Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Well,aparently I was wrong about the little arm on that raises the small wheel.It is not a tensioner its a quick release.
My experience has been that it is BOTH. It does, in fact, put more pressure on the work piece if you rotate the lever during use. So I don't see the problem with your continuing to use the foot control you made. If the machine does what you want it to do with your modification...why not continue using it that way. And by releasing your foot pressure you "quick release" the work piece.
The only difficulty I see is maintaining a uniform pressure on the workpiece as you move it between the wheels. If your foot pressure is unsteady, perhaps you can create non-uniform stretching of the metal and create more problems than you are trying to eliminate. (I'm totally just thinking out loud here.)