We added 6" to the front, reinforced with dowels and high impact plastic panels that were left over from another project. We also added "desk grommets"--those capped holes in most modular office furniture. Since my work table is at bar height, I had to put my machines right up on the front edge of the table. The desk grommets let me set the machine a little further back and gets all the cords off the work table. Finally, I covered the tables with a black leather texture contact paper. It's not perfectly smooth, but it does cover up all the snags and rough areas and saved me from a few days of painting.
Here's a pic of the new work table. Hopefully you get the idea...