right place in a factory?", but gave up & had a luthier look at it.

In my case, the frets were spaced correctly, but the distance from the nut to the first fret was too long...almost 1/8" on 20" baritone scale).

Not perfect yet, going to file the nut notch some day.

Basically, he told me to take the nut off, shorten the end, reinstall & recheck, repeat (string tension is enough to hold the nut in place...if too much material is removed, can shim to lengthen).

If you have a 'no rules' CBG nut, look at the distance to the first fret.

Murray
Murray's advice is good, but my first thought was the same as Gus'. With the strings open, how much height do you have between strings and 1st fret? How about at 12th fret? Lay a straightedge on your frets, is the neck bowed up?

Thanks for all the suggestions.   Checked the distance from nut to first fret and it's 36.5mm (1.437")  to the top centre of the fret which is right for a 25.5 inch scale.   If the measurement has to be taken from nut to the nearest edge of the fret then I'm a mm. out.    Re. string height: 2.5mm (.100") at the nut and at 12th fret 4mm (.15")

The bridge is a cut from a piece of red gum - a hard wood.   Have attached pics.

Art.

Attachments:

Your bridge is too straight.  The low strings need to be longer than the high ones.   Just start scooting the bridge a bit while checking intonation at the 12th fret. 

String length can also be adjusted by the depth of your string grooves, deeper for the high, going shallower to the low.  'Typically preferred action on an electric guitar is around 1/16" (1.6mm) on the high E string and 3/32" (2.4mm) on the low E string.'

Thanks Gus,

Will make some adjustments.  

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