I havent heard of anyone useing silicon. It would probably work, but there are many better alternatives IMO. Just my 2 cents, but I'm sold on the bolt up method. You can easily remove them if you ever decide to do repaint, and they hold very well.
Hey Phil, What I like to do is use black silicone to fill any of the small gaps left after attaching the earcaps . It works as a great filler, easy to apply and clean up and just adds the the whole weathered look. Just make sure that the silicone is paintable OR wait till you've finished painting before applying it.
Heres what I did. tape your ears on where you want them. then trace around the outline. remove your ears. next mark & drill your holes through the bucket, (you should be able to decide where to put the holes by using the outline you drew on earlier. Tape yoour ears back on. Now mark the holes by using a marker-mark from the inside of your bucket onto the ear. remove ears & drill out the holes. Be carefull not to drill too deepp. You will want to cut the heads off of some small bolts to stick into the holes in the ears. Making shure that the cut end of the bolt is inserted into the ear, glue in place with 2 part epoxy or super glue. Your bolts should line up perfectly with the holes in the bucket if you were carefull & marked correctly. stick em on & attach nuts. Don't overtighten. Hope that helps