Featherboards should be before the blade. There should be just enough pressure to hold the work piece against the fence.
It appears as if you have received a defective wedge lock. Occasionally these expand in the molding process and the end result is a wedge lock that pretty much gets stuck in the track once it is locked down and doesn't release. If you want to send me a message with your address I would be more than willing to send you a replacement as soon as possible.