First thing first, go to your nearest safety equipment supply store and get a respirator with a couple sets of cartridges. You want one that will fit your face properly. There are lots of brands and sizes of respirators, you need one that fits your face properly. The staff there should be able to help you. Make sure it doesn’t gap around your mouth or the bridge of your nose. If you can’t get one in person, there are lots of online retailers, and Home Depot/Lowes will have some respirators as well. There is no excuse not to get one.
I have this brand. Get at least two sets of cartridges so you can change them out. Cartridges won’t do you any good if they are clogged or expired. Many masks don’t come with cartridges at all, so that you can get the ones specific to the tasks you need them for. You’re going to want to look for cartridges with the highest P100 dust rating and that are rated against vapors such as Toluene. That way, when you spray MSC, you can use the same mask. Double duty!
Date the cartridges with a sharpie when you open them so you always know exactly how old they are.
Your health is important. Don’t listen to any naysayers or believe that because they don’t think they don’t need a mask that you don’t. Resin dust is not something you want to inhale, ever.
To open eyes, there’s a few tools you’ll need. If I recall correctly, DZ Yumi already has eye wells (she’s not filled in from the back and completely closed, that takes different tools). So, you’ll want to get an X-acto knife with a packet of spare blades. There are a few different blade shapes, I like the long standard blades, and I like the #2 and #16 blade styles myself.
You may also want a Zoukimura knife or the similar knife sold by Luts. The Zoukimura knife has a sharp edged tip, which if it slips, can gouge resin pretty well (however, these aren’t shaped like a kitchen knife, so you’re not likely to get cut at all). The Luts knife has a rounded point, which is less likely to gouge when I’ve use it. These aren’t required, but I really like them. They’re easier to use than xactos, and you’ll be much less likely to cut yourself. These knives also work great for shaving off seam lines on other dolls.
You will also want various grits of sandpaper and possibly needle files (I’ve seen them for sale at doll shops). I like to use 150, 200, 300, and 600, as well as even higher grits for finishing. And you may want to get some eye bevelers to refine the eye wells once the eyes are opened more. Some people use a dremel to open eyes, however it works very fast and it is very easy to go too far if it is your first time.
Remove any eyes and eyelashes before you start. You might be able to work around a faceup or you may find it gets in your way. It is best to work outside. If you can’t work outside, lay down a towel on a work bench to catch any falling shavings and dust so you can take them outside. There will still be dust in the air, especially if you do any sanding or dremeling, consider any other people or pets in the area. They might not have masks or the ability to consent to the exposure to the dust.
The best way to ensure you don’t take off too much resin is to draw with a pencil where you want the finished eyes to be open too. You don’t have to go all the way to where you draw, and you can go beyond that, but it makes a good guideline.
Go slowly, and shave off small amounts of resin at a time. I like to use the edge of the x-acto or the ceramic knives. When dragged across the resin at an angle, they will shave it slowly much like dragging a knife over chocolate will make chocolate curls.