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I have two of the 1617EVS. A few years ago, when I had only my first one, it too became difficult to insert and remove from the base and to adjust the height in the fixed base.
At the recommendation of my father (a retired machinist), I applied silicone grease to the metal part of the motor unit's case. This worked, but the grease held sawdust quite well.
Then, after cleaning off the grease, I applied a coat of paste wax, let it dry and then buffed it. No more sticking. When I see a sign of stickiness, I re-apply the paste wax. It works a charm and doesn't collect sawdust.
When I got my second 1617EVS, I applied paste wax to it before using it. No problems to date.