I don't even take off the hardware until I have the drawers in perfect condition. It makes more sense to keep them on as I work on them and plane or sand down drawers so that I can open and close them easily, until I have them working as perfectly as I can.
Typically this type of work is something I do before I prime, but because I was priming that day and didn't have the right size dowel on hand, I did it afterwards.
Here you can see that I had the correct SIZE I needed but because the base, part that goes into the crack was different, it sunk in too much and needed a little 'lift'.
A bead of filler brought it up to the level I needed. After letting it dry overnight, it was ready for the dowel/trim.
Here it is cut to size, glued and pin nailed in! Sorry for the bad phone pics, I must have been doing a cartwheel, but you get the idea:)
We kept the original hardware but went over it with oil rubbed bronze. Love the contrast of the dark with the light finish.