my first cement project

am about to embark on my first cement project. want to rebuild the trough drain in front of my garage door (which strangely turned from hard white concrete to beach sand over the winter). I'm told to use a piece of "buffalo board" between the garage pad and my new cement to allow the two to move. is this just standard 1/8" hardboard, or something unique? makes sense to use, but not sure on the material.
also, how would you guys say to treat the 1x6's I'm going to use for the form to make them last as long as possible in a wet environment? I've got a set of heavy steel rails welded together to reinforce the "bridge" over the trough and will be unable to remove the form once the cement has cured. as the rails have large tangs to secure them into the cement (and the rails will be on top of the form).
i thought about using a tar roofing product to completely coat and seal the form before I set it in place to pour. assume this will keep water off the wood and allow the wood to last a lot longer. if the wood deteriorates quickly, I guess its no big deal....just don't wanna deal with a mess later if I don't have to.
ideas?
b
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Hamilton Audio writes:

First lesson: it is "concrete", not "cement".
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A strange thing about the term 'concrete': A lot more information can be found on the net using cement versus concrete as the search criteria.

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Richard is right. Cement is a component of concrete. You don't call bread flour do you?
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Hamilton Audio writes:

This will peel off and make a mess. Use mineral oil.
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Hamilton Audio wrote:

It's not entirely clear to me why you'd need a wooden form at all. When you say trough drain, do you mean a drain that's IN a trough, a drain leading TO a trough, or (my first reaction) a drain that IS a trough? If the latter, why not just dig out the existing cement, shovel in a stiff mortar, and shove it into shape with a carved board like playdough?
--Goedjn
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Redesign your form. Make the wood in short enough sections to get it out of the welded cross members ( I assume these are only occasional, the rest being filled in with removable grates). When the wood is removed, you will need the concrete to support the bearing bars.
The grates need to be removable for clearing leaves and dirt. You can form the sides with ply, attach a 2x2 or other to create ledgers on both sides of the trough to carry the grates.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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