Having your own basketball setup at home can offer hours upon hours of family fun and can help the basketball enthusiast in your family practice and master his or her game. In fact, many of the best basketball players in the world got their start with the game by shooting at an old rim in the driveway or one attached to a barn, practicing for hours to hone their craft.
But what can you do when a big wind storm topples your basketball setup, or when too many slam dunks happen, thereby bending the rim as it crashes to the ground, creating an oval or egg-shaped rim rather than a round one on your b-ball hoop setup. There are actually a few ways to fix this problem, some more technical than others. Below we will attempt to clearly explain these methods, saving the most ingenious for last.
1. Rubber Mallet
If you have a lot of time on your hands, and your rim is only bent slightly, you may be able to handle the job with a simple rubber mallet. To accomplish this, it is best that you first remove the rim from the backboard. This will make the rim much easier to maneuver and handle.
Place the rim flat against the ground. If it is bent, a portion of that rim will not lie flat on the ground, but will rather stick up some. This is the portion of the rim that you must straighten. Using cinder blocks or something else that is very heavy; secure the flat and even portion of the rim on the ground, thus restricting its movement. With a heavy rubber mallet, begin pounding on the part of the rim that is suspended in the air until it once again lies flat. Unsecure the other portion of the rim and check it again. Repeat this process until the rim is perfectly uniform and in a circle.
2. The Cutting or Blow Torch Method
If the rim you are trying to fix is WAY out of shape—and you don’t have the time or inclination to pound on it for hours using a rubber mallet—you can always use the blow torch method for faster results. Below we have described this process:
What You’ll Need
Here are the materials you will need to perform the blow torch method for fixing a bent basketball rim:
- Blow torch
- Protective flare repellent glasses
- Fireproof gloves
When planning to fix a basketball rim using a blow torch, you will first need to create a safe and ample workspace. Your best bet is to do this on the concrete, provided you have about 12-15 square feet on which to work. Remove any combustible or potentially combustible liquids and products from your workspace, and make sure there are no impediments or foot traffic where you will be working.
Before you do anything, determine the part or parts of the bent basketball rim that need to be repaired. Whether your rim fell over and became bent or whether it has become misshapen over years of heavy use, the parts of the rim that are not “true” should be fairly easy to find. Once you have made this determination, put on your protective gloves and eyewear prior to moving on to the next step.
Switch the blow torch to the “on” setting and ignite the flame, being careful that there are no children or pets in the workspace. You will most definitely want to be very near to the rim, as this will prevent you from having to travel around the workspace with your blow torch. Find the side that needs to be repaired once again, and hold the rim with your hands on the opposite side of the area that you will be working on.
Apply the flame of the blow torch to the affected or damaged area of the rim. Be sure to keep the flame only in the damaged area. Heat the damaged area of the rim for about three to five minutes, making sure you reach every negatively affected portion. As the metal of the rim begins to heat up, it will become much more pliable and easy to work with.
Turn the blow torch off completely, and quickly—but very carefully—place the heated section of the rim onto the concrete. Using a metal hammer, pound the heated/damaged area until it has regained its shape—perfectly round. When the rim has cooled, you can check to see if it is perfectly round by placing the entire rim on the concrete. If it lays flat you were successful. Now you can re-hang the rim on the backboard.
3. Using a Car Jack
One of the most ingenious ways to fix a bent basketball rim is to use a car jack, preferably a pneumatic jack of some kind, but any old car jack will do. The theory behind using a car jack to fix a bent basketball rim is a simple one: if it can lift a car, why not use it to fix your rim.
Keep in mind that this trick only works with a basketball rim that has been bent into an oval shape rather than a circle.
Take the car jack you plan to use, place it one side of the rim, and jack it up until it ALMOST hits the other side. Next, position the jack in such a way that the bottom is on one side of the oval, and the top is on the other. Once the jack is in position, begin cranking or pumping it until the force of the jack begins to spread the oval out into a circle.
You may have to repeat this process a couple times to get it perfectly right—and you may have to use some two by four pieces to help steady the rim as you work. In the end you should have a rim that is at least close to circular—a rim that can now be enjoyed by you and your entire family.
We hope these tips and tricks for fixing a bent basketball rim will get you back on the court in no time.