Tom, I am going to one better than that...I am going to give this lift another chance. Upon reflection, I am not so certain that the problem may not have been self inflicted...to a degree. Since I now understand the lift design it is clear that the plunge lock mechanism should be engaged at all times except when raising or lowering. Typically I will disengage the lock, raise the router, and then go about making bit changes...with the lock disengaged
I think this is where I may be going wrong. All that tugging and torque on the router will put undue stress on that single point of attachment...the lock should be engaged to relieve that stress.
I am also thinking that I may be a bit overzealous when raising the router...it is a DeWalt 625 which can be a bit height challenged, especially under a 3/8" plate. I like to do above table bit changes and try to raise the router as high as possible. Again, understanding the lift design as I do now, it is clear that if you attempt to "over-raise" the lift, you will start to put stress on the lift attachment point and can actually pull it out of the insert plate. This is, in fact, what I think I did the other night. My bad.
I was able to reassemble the lift by using a large dowel with a 5/8" counter bore and a heavy hammer. I have until the end of August before my 90 day return policy expires. I do think Woodpecker makes good stuff, and I'd really like to see if this lift will hold up to the job when properly used.
If there is any value in this thread, perhaps it is to warn other Plunge Lift users of the potential safety hazard
operating the router without the plunge locks engaged. The safety cable is also a very good idea and I thank you for that.
More and more I am realizing that the DW625 just isn't the best router in the world for under the table. I know some folks have this all worked out and I don't want to offend anyone, but it seems I keep throwing more and more money at this to make it work. I have been considering buying a second router for portable work anyway, so last night I did something about it...went to Sears and bought the Craftsman 2HP fixed base with intentions of using this puppy as my full time table router. I also ordered the Woodpecker PRL-V2 (how is that for an endorsement of Woodpeckers?). The DW625 is a great plunge router and I will relegate its use to more portable work and some occasional table use when I think I really need the extra HP...maybe even put some skis on it Harry and Bob style.
I appreciate everyone's help and advice, both public and private. This is a great group and I am grateful to be a part of it.
I would give Woodpecker a chance to make good before I came to any conclusions. They have a good reputation from what I have heard. From personal experience, but not as big a problem as here, they responded very promptly. It would seem that if you router will come off the posts, a safety cable may be in order.
Please post the resolution, if any, from Woodpecker.